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Remote Control of Microsoft FileDialog Class (OpenFileDialog)

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23 Nov 2009CPOL
Remote control of Microsoft FileDialog class (OpenFileDialog)


If you frequently use a standard File Open Dialog in your program with a big collection of files, you very quickly start missing some default parameters that use them to open with details and order by date.


At this point, if you don't want to rewrite the File Dialog in Visual Studio (2005, 2008) you start searching for an easy solution to this problem. The good examples for such solutions that I found are:

But I did not find how to order by date, or size !!!!!!

So, here is my small solution for this problem.

Using the Code

For this, I found how to remote control columns. The class that contains a column list is a "ListViewRemote".

To call this class, you need to know the Handler that is inside the FileOpenDialog. Here is a small code that you can enter in any form that helps you find the handle.

/// <summary> 
/// this part of code, i took from FileDialogExtender.aspx 
/// </summary> 
/// <param name="m"></param> 
protected override void WndProc(ref Message m)
  base.WndProc(ref m);
  if (m.Msg == 289) //Notify of message loop 
    uint dialogHandle = (uint)m.LParam; //handle of the file dialog 
    if (dialogHandle != _lastDialogHandle) //only when not already changed 
      //get handle of the listview 
      IntPtr SHELLDLL_DefView = Win32.FindWindowEx
			((IntPtr)dialogHandle, 0, "SHELLDLL_DefView", "");
      //send message to SHELLDLL_DefView 
      IntPtr result = Win32.SendMessage(SHELLDLL_DefView, 
			(int)Win32.WM_COMMAND, (int)DialogView, 0);

Now when you get the handle, you can call the ListViewRemote.

      if (DialogView == DialogViewTypes.Details)
        ListViewRemote lvr = new ListViewRemote(SHELLDLL_DefView);
  //remember last handle 
  _lastDialogHandle = dialogHandle;

The main idea of the solution is to catch the Header of ListView...

	(SHELLDLL_DefView, 0, "SysListView32", "FolderView"));

IntPtr listViewHeader = Win32.FindWindowEx(listViewHandle, 0, "SysHeader32", "");

... and use the HDITEM as remote control item (and sometimes just generate mouse click).

The code example that I have given in this article is only the first step in how to resolve the problem of the File Dialog of Visual Studio.


  • 2/2/2009: First version
    Currently: sort asc and desc in any column of listview and choose what type of listview we need

Wow I did it. :) It's very annoying not to find a solution for such an important thing!


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


About the Author

Israel Israel
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Comments and Discussions

Generalproblem with vista 64 bit Pin
hjozi3-Feb-09 18:15
memberhjozi3-Feb-09 18:15 
GeneralRe: problem with vista 64 bit Pin
avramik4-Feb-09 15:33
memberavramik4-Feb-09 15:33 
GeneralRe: problem with vista 64 bit Pin
hjozi4-Feb-09 19:40
memberhjozi4-Feb-09 19:40 
GeneralCorrect link I think... Pin
Teashirt23-Feb-09 10:44
memberTeashirt23-Feb-09 10:44 
AnswerRe: Correct link I think... Pin
avramik3-Feb-09 11:32
memberavramik3-Feb-09 11:32 

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Posted 3 Feb 2009


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