From Xojo Documentation

For web apps, see WebListBox.

Class (inherits from RectControl)

The scrollable ListBox control, used to display one or more columns of information. You can add a checkbox and/or a picture to a row and make a cell or column editable. You can control font style on a cell-by-cell basis and set the column alignment. With some programming, you can create hierarchical lists that use disclosure triangles to show nested items.

CellAction DisclosureWidgetPaint KeyDown
CellBackgroundPaint DoubleClick KeyUp
CellClick DragEnter LostFocus
CellGotFocus DragExit MouseDown
CellKeyDown DragOver MouseDrag
CellLostFocus DragOverRow MouseEnter
CellTextChange DragReorderRows MouseExit
CellTextPaint DragRow MouseMove
Change DropObject MouseUp
Close DropObjectOnRow MouseWheel
CollapseRow EnableMenuItems Open
CompareRows ExpandRow SortColumn
ConstructContextualMenu GotFocus
ContextualMenuAction HeaderPressed
Active fa-lock-32.png Expanded Parent
ActiveCell fa-lock-32.png GridLinesHorizontal RequiresSelection
AutoDeactivate GridLinesVertical RowHeight fa-lock-32.png
AutoHideScrollBars Handle fa-lock-32.png Scope fa-lock-32.png
Bold HasHeading ScrollBarHorizontal
Border HeaderHeight fa-lock-32.png ScrollBarVertical
CellAlignment Heading ScrollPosition
CellAlignmentOffset HeadingIndex ScrollPositionX
CellBorderBottom Height SelCount fa-lock-32.png
CellBorderLeft HelpTag Selected
CellBorderRight Hierarchical SelectionType
CellBorderTop Index fa-lock-32.png ShowDropIndicator
CellCheck InitialValue SortedColumn
CellType Italic TabIndex
Column LastIndex fa-lock-32.png TabStop
ColumnAlignment Left Text
ColumnAlignmentOffset List TextFont
ColumnCount ListCount fa-lock-32.png TextSize
ColumnSortDirection ListIndex TextUnit
ColumnType LockBottom Top
ColumnWidths LockLeft Transparent
ColumnsResizable LockRight TrueWindow fa-lock-32.png
DataField LockTop Underline
DataSource MouseCursor UseFocusRing
DefaultRowHeight MouseX fa-lock-32.png Visible
EnableDrag MouseY fa-lock-32.png Width
EnableDragReorder Name Window fa-lock-32.png
Enabled PanelIndex
AcceptFileDrop CellUnderline PressHeader
AcceptPictureDrop Close Refresh
AcceptRawDataDrop ColumnFromXY RefreshRect
AcceptTextDrop ColumnTag RemoveRow
AddFolder DeleteAllRows RowDepth
AddRow DrawInto RowFromXY
Cell EditCell RowIsFolder
CellBold HeaderType RowPicture
CellHelpTag InsertFolder RowTag
CellItalic InsertRow SetFocus
CellState Invalidate Sort
CellTag InvalidateCell


The following enums are used by the DragOverRow and DropObjectOnRow events:

Class Constant Description
OnRow The drop is occurring on the row itself.
AfterRow The drop is occurring between rows, after the row specified. The row can be in the range of [-1, RowCount-1] and specifying -1 will insert it at the top of all the rows. This value will also be RowCount-1 if the user drags below the item list.
AfterAllRows The drop is occurring after all rows in the list.
OnControl The drop is occurring on the entire control, not on a particular row. This matches the previous behavior.

Class Constants


The following class constants can be used to specify the values of the CellType and ColumnType properties.

Class Constant Description
TypeDefault Default, the same as the column type.
TypeNormal Normal, read only.
TypeCheckBox A check box is added to the cell.
TypeEditable The cell is inline editable.

Cell Alignment

The following class constants can be used to specify the value of the CellAlignment and ColumnAlignment properties.

Class Constant Description
AlignDefault Default alignment, the same as the column type.
AlignLeft Left alignment.
AlignCenter Center alignment.
AlignRight Right alignment.
AlignDecimal Decimal alignment. Aligns the decimal separator to the right edge of the cell.

Sort Direction

The following class constants can be used to specify the value of the ColumnSortDirection property.

