Introduction to the ListView control

The ListView control is very commonly used in Windows applications, to represent lists of data. A great example of this is the file lists in Windows Explorer, where each file can be shown by its name and, if desired, with columns containing information about the size, last modification date and so on.

ListView in WPF vs. WinForms

If you have previously worked with WinForms, then you have a good idea about how practical the ListView is, but you should be aware that the ListView in WPF isn't used like the WinForms version. Once again the main difference is that while the WinForms ListView simply calls Windows API functions to render a common Windows ListView control, the WPF ListView is an independent control that doesn't rely on the Windows API.

The WPF ListView does use a ListViewItem class for its most basic items, but if you compare it to the WinForms version, you might start looking for properties like ImageIndex, Group and SubItems, but they're not there. The WPF ListView handles stuff like item images, groups and their sub items in a completely different way.


The ListView is a complex control, with lots of possibilities and especially in the WPF version, you get to customize it almost endlessly if you want to. For that reason, we have dedicated an entire category to all the ListView articles here on the site. Click on to the next article to get started.

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