CListCtrl Usage

List Control is one of the useful controls to display data in different formats viz., icon view, report view, simple list etc., This article describes how to use CListCtrl for creating report views.

Before using any control resources in MFC, they must be associated with a class. Use the Member Variable tab of the Class Wizard to create a variable for the List Control. This CListCtrl  variable will be used subsequently for our samples. Make sure that the property of Report is selected for view under style tab of the properties box. Also the stdafx.h file should have afxcmn.h included.

CListCtrl – Inserting Columns:

There are many different signatures of InsertColumn function to this operation. But this article use the simplest of all.

int InsertColumn( int nCol, LPCTSTR lpszColumnHeading, int nFormat = LVCFMT_LEFT, int nWidth = -1, int nSubItem = -1 );

nCol : This specifies the position of the columns, starting from 0.

lpszColumnHeading  : The string specified here will be considered as the Header Row for the list control.

nFormat : For alignments. LVCFMT_LEFT for left, LVCFMT_RIGHT for right and LVCFMT_CENTER for Center.

nWidth : Width in pixels.

Look at the following sample usage for the InsertColumn function.

   m_ListVw.InsertColumn(0, "Heading 1",LVCFMT_LEFT, 100);
m_ListVw.InsertColumn(1, "Heading 2",LVCFMT_LEFT, 120);

This will add two column headings to the List control as Heading1 and Heading2.

CListCtrl – Adding Rows:

Adding Row for a Single Column List Control:

Adding rows if the control has a single column, will be straightforward. It is enough if we call InsertItem function as below.


The first parameter is the row number of the CListCtrl. This is a number starting from 0. The InsertItem functions returns an index, which can be used to call other functions to operate on the row.

Adding Rows for a Multi column CListCtrl:

This will need usage of two functions viz., InsertItem and SetItemText as follows.

int nIndex = m_ListVw.InsertItem(0,"Item1");

There are more ways of adding items to the list controls. But this one is probably the simplest. The function SetItemText can also be used to modify the data inside a cell.

CListCtrl – Deleting Rows:

If one wants to delete all the rows in the List control, the function DeleteAllItems should be used. If someone wants to delete item wise, the function DeleteItem should be called. The following is the sample piece of code for it.


The above code will delete the 3rd row from the list control. This parameter specifies the Row index starting from 0.

CListCtrl – Reading an item from a Row:

This article assumes the item read is the currently selected item.

int nSelected = m_ListVw.
CString strText = m_ListVw.GetItemText(nSelected, 0);

This retrieves the value from the nSelected row and first column.