Cool List for Windows Forms - CodeProject


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A list that doesn't drop down, and lets you add items without the risk of duplication. Hit Enter or click the Arrow to add, or click the black delete icon to delete.

It's not beautiful, but it fits a need in my programs.

Using the Code

This is not directly related to the topic, but is a point of interest:

The TableLayoutPanel in the top area is a modified TableLayoutPanel, that I found out there, that draws itself better than the original one. I use this modified TLP in all my projects now:

Public Class cExTLP
  Inherits TableLayoutPanel

  Private _components As System.ComponentModel.IContainer

  'this fixes a problem in the TableLayoutPanel 
  'that causes it to take a long time to display
  Public Sub New()
    Me.SetStyle(ControlStyles.AllPaintingInWmPaint, True)
    Me.SetStyle(ControlStyles.OptimizedDoubleBuffer, True)
  End Sub

  Sub New(components As System.ComponentModel.IContainer)
    _components = components
  End Sub

End Class

If an item is left in the text area but not added to the list, you can detect that with the function.

Public Function ItemEnteredButNotAdded() As Boolean

  If TB.Text = "" Then
    'there is nothing in the textbox
    Return False

  ElseIf FindMyString(TB.Text) > ListBox.NoMatches Then
    'the item in the textbox is in the list
    Return False

    'there is text in the textbox, but it was not found in the list
    Return True
  End If

End Function

You can pass in a list of your items an ArrayList:

Public Property A_ListBoxItems() As ArrayList


    If LB.Items IsNot Nothing Then
      Return New ArrayList(LB.Items)
      Return Nothing
    End If

  End Get

  Set(ByVal value As ArrayList)

    If value IsNot Nothing AndAlso value.Count > 0 Then
      For i As Integer = 0 To value.Count - 1
    End If

  End Set

End Property

Or if you store some lists in your database as delimited strings, you can pass in the items as a <font face="Courier New">Delimited String </font>such as  <font face="Courier New">*Eggs*Cheeze*Planets</font>

Public Property A_DelimitedItems(ByVal Delimeter As String) As String

    If LB.Items.Count = 0 Then
      Return ""

      Dim i As Integer
      Dim Item As String
      Dim Out As String = ""

      For i = 0 To LB.Items.Count - 1
        Item = LB.Items(i).ToString
        If Item <> "" Then Out += Item
        If i < LB.Items.Count - 1 Then Out += Delimeter

      Return Out

    End If
  End Get

  Set(ByVal value As String)

    If value <> "" Then
      If InStr(value, Delimeter) = 0 Then

        Dim Items() As String = Split(value, Delimeter)
        If Items.Length > 0 Then
        End If
      End If

    End If

  End Set

End Property

I originally wanted the Delete or Backspace keys to delete the current item from the list, but that would prevent using those keys to edit the text being entered, so in the end, you have to actually click the black delete button to delete the entry, which is better.

So this code that tries to detect backspace and delete - it doesn't work, as far as I can tell- haha.

Anyway, I left the code in to remind myself that it doesn't (seem to) work:

Private Sub LB_KeyDown(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.Windows.Forms.KeyEventArgs) _
    Handles LB.KeyDown

  If e.KeyCode = Keys.Delete OrElse e.KeyCode = Keys.Back Then
  End If

End Sub