You are currently offline, waiting for your internet to reconnect

How to sort a ListView control by a column in Visual Basic .NET or in Visual Basic 2005

This article was previously published under Q319399
For a Microsoft Visual C# .NET version of this article, see 319401.
For a Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0 version of this article, see 170884.
This step-by-step article describes how to sort a ListView control by a column in your Visual Basic .NET or Visual Basic 2005 application.

When you are working with the ListView control, you may want to sort its contents based on a specific column. An example of this kind of functionality occurs in a Windows Explorer program when you view the contents of a folder on your hard disk. In Details view, Windows Explorer displays information about the files in that folder. For example, you see the file name, the file size, the file type, and the date that the file was modified. When you click one of the column headers, the list is sorted in ascending order based on that column. When you click the same column header again, the column is sorted in descending order.

The example in this article defines a class that implements the IComparer interface. Additionally, this example uses the Compare method of the CaseInsenstiveComparer class to perform the actual comparison of the items. Note that this method of comparison is not case sensitive ("Apple" is considered to be the same as "apple"). Also, note that all of the columns in this example are sorted in a "text" manner. If you want to sort in a different manner (such as numerically), you can replace the following line of code with whichever approach to sorting that you want to use:
compareResult = ObjectCompare.Compare(listviewX.SubItems(ColumnToSort).Text, listviewY.SubItems(ColumnToSort).Text)				
back to the top

How to Build the Sample Project

  1. Create a new Visual Basic .NET or Visual Basic 2005 Windows Application project. Form1 is created by default.

    Note You must change the code in Visual Basic 2005. By default, Visual Basic creates two files for the project when you create a Windows Forms project. If the form is named Form1, the two files that represent the form are named Form1.vb and Form1.Designer.vb. You write the code in the Form1.vb file. The Windows Forms Designer writes the code in the Form1.Designer.vb file. The Windows Forms Designer uses the partial keyword to divide the implementation of Form1 into two separate files. This behavior prevents the designer-generated code from being interspersed with your code.

    For more information about the new Visual Basic 2005 language enhancements, visit the following Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Web site: For more information about partial classes and the Windows Forms Designer, visit the following MSDN Web site:
  2. Add a ListView control to Form1. Size the form to be several inches wide by several inches tall.
  3. Paste the following code into the class for the form:
    Private lvwColumnSorter As ListViewColumnSorter					
  4. Paste the following code into the constructor of the form, after the call to the InitializeComponent method:
    ' Create an instance of a ListView column sorter and assign it ' to the ListView control.lvwColumnSorter = New ListViewColumnSorter()Me.ListView1.ListViewItemSorter = lvwColumnSorter					
  5. Paste the following code into the Load event of the form:
    Dim columnheader As ColumnHeader    ' Used for creating column headers.Dim listviewitem As ListViewItem    ' Used for creating ListView items.' Make sure that the view is set to show details.ListView1.View = View.Details' Create some ListView items consisting of first and last names.listviewitem = New ListViewItem("Mike")listviewitem.SubItems.Add("Nash")Me.ListView1.Items.Add(listviewitem)listviewitem = New ListViewItem("Kim")listviewitem.SubItems.Add("Abercrombie")Me.ListView1.Items.Add(listviewitem)listviewitem = New ListViewItem("Sunil")listviewitem.SubItems.Add("Koduri")Me.ListView1.Items.Add(listviewitem)listviewitem = New ListViewItem("Birgit")listviewitem.SubItems.Add("Seidl")Me.ListView1.Items.Add(listviewitem)' Create some column headers for the data.columnheader = New ColumnHeader()columnheader.Text = "First Name"Me.ListView1.Columns.Add(columnheader)columnheader = New ColumnHeader()columnheader.Text = "Last Name"Me.ListView1.Columns.Add(columnheader)' Loop through and size each column header to fit the column header text.For Each columnheader In Me.ListView1.Columns    columnheader.Width = -2Next					
  6. Paste the following code into the ColumnClick event for the ListView:
    ' Determine if the clicked column is already the column that is ' being sorted.If (e.Column = lvwColumnSorter.SortColumn) Then    ' Reverse the current sort direction for this column.    If (lvwColumnSorter.Order = SortOrder.Ascending) Then        lvwColumnSorter.Order = SortOrder.Descending    Else        lvwColumnSorter.Order = SortOrder.Ascending    End IfElse    ' Set the column number that is to be sorted; default to ascending.    lvwColumnSorter.SortColumn = e.Column    lvwColumnSorter.Order = SortOrder.AscendingEnd If' Perform the sort with these new sort options.Me.ListView1.Sort()					
  7. On the Project menu, click Add Class to add a new class to the project.
  8. Replace all of the default code in the new class with the following code:
    Imports System.CollectionsImports System.Windows.FormsPublic Class ListViewColumnSorter    Implements System.Collections.IComparer    Private ColumnToSort As Integer    Private OrderOfSort As SortOrder    Private ObjectCompare As CaseInsensitiveComparer    Public Sub New()        ' Initialize the column to '0'.        ColumnToSort = 0        ' Initialize the sort order to 'none'.        OrderOfSort = SortOrder.None        ' Initialize the CaseInsensitiveComparer object.        ObjectCompare = New CaseInsensitiveComparer()    End Sub    Public Function Compare(ByVal x As Object, ByVal y As Object) As Integer Implements IComparer.Compare        Dim compareResult As Integer        Dim listviewX As ListViewItem        Dim listviewY As ListViewItem        ' Cast the objects to be compared to ListViewItem objects.        listviewX = CType(x, ListViewItem)        listviewY = CType(y, ListViewItem)        ' Compare the two items.        compareResult = ObjectCompare.Compare(listviewX.SubItems(ColumnToSort).Text, listviewY.SubItems(ColumnToSort).Text)        ' Calculate the correct return value based on the object         ' comparison.        If (OrderOfSort = SortOrder.Ascending) Then            ' Ascending sort is selected, return typical result of             ' compare operation.            Return compareResult        ElseIf (OrderOfSort = SortOrder.Descending) Then            ' Descending sort is selected, return negative result of             ' compare operation.            Return (-compareResult)        Else            ' Return '0' to indicate that they are equal.            Return 0        End If    End Function    Public Property SortColumn() As Integer        Set(ByVal Value As Integer)            ColumnToSort = Value        End Set        Get            Return ColumnToSort        End Get    End Property    Public Property Order() As SortOrder        Set(ByVal Value As SortOrder)            OrderOfSort = Value        End Set        Get            Return OrderOfSort        End Get    End PropertyEnd Class					
  9. Save, build, and then run the sample project.
  10. Click the various column headers in the ListView control. When you click the header, the contents of the ListView control are sorted in ascending order based on the column that you click. When you click the same column header again, that column is sorted in descending order.
back to the top

Article ID: 319399 - Last Review: 05/11/2007 07:08:50 - Revision: 3.5

Microsoft Visual Basic 2005, Microsoft Visual Basic .NET 2003 Standard Edition, Microsoft Visual Basic .NET 2002 Standard Edition

  • kbvs2005swept kbvs2005applies kbhowtomaster KB319399