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Using the TreeView Control

The TreeView control allows you to present data in a hierarchical view. The TreeView control is similar to the traditional tree data structure in that it is made up of a collection of nested node objects. The TreeView control exposes the Nodes property that is a collection TreeNode objects. These are the root nodes of the tree. Each TreeNode object exposes a Nodes property, as well. As you can see, the TreeView control will be composed of several levels of nested TreeNode objects.

Understanding TreeView Properties

The TreeView control allows quite a bit of control over how it is rendered. Table 3.8 contains a list of TreeView control properties that determine how the TreeView control will be rendered. A brief description that describes how the property affects the control is also provided.

Table 3.8 TreeView Control Properties and Descriptions




This is the ImageList that contains the images that will be displayed next to the tree nodes.


This is the index of the image that is displayed next to the tree nodes. Because only one index can be specified, every tree node will display the same image. You can override the image on a specific node by setting the TreeNode.ImageIndex property.


Here's the index of the image that that is displayed next to a tree node when it is selected. Because only one index can be specified, every tree node will display the same image. You can override the image on a specific node by setting the TreeNode.SelectedImageIndex property.


This determines whether lines are drawn between tree nodes.


This property determines whether plus-sign and minus-sign buttons are displayed next to the tree nodes that contain child tree nodes.


This determines whether lines are drawn between the tree nodes that are at the root of the tree.


This property determines whether check boxes are displayed next to the tree nodes. The Checked property of the TreeNode objects is set to true if the node is checked; false, otherwise. When the user checks a node, the AfterCheck event is raised.

TreeNode objects also expose properties that affect how the TreeNode will be rendered in the TreeView. Table 3.9 lists these properties and their descriptions.

Table 3.9 TreeNode Properties




This is the text displayed in the label of the node.


This is the index of the image that that is displayed next to the tree nodes. By default this value is equal to TreeView.ImageIndex. To specify another image index, you must set this property explicitly.


Here is the index of the image that that is displayed next to the node when the node is selected. By default this value is equal to TreeView.SelectedImageIndex. To specify another image index, you must set this property explicitly.

Adding TreeNodes to a TreeView Control

Adding a TreeNode to the TreeView control can be done at both runtime and design time. Adding a TreeNode at runtime is done through the Form Designer. First, drag a TreeView control onto the application form. Next, select the TreeView control. If you have configured an ImageList control, set the ImageList and/or SelectedImageList properties in the Properties window. Now click the ellipsis next to Nodes property name in the Properties window. This displays the TreeNode Editor (see Figure 3.28).

Figure 3.28Figure 3.28 The TreeNode Editor.

The Add Root button in the TreeNode Editor can be used to add a TreeNode to the root of the TreeView control. The Add Child button will add a TreeNode to the currently selected node. The Delete button will remove the currently selected node. Changing the text in the Label textbox sets the TreeNode.Text property. If you have set the ImageList and/or SelectedImageList of the TreeView control and you want to override the default image of the TreeNode object, select the appropriate image in the Image and/or Selected Image drop-down controls.

TreeNode objects can also be added at runtime. The following code demonstrates how to add a TreeNode object through code:

TreeNode treeNode1 = new TreeNode();
TreeNode treeNode2 = new TreeNode();

treeNode1.Text = "Red Apples";
treeNode2.Text = "Red Delicious";

Dim treeNode1 = new TreeNode()
Dim treeNode2 = new TreeNode()

treeNode1.Text = "Red Apples"
treeNode2.Text = "Red Delicious"


Figure 3.29 shows an application with a TreeView control running on the Pocket PC 2002 emulator. The code for this application can be found in the code listing for this book.

Figure 3.29Figure 3.29 The TreeView control sample application.

Determining the Selected TreeNode

The TreeView control exposes the SelectedNode property. This property is a reference of the currently selected node in the control. The .NET Compact Framework's TreeView control allows only one control to be selected at once. An AfterSelect event is fired after a TreeNode is selected. The AfterSelect event handler receives a TreeViewEventArgs object, which carries information about the action.

The TreeViewEventArgs exposes the Node property. The Node property is a reference to the node that has been checked, expanded, collapsed, or selected. The TreeViewEventArgs also exposes the Action property. This property describes the type of action that raised the event. The Action property is a member of the TreeViewAction enumeration. Table 3.10 describes the members of the TreeViewAction enumeration.

Table 3.10 TreeViewAction Enumeration Members




The event was raised by a keystroke.


The event was raised by a mouse click.


The event was raised by the node's collapsing.


The event was raised by the node's expanding.


The action that raised the event was unknown.

The following code demonstrates how to handle the AfterSelect event:

private void 
treeView1_AfterSelect(object sender,
    System.Windows.Forms.TreeViewEventArgs e) {
 TreeNode selNode = e.Node;
 label2.Text = selNode.Text;
Private Sub _
treeView1_AfterSelect(sender As object,
    e As System.Windows.Forms.TreeViewEventArgs) 
    Handles treeView1.AfterSelect
 Dim selNode As TreeNode 
 selNode = e.Node
 label2.Text = selNode.Text

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