Owl's Blog on .NET development

Component Owl codes Better ListView control all night so you don't have to.

File Explorer with Better ListView

In release 2.0.2 we added a sample demonstrating how Better ListView can be used to construct folder tree and file browser to make a standalone file explorer:

File Explorer Sample

There are two controls derived from BetterListView. One for the navigation pane (folder tree on left side) and one for the file view (on the right side).

The FolderListView control allows browsing through virtual folders as well as folders on removable drives. We needed this control in our products because .NET does not provide any similar managed control (there is only FolderBrowserDialog, but we actually need a control).

You can use it for your purposes as well, it is available in Better ListView Samples source code.

Many features of Better ListView can be used to enhance file browsing, for example:

  • Drag and Drop – moving or copying files
  • Label Edit – renaming files
  • Thumbnails – display thumbnails of image files
  • Custom Tooltips – display extra information on each file item
  • Groups – organize files into groups (e.g. by size)
  • Check Boxes – select folders and sub-folders properly with three-state check boxes
  • Images – every file type could display different image (extracted icon)
  • Context Menus – do extra operations with files, like displaying file properties
  • Searching – doing keyboard search is very easy to search for some file
  • Sorting – sort files according to multiple properties (this is demonstrated in the sample)
  • Background Image – show that the user is located in special folder by ambient image on the background

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