Thread: Setting the foreground color of a row based on pre-defined conditions.

  1. #1
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Setting the foreground color of a row based on pre-defined conditions.

    I have done the following using the advice/example from the web:-

    1) Added a listbox (listBox1) to a form and set the DrawMode = OwnerDrawFixed.

    2) Added the following to the immediately following InitializeComponent();
    listBox1.DrawItem +=
    new System.Windows.Forms.DrawItemEventHandler(this.lis tBox1_DrawItem);

    3) In Form1_Load, I have added the following to the listBox1 -
    listBox1.Items.Add("ABC Company");
    listBox1.Items.Add("DEF Company");
    listBox1.Items.Add("GHI Company");
    listBox1.Items.Add("JKL Comapny");
    listBox1.Items.Add(MNO Company");

    4) I have also build up an arrayList while adding items to listBox1 so that the items correspond to the listBox1 item. The arrayList contains the following in formation -
    arrayList[0] = "Normal";
    arrayList[1] = "Active";
    arrayList[2] = "Active";
    arrayList[3] = "Other";
    arrayList[4] = "Normal";

    5) Now I want the items appearing in listBox1 to show different color depending on the text in arrayList (eg, Color.Blue for "Normal", Color.Red for "Active", Color Gray for "Other"). In other words, when the listBox1 is populated, the following will be displayed-
    ABC Company - in blue
    DEF Company - in red
    GHI Company - in red
    JKL Comapny - in gray
    MNO Company - in blue

    How do I code the listBox1_DrawItem event so that I can achieve the result as in (5) above?

    I've been researching the web but non has example similar to my problem. Any help/comment will be very much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Using an array to hold the listbox items' status is not a great idea because if you added sorting to the listbox, the listbox items and array could become unsyncronised.

    I've gone about things a bit differently, using a simple object to hold the company name as well as it's status so that the 2 items are always together, thus avoiding any unwanted (and unnecessary) complications:

    using System;
    using System.Drawing;
    using System.Windows.Forms;
    namespace WindowsFormsApplication1
        public partial class Form1 : Form
            public Form1()
                listBox1.DrawMode = DrawMode.OwnerDrawFixed;
                listBox1.DrawItem += new DrawItemEventHandler(listBox1_DrawItem);
                listBox1.Items.Add(new MyObject("ABC Company", Status.Normal));
                listBox1.Items.Add(new MyObject("DEF Company", Status.Active));
                listBox1.Items.Add(new MyObject("GHI Company", Status.Active));
                listBox1.Items.Add(new MyObject("JKL Company", Status.Other));
                listBox1.Items.Add(new MyObject("MNO Company", Status.Normal));
            private void listBox1_DrawItem(object sender, DrawItemEventArgs e)
                Color fore;
                MyObject obj = (MyObject)this.listBox1.Items[e.Index];
                switch (obj.status)
                    case Status.Active: // active
                        fore = Color.Red;
                    case Status.Normal: // normal
                        fore = Color.Blue;
                    default: // other
                        fore = Color.Gray;
                e.Graphics.DrawString(, e.Font, new SolidBrush(fore), new PointF(e.Bounds.X, e.Bounds.Y));
        public enum Status
            Active = 0,
            Normal = 1,
            Other = 2
        class MyObject
            public Status status;
            public String company;
            public MyObject() { }
            public MyObject(String company, Status status)
       = company;
                this.status = status;
    Last edited by theoobe; 06-09-2009 at 06:28 PM.

  3. #3
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Thanks for your timely help!
    Your example work fine, but the listBox1 now refuse to react to mouse click an focus event. What do I need to do so that I can intercept the focus and click event in this case?

  4. #4
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2009


    Further to my earlier post, I am now able to access the focus and click events by slight modification to your example code!
    Once again, thanks for your help!

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