Class Constant Description
SortDescending Sort in descending order.
SortAscending Sort in ascending order.
SortNone No sort.

Grid Lines

The following class constants can be used to specify the values of the GridLinesHorizontal and GridLinesVertical properties.

Class Constant Description
BorderDefault Default border.
BorderNone No border.
BorderThinDotted Thin dotted border.
BorderThinSolid Thin solid border.
BorderThickSolid Thick solid border.
BorderDoubleThinSolid Double thin solid border.


The following class constants can be used to specify the value of the SelectionType property.

Class Constant Description
SelectionSingle Single row selection (default).
SelectionMultiple Multiple row selection.


The ListBox.HeaderTypes enum contains the following values:

Enum Description
Sortable The column is sortable. This is the default.
NotSortable The column is not sortable. It will not display mouse over events and does not respond to mouse clicks.

The following code in the Open event of a ListBox sets the second column to not sortable.

Me.HeaderType(1) = ListBox.HeaderTypes.NotSortable

Passing -1 instead of a valid column number causes the statement to affect all columns.


Items in single-column ListBoxes can be accessed using the List property. The List property is an array. Arrays are zero-based. This means that the first row of the List property of a ListBox is row number 0 (zero).

Multi-Column ListBoxes

You can create multi-column ListBoxes by changing the ColumnCount property. The first column in a multi-column ListBox is column 0 (zero). This means that the ColumnCount property will always be one more than the number of the last column. The maximum number of columns is 256 (columns 0 through 255). You should set ColumnCount to the number of columns that you want to display. If you want to put data in an invisible column, set the column width to zero.

You can use the InitialValue property to set up the inital values of multi-column ListBoxes by separating the column values with tabs and row values with carriage returns.

The widths of columns in multi-column ListBoxes can be set by passing the widths as a list of values separated by commas to the ColumnWidths property. The widths can be passed in points or as percentages of the total width of the ListBox. If you don't pass widths for all the columns, the remaining columns will be evenly spaced over the remaining space. If too many widths are passed, the additional values are ignored. If the total of the widths passed is greater than the width of the ListBox, then the remaining columns will be truncated.

Specific cells in a multi-column ListBox can be accessed using the Cell method. To populate a multi-column ListBox, first use the AddRow method to create the new row and populate the first column. Then use the Cell method to add values to the other columns in the row. Use the LastIndex property to get the index of the current row.

For example, the following code populates a two-column ListBox with the names of the controls in the window and their indexes.

For I As Integer = 0 To Self.ControlCount - 1 // number of controls in window
ListBox1.AddRow(Str(i)) // first column
ListBox1.Cell(Listbox1.LastIndex, 1) = Control(i).Name // second column

Determining which cell was double-clicked

The DoubleClick event fires when the user double-clicks anywhere inside a ListBox, but the indexes of the cell that was double-clicked are not passed. You can determine which cell was double-clicked with the RowFromXY and ColumnFromXY methods. They use the x,y mouse coordinates where the double-click took place and translate them into the row and column indexes of the cell that was clicked. You need to adjust for the location of the ListBox on the screen relative to the top-left corner of the display.

This code in the DoubleClick event obtains the indexes of the cell that was double-clicked.

Dim row, column As Integer
row = Me.RowFromXY(System.MouseX - Me.Left - Self.Left, System.MouseY - Me.Top - Self.Top)
column = Me.ColumnFromXY(System.MouseX - Me.Left - Self.Left, System.MouseY - Me.Top - Self.Top)
MsgBox("You double-clicked in cell " + Str(row) + ", " + Str(column))

The parameters of RowFRomXY are relative to the top, left corner of the ListBox on a window. If you use the ListBox in a ContainerControl you have to take into account the distance of the container from the window edges.

Dim row, column As Integer
row = Me.RowFromXY(System.MouseX - Me.Left - Self.Left - Me.TrueWindow.Left, System.MouseY - Me.Top - Self.Top - Me.TrueWindow.Top)
column = Me.ColumnFromXY(System.MouseX - Me.Left - Me.Parent.Left - Me.TrueWindow.Left, System.MouseY - Me.Top - Me.Parent.Top - Me.TrueWindow.Top)
MsgBox("You double-clicked in cell " + Str(row) + ", " + Str(column))

Making a Cell Editable

Use the CellType or ColumnType properties to change a cell or column to "inline editable" when you want the user to be able to edit the contents of the ListBox. Then call the EditCell method for each cell. This gives the focus to the editable cell and selects the current text of the cell, if any. Typing replaces the cell's contents. When the user presses Tab or Return or clicks in another cell, the cell loses the focus and the contents of the cell are saved.

