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Posted 1 May 2009

Selecting a ListView Item

, 1 May 2009
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Code to add an item to a ListView control and fully select that item.

Recently, I was writing a C# desktop application that processed records from a database. I wanted to provide visual feedback as to what was going on so I decided to add each record to a ListView control as the record was processed.

In order to highlight the current item, and also to scroll the ListView control as needed in order to keep the current item visible, I decided to select each item after I added it to the list.

I was surprised to find that there is no single method that will select an item as though it was clicked with the mouse. You can select an item by setting its Selected property to true. But the ListView control allows multiple items to be selected, and so selecting an item does not unselect any already selected items.

Also, when you click on a ListView item, it also gets a focus rectangle drawn around it. This is a type of dotted line that shows which item is the current item. (Note that the focus rectangle is only drawn when the control itself has the focus.)

And finally, when you click on a ListView item with the mouse, the ListView will scroll, if needed, so that the newly selected item is fully visible within the ListView’s client window area.

As I mentioned, there is no single method to duplicate all the actions that occur when you click on a ListView item with the mouse. The code I ended up with to add an item to a ListView control and fully select that item is shown in Listing 1.

ListViewItem item = new ListViewItem();
item.Selected = true;
item.Focused = true;
Listing 1: Adding, and then selecting a ListView item as though it had been clicked with the mouse.

I don’t understand why a higher level method is not provided to accomplish this same task. Not only would that save the time required to find all the individual methods required to accomplish this, but it’s possible that the control could change in the future to require an additional or different step. Having this logic as part of a single method in the control allows the control developers to make changes as needed, and all code that uses that control would then work correctly.


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


About the Author

Jonathan Wood
Black Belt Coder
United States United States
Jonathan Wood has been a software developer for more years than he cares to admit. His current focus is on using C# and ASP.NET MVC to develop website applications, and C++ and MFC to develop desktop applications. His consulting company, SoftCircuits, is known for producing various commercial and shareware products.

Having an entrepreneurial spirit, Jonathan also has a number of other online businesses that he built from scratch such as Black Belt Coder, SC Web Group and others. He also has expertise in designing brands (including graphics and logos) and search-engine optimization (SEO).

Jonathan is always willing to discuss consulting work or joint ventures with people looking to develop software or online businesses.

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Comments and Discussions

QuestionSelecting a ListView Item Pin
Member 106937192-Nov-14 18:31
memberMember 106937192-Nov-14 18:31 
GeneralAnother Way Pin
Dewayne Dodd31-Dec-09 15:33
memberDewayne Dodd31-Dec-09 15:33 
QuestionExtension Method? Pin
PSU Steve5-May-09 3:04
memberPSU Steve5-May-09 3:04 

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