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Posted 26 Nov 2008


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Add Group Collapse Behavior on a Listview Control

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4.65/5 (25 votes)
26 Nov 2008CPOL
Group collapse behavior added to a listview control under Windows Vista


ListView control is an important but complex control in the WinForm environment. Group behavior is added into this control, but unfortunately, we can't collapse or expand the group.

I'll show how to use some simple code to add collapse/expand behavior on the ListView control.

This is a sample image on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008:


Default group without Collapse/Expand behavior


Group with Collapse/Expand behavior

Using the Code

  • Define ListView group struct wrapper:

    public struct LVGROUP 
            public int cbSize; 
            public int mask; 
            public string pszHeader; 
            public int cchHeader; 
            public string pszFooter; 
            public int cchFooter; 
            public int iGroupId; 
            public int stateMask; 
            public int state; 
            public int uAlign; 
  • Define the ENUM data:

    public enum GroupState 
            COLLAPSIBLE = 8, 
            COLLAPSED = 1, 
            EXPANDED = 0 
  • Interop for SendMessage function:

    static extern int SendMessage
    	(IntPtr window, int message, int wParam, IntPtr lParam);
  • Kernel method to set collapse/expand behavior on the ListView group:

    private void SetGroupCollapse(GroupState state)
            for (int i = 0; i <= aoc.Groups.Count; i++){
                    LVGROUP group = new LVGROUP();
                    group.cbSize = Marshal.SizeOf(group);
                    group.state = (int)state; // LVGS_COLLAPSIBLE 
                    group.mask = 4; // LVGF_STATE 
                    group.iGroupId = i;
                    IntPtr ip = IntPtr.Zero;
                            ip = Marshal.AllocHGlobal(group.cbSize);
                            Marshal.StructureToPtr(group, ip, true);
                            SendMessage(aoc.Handle, 0x1000 + 147, i, ip); // #define
                            LVM_SETGROUPINFO (LVM_FIRST + 147) 
                    catch (Exception ex){
    			(ex.Message + Environment.NewLine + ex.StackTrace);
                            if (null != ip) Marshal.FreeHGlobal(ip);

Points of Interest

#define ListView_SetGroupInfo(hwnd, iGroupId, pgrp) \

The above is the definition from SDK file: commctrl.h.


  • In the current version, the rightmost collapse/expand icon doesn't work. :(
  • The collapse/expand behavior only exist in Windows Vista and Win2k8 systems.


  • 27th November, 2008: Initial post


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Charles Ju
Software Developer
China China
I love C#.
I love using windbg to help customers solve the performance issues.

Comments and Discussions

QuestionGroup header font is blue and small Pin
Member 84279656-Jan-21 17:40
MemberMember 84279656-Jan-21 17:40 
BugCrash on Windows 10 64-bit Pin
Real Anon User27-Jan-20 19:24
MemberReal Anon User27-Jan-20 19:24 
QuestionAlign collapse/expand icon to the left Pin
HKe197219-Aug-15 6:55
MemberHKe197219-Aug-15 6:55 
BugThere is a bug... Pin
Mikro_12317-Dec-13 22:47
MemberMikro_12317-Dec-13 22:47 
QuestionFixing click on collapse icon / Make it run on 32bit Pin
Ray Koopa23-Sep-12 6:58
MemberRay Koopa23-Sep-12 6:58 
AnswerRe: Fixing click on collapse icon / Make it run on 32bit Pin
Andira Muttakim29-Dec-12 5:57
professionalAndira Muttakim29-Dec-12 5:57 
GeneralRe: Fixing click on collapse icon / Make it run on 32bit Pin
Ray Koopa27-Jan-13 7:38
MemberRay Koopa27-Jan-13 7:38 
GeneralRe: Fixing click on collapse icon / Make it run on 32bit Pin
Ed Gadziemski18-Oct-14 19:41
professionalEd Gadziemski18-Oct-14 19:41 
AnswerRe: Fixing click on collapse icon / Make it run on 32bit Pin
Flanter30-May-13 16:38
MemberFlanter30-May-13 16:38 
GeneralRe: Fixing click on collapse icon / Make it run on 32bit Pin
Ray Koopa16-Jul-14 10:49
MemberRay Koopa16-Jul-14 10:49 
QuestionButton from the group bar Pin
Member 865897530-Jul-12 22:33
MemberMember 865897530-Jul-12 22:33 
QuestionCollapse/Expand is not working when you open the MainForm from another Form Pin
msiddu30-Jul-12 20:23
Membermsiddu30-Jul-12 20:23 
AnswerRe: Collapse/Expand is not working when you open the MainForm from another Form Pin
Mikro_12317-Dec-13 23:00
MemberMikro_12317-Dec-13 23:00 
QuestionDoesn't work Pin
heavylifting18-May-12 9:13
Memberheavylifting18-May-12 9:13 
AnswerRe: Doesn't work Pin
heavylifting18-May-12 9:16
Memberheavylifting18-May-12 9:16 
GeneralRe: Doesn't work Pin
Shargon_8520-Oct-14 22:41
MemberShargon_8520-Oct-14 22:41 
GeneralRe: Doesn't work Pin
Franc Morales28-Oct-16 13:25
MemberFranc Morales28-Oct-16 13:25 
GeneralRepaint problem on Vista/Win7 [modified] Pin
ZhuJinYong26-May-11 19:01
MemberZhuJinYong26-May-11 19:01 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pin
ChewsHumans21-Oct-10 12:48
MemberChewsHumans21-Oct-10 12:48 
GeneralMy vote of 3 Pin
o.olll12-Aug-10 21:36
Membero.olll12-Aug-10 21:36 
GeneralCorrections Pin
imess18-Jan-10 11:35
Memberimess18-Jan-10 11:35 
GeneralRe: Corrections Pin
ChristiaanJ11-Feb-10 6:58
MemberChristiaanJ11-Feb-10 6:58 
GeneralMy vote of 1 Pin
ts2224-Jul-09 11:25
Memberts2224-Jul-09 11:25 
GeneralRe: My vote of 1 Pin
Scott Dorman15-Sep-09 6:26
professionalScott Dorman15-Sep-09 6:26 
Generalgetting and setting the correct Group Id Pin
Paw Jershauge18-May-09 21:37
MemberPaw Jershauge18-May-09 21:37 

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