The following code in the CellClick event makes the cell the user clicked on editable. The parameters row, and column are passed to the function.

Me.CellType(row, column) = ListBox.TypeEditable
Me.EditCell(row, column)

When a cell is editable, the ActiveCell property is the TextField that contains the contents of that cell. You can use this property to set or get the text of the Listbox cell, set the selection, or change other properties of the ListBox's TextField.

Decimal Alignment

When you use decimal alignment in a cell or column, you must take into account the fact that the decimal separator is aligned with the right edge of the column or cell. You must pass a negative number to CellAlignmentOffset or ColumnAlignmentOffset to make room for the numbers to the right of the decimal place. The correct value to pass depends on the number of digits to the right of the decimal place in the column or cell.

Hierarchical ListBoxes

Creating a simple hierarchical ListBox is more involved than a two-column ListBox because you must manage hiding and displaying the sublist data. A simple way to do this is to assign the sublists to a "hidden" column in the ListBox and toggle the display of that data when the user double-clicks on a "parent" element.

You create a row with a disclosure triangle using the AddFolder method (rather than the AddRow method) and then set the Hierarchical property to True. See the Example for a simple hierarchical ListBox with one level.

Resizing Columns

There are two "modes" for column resizing. There is no formal mode property. Rather, the "mode" is implicitly set according to whether every column width is specified as an absolute amount. If you specify all columns either in points or as a percentage, you will be using the second mode. If you use an asterisk or leave a column width blank, you will be using the first mode.

  • A change to one column width affects the width of another column.

If column i gets bigger, column i+1 gets smaller by the same amount. This mode is great when using a ListBox without a horizontal scrollbar. You turn this mode on when you have at least one column width that is blank, or specified using an asterisk (e.g. "", " ", "*", or "4*").

Note: By design you can't resize the right edge of the last column in this mode. To resize the last column you need to resize the previous column.

  • Each column width is independent and can grow or shrink on its own.

You are responsible when the user does this, and you need to provide a horizontal scrollbar so that the user can get to the any headers that have been pushed out of view to the right. You enable this mode by making sure every column width is specified in terms of an absolute pixel width, or a percentage width (e.g. "20", or "35%"). If you use an asterisk or leave a column width blank, you will automatically be using the first mode.

You can switch between mode 1 and 2 at runtime using the same criteria as above.

The ColumnWidths property (which can only be specified at design time), is equivalent to the concatenation of all of the ColumnWidthExpressions.

ColumnWidthExpressions are strings and they can represent several different types of column width calculations: absolute points (e.g., "45"), percentages (e.g. "22.3%"), and asterisk widths (or blanks), e.g. " ", "4*". The value "*" is equivalent to "1*" and can be used to mean "fill the remaining space."

ColumnWidthExpressions retain their type even when a column is resized. This means that if you:

  • Resize a window to which a ListBox is locked, it will grow or shrink. The columns grow or shrink as well if their expressions were *-based (unless you use "0*"), or percentage based (0%). If you want them to stay fixed, you need to express the ColumnWidthExpression as an absolute pixel value.
  • Resize a column by dragging it internally, it will recompute its percentage or asterisk value. This is so that you can, say, start with a two-column ListBox with no column widths specified (each column will take up half the space). Then drag one column to take up 3/4 of the space, then enlarge the ListBox, and now both column widths will enlarge so that their widths remain in a 3/4 to 1/4 ratio.

Changing the pixel value of a column will not change its fundamental type, but will change the value of that type.

Finally, if you want to create columns that won't get resized, change the UserResizable property for each of the columns in question. If you are using mode 1, you will need to change the UserResizable property for both the column and the one to its left.


A ListBox is often used to display the results of database queries. A ListBox can be populated with the results of a query programmatically. See the example "Database Example" in the Examples folder.


The CellState method enables you to get or set the value of a tri-state Checkbox cell. Any cell of type TypeCheckbox box can store one of three values: Checked, Unchecked, and Indeterminate.

To set up a cell as TypeCheckbox, use code such as this in the Open event:

Me.CellType(1, 0) = ListBox.TypeCheckBox

To change the state of the cell, use the CheckedStates enum of the CheckBox control:

ListBox1.CellState(1, 0) = Checkbox.CheckedStates.Indeterminate

The Indeterminate state places a minus sign in the checkbox (Macintosh) or fills in checkbox (Windows and Linux).

Customized Scroll Controls

Suppose you want a horizontal scroll bar that leaves room for a pop-up menu. In this example, a Scrollbar control has been added to the bottom area of the ListBox and a BevelButton control has been added to its right. The two controls take up the area that would be used by the built-in horizontal scrollbar.

The Scrollbar control has the following code in its Open event handler:

Me.Maximum = 50
Me.Minimum = 0
Me.LineStep = 5

The values for Maximum and LineStep were chosen to match the total width of the ListBox's columns. Adjust these values to suit your ListBox. Its ValueChanged event handler has the following line of code:

ListBox1.ScrollPositionX = Me.Value

In this way, the user can scroll the ListBox horizontally, bringing all columns into view.

The BevelButton enables the user to switch the ListBox between single-line selection and multiple-line selection. The BevelButton is set to have a normal menu and its Open event handler populates the menu with two items:


The BevelButton's Action event sets the value of the ListBox's SelectionType property:

Select Case Me.MenuValue
Case 0
Listbox1.SelectionType = Listbox.SelectionSingle
Case 1
ListBox1.SelectionType = Listbox.SelectionMultiple
End Select

Horizontal and Vertical Grid Lines

You can show horizontal and vertical rules for the entire ListBox using the GridLineHorizontal and GridLinesVertical properties. You can also display horizontal and verticals rules for specific cells by using the CellBorderTop, CellBorderLeft, CellBorderRight, and CellBorderBottom properties.

The Default value of these properties is equivalent to "None". Other choices are: ThinDotted, ThinSolid, ThickSolid and DoubleThinSolid.

Sample Code

Adding a row to ListBox1:


Inserting a row at row 1 in ListBox1:

ListBox1.InsertRow(1, "October")

Creating a three-column ListBox and adding the headings and the first row of information:

ListBox1.ColumnCount = 3

ListBox1.HasHeading = True
ListBox1.Heading(0) = "Name"
ListBox1.Heading(1) = "Phone"
ListBox1.Heading(2) = "Email"

ListBox1.Cell(ListBox1.LastIndex, 1) = "555-2212"
ListBox1.Cell(ListBox1.LastIndex, 2) = ""

Changing all items in the ListBox to bold, underline:

ListBox1.Bold = True
ListBox1.Underline = True

Copying the fifth element of ListBox1 to another variable:

Dim e As String
e = ListBox1.List(4)

Adding a column to ListBox1 and setting the widths of the columns to 50 and 65 points, respectively:

ListBox1.ColumnCount = 2
ListBox1.ColumnWidths = "50,65"

Setting the number of columns of ListBox1 to three and setting the widths of the columns to 60%, 20% and 20% respectively:

ListBox1.ColumnCount = 3
ListBox1.ColumnWidths = "60%,20%,20%"

If ListBox1 is 100 points wide and has three columns, the following code will set the columns widths as indicated but the last column will only be 10 points wide instead of 20:

ListBox1.ColumnWidths = "60,30,20"

If ListBox1 is 100 points wide and has three columns, the following code will set the columns widths but the last column will not be displayed:

ListBox1.ColumnWidths = "60,40,20"

Copying the fifth row of the third column of ListBox1 to another variable:

Dim e As String
e = ListBox1.Cell(4, 2)

Assigning a value to the fifth row of the third column of ListBox1:

ListBox1.Cell(4, 2) = "Bill"

Setting the fifth row of the third column of ListBox1 to bold, italic:

ListBox1.CellBold(4, 2) = True
ListBox1.CellItalic(4, 2) = True

Adding a row with the text "Users" in the first cell and placing an image of a folder to the left of the text. The picture "usersFolder" has been added to the project.

ListBox1.RowPicture(0) = UsersFolder

Setting up the DragRow event handler to allow the user to drag a value from a ListBox:

Function DragRow(Drag As DragItem, Row As Integer) As Boolean
Drag.Text = ListBox1.List(Row)
Return True
End Function

Summing the numeric values of the selected rows:

Dim total As Integer
For i As Integer = 0 To ListBox1.ListCount - 1
If ListBox1.Selected(i) Then
total = total + Val(ListBox1.List(i))
End If

This code expands the first row of ListBox1 (if it is collapsed) or collapses it (if it was expanded). The row must have been added with the AddFolder method:

ListBox1.Expanded(1) = Not ListBox1.Expanded(1)

This code populates a three-column ListBox with headings:

ListBox1.HasHeading = True
ListBox1.Heading(0) = "ID"
ListBox1.Heading(1) = "JobTitle"
ListBox1.Heading(2) = "Name"

This code sets up a ListBox with four visible columns plus one hidden column. Column zero is hidden:

Me.ColumnCount = 5
Me.ColumnWidths = "0,25%,25%,25%,25%"
Me.HasHeading = True
Me.Heading(0) = "ID"
Me.Heading(1) = "FirstName"
Me.Heading(2) = "LastName"
Me.Heading(3) = "Phone"
Me.Heading(4) = "Zip"

The following line of code displays the value of the hidden column in the selected row:

MsgBox(ListBox1.Cell(ListBox1.ListIndex, 0))

Hierarchical ListBoxes

A hierarchical ListBox works like a tree view. When you set a ListBox to be hierarchical (by setting the Hierarchical proper to ON or True) then rows can be expanded to display child content (and then collapsed later).

Windows uses plus and minus signs to indicate rows that are parents; Mac and Linux use disclosure triangles.

The following code, which is in the ListBox's Open event handler, populates a hierarchy: The s1 string contains the parent level and sub1 contains the elements that are nested within each of s1's elements. It is a list of comma-delimited lists, with each list delimited by semicolons. The elements of sub1 are initially hidden because they are stored in a hidden column.

Dim u As Integer
Dim s1, sub1 As String
Me.ColumnWidths = "150,0"
s1 = "Michigan,Ohio,Minnesota"
sub1 = "Grand Blanc,Bad Axe,Flint,Benton Harbor,Detroit;Cleveland,Columbus,Akron,Pleasantville;St. Paul,Frostbite Falls"
u = CountFields(s1, ",")
For i As Integer =1 To u
If NthField(sub1, ";", i) <> "" Then
Me.Cell(i - 1, 1) = NthField(sub1, ";", i)
End If
Me.Cell(i - 1, 0) = NthField(s1, ",", i)
Me.ColumnCount = 1

Note that the AddFolder method, rather than AddRow, is used to add the State names.

The following line of code in the DoubleClick event handler toggles the expanded state of the row that was double-clicked:

Me.Expanded(Me.ListIndex) = Not Me.Expanded(Me.ListIndex)

The following code in the ExpandRow event handler runs when the user double-clicks a collapsed element:

Dim s1 As String
Dim u As Integer
s1 = Me.Cell(row, 1)
u = CountFields(s1, ",")
For i As Integer = 1 To u
Me.Cell(Me.LastIndex, 0) = NthField(s1, ",", i)

It creates the sublist rows each time the user double-clicks a collapsed state name.

If the ListBox has the Hierarchical property selected, then collapsing is handled automatically when the user collapses an item. If Hierarchical is not set, then you need code such as this in the CollapseRow event handler:

Dim u, numSubRows As Integer
numSubRows = CountFields(Me.Cell(row, 1), ",")
u = row + 1
For i As Integer = row + numSubRows DownTo u

It removes the rows that were created by the ExpandRow event handler.

To learn more about hierarchical ListBoxes, refer to Hierarhical List Boxes in the User Guide.

Drag and Drop Between ListBoxes

The following example allows the user to drag one row from ListBox1 to ListBox2. ListBox1 has its EnableDrag property set to True and its SelectionType property set to zero (Single). Its DragRow event handler is as follows:

Function DragRow (drag As DragItem, row As Integer) As Boolean
drag.Text = Me.List(row)
Return True // allow the drag
End Function

ListBox2's Open event handler has the line:


Its DropObject event handler is this:

Sub DropObject(obj As DragItem)
Me.AddRow(obj.Text) // adds the dropped text as a new row
End Sub

Drag and Drop Multiple Rows Between ListBoxes

The following code allows the user to drag more than one row from ListBox1 to ListBox2. The dragged rows are added to the end of the list.

ListBox1 has its EnableDrag property set to True, enabling items in its list to be dragged, and its SelectionType property set to 1 (Multiple row selection). Its DragRow event handler is as follows:

Function DragRow (Drag As DragItem, Row As Integer) As Boolean
Dim nRows As Integer
nRows = Me.ListCount - 1
For i As Integer = 0 To nRows
If Me.Selected(i) Then
Drag.AddItem(0, 0, 20, 4)
Drag.Text = Me.List(i) // get text
End If
Return True // allow the drag
End Function

It uses the AddItem method of the DragItem to add an additional item to the DragItem each selected row. The DropObject event handler then cycles through all items to retrieve all dragged rows.

ListBox2 has the following line of code in its Open event handler. It permits it to receive dragged text.


Its DropObject event handler checks to see if the dragged object is text; if it is, it adds a row to the end of the list and assigns the text property of the dragged object to the new row: It loops through all items in the DragItem until NextItem returns False.

Sub DropObject(obj As DragItem)
If obj.TextAvailable Then
End If
Loop Until Not obj.NextItem
End Sub

You can also drag from ListBox1 to the desktop to get a text clipping or to another application that supports text drag and drop.


This code, which is placed in the CellBackgroundPaint event, assigns alternating colors to the rows in a ListBox:

If row Mod 2 = 0 Then
g.ForeColor= &cD2FFF3
g.ForeColor= &cD2EDF5
End If
g.FillRect(0, 0, g.Width, g.Height)

Notes: The CellBackgroundPaint event passes the parameters g (Graphics), and the row and column numbers (as Integer). You can assign a color to the ForeColor property by creating it as a constant in the App class or a module and assign the color constant to the ForeColor property. The following line in the CellTextPaint event draws the text in the preceding example in red:

g.ForeColor = RGB(255, 0, 0)

The CellTextPaint event is passed the coordinates of the suggested starting position to draw text in the parameters x and y. You can use them in a call to the DrawString property to specify the string to draw in a particular cell:

If row = 4 And column = 1 Then
g.ForeColor = RGB(255, 0, 0)
g.DrawString("Payment Overdue!", x, y)
End If
Return True


To sort a ListBox, set the column on which the ListBox will be sorted with the SortedColumn property. Specify the sort direction on that column with the ColumnSortDirection property, and then do the sort by calling the Sort method.

The following code sorts a Listbox in descending order on the first column.

// first column, descending order
ListBox1.ColumnsortDirection(0) = ListBox.SortDescending
ListBox1.SortedColumn = 0 // first column is the sort column

You can also sort a column based on the current value of ColumnSortDirection by calling the PressHeader method. This method programmatically clicks the header for the column passed to it.

Note that sorting is based on string comparisons. If you want to sort numbers or CheckBoxes then you have to use a custom sort.

Custom Sorting

Use the CompareRows event handler to perform custom sorting on the displayed data. You will want to use custom sorting to property sort numerical data, which by default sorts as a string. This causes "2" to be greater than "100" because the values are treated as strings. You can also provide a custom sort for CheckBox columns, dates and any other information that you may want to sort differently than how it displays as a string.

The following example uses the CompareRows event to sort columns of numbers numerically:

Function CompareRows(row1 As Integer, row2 As Integer, column As Integer, ByRef result As Integer) As Boolean
If Val(Me.Cell(row1, column)) > Val(Me.Cell(row2, column)) Then
result = 1
result = -1
End If

Return True // Use the custom sort
End Function

With this code in place, the correct (numerical) sorting is done whenever the user clicks the header area. Test to be sure that the custom sort affects only the numerical columns.

To sort dates, store the TotalSeconds (or SQLiteDate) property of the Date in the CellTag for the column and use it to sort instead of the displayed value.

See Also

TextField controls; DatabaseField, ListColumn, RecordSet classes; UserGuide:Desktop List Box topic