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DataGrid Class

Displays ADO.NET data in a scrollable grid. The DataGridView control replaces and adds functionality to the DataGrid control; however, the DataGrid control is retained for both backward compatibility and future use, if you choose.

Namespace:  System.Windows.Forms
Assembly:  System.Windows.Forms (in System.Windows.Forms.dll)

[ComplexBindingPropertiesAttribute("DataSource", "DataMember")]
public class DataGrid : Control, ISupportInitialize, 

The System.Windows.Forms.DataGrid displays Web-like links to child tables. You can click on a link to navigate to the child table. When a child table is displayed, a back button appears in the caption that can be clicked to navigate back to the parent table. The data from the parent rows is displayed below the caption and above the column headers. You can hide the parent row information by clicking the button to the right of the back button.

To display a table in the System.Windows.Forms.DataGrid at run time, use the SetDataBinding method to set the DataSource and DataMember properties to a valid data source. The following data sources are valid:

For more information about the DataSet class, see DataSets, DataTables, and DataViews (ADO.NET).

You can create a grid that enables users to edit data but prevents them from adding new rows by using a DataView as the data source and setting the AllowNew property to false.

Data sources are further managed by BindingManagerBase objects. For each table in a data source, a BindingManagerBase can be returned from the form's BindingContext. For example, you can determine the number of rows contained by a data source by returning the associated BindingManagerBase object's Count property.

To validate data, use the underlying objects that represent data and their events. For example, if the data comes from a DataTable in a DataSet, use the ColumnChanging and RowChanging events.


Because the number of columns can be customized (by adding or deleting members of the GridColumnStylesCollection) and the rows can be sorted by column, the RowNumber and ColumnNumber property values cannot be guaranteed to correspond to DataRow and DataColumn indexes in a DataTable. Therefore you should avoid using those properties in the Validating event to validate data.

To determine which cell is selected, use the CurrentCell property. Change the value of any cell by using the Item property, which can take either the row and column indexes of the cell, or a single DataGridCell. Monitor the CurrentCellChanged event to detect when the user selects another cell.

To determine which part of the control the user clicked, use the HitTest method in the MouseDown event. The HitTest method returns a DataGrid.HitTestInfo object, which contains the row and column of a clicked area.

To manage the appearance of the control at run time, several properties for setting the color and caption attributes are available, including the CaptionForeColor, CaptionBackColor, CaptionFont, and so on.

The appearance of the displayed grid (or grids) can be further modified by creating DataGridTableStyle objects and adding them to the GridTableStylesCollection, which is accessed through the TableStyles property. For example, if the DataSource is set to a DataSet containing three DataTable objects, you can add three DataGridTableStyle objects to the collection, one for each table. To synchronize each DataGridTableStyle object with a DataTable, set the MappingName of the DataGridTableStyle to the TableName of the DataTable. For more information about binding to an array of objects, see the DataGridTableStyle.MappingName property.

To create a customized view of a table, create an instance of a DataGridTextBoxColumn or DataGridBoolColumn class and add the object to the GridTableStylesCollection accessed through the TableStyles property. Both classes inherit from DataGridColumnStyle. For each column style, set the MappingName to the ColumnName of a column that you want to show in the grid. To hide a column, set its MappingName to something other than a valid ColumnName.

To format the text of a column, set the Format property of the DataGridTextBoxColumn to one of the values found in Date and Time Format Strings or Standard Numeric Format Strings.

To bind the DataGrid to a strongly typed array of objects, the object type must contain public properties. To create a DataGridTableStyle that displays the array, set the DataGridTableStyle.MappingName property to typename[] where typename is replaced by the name of the object type. Also note that the MappingName property is case-sensitive; the type name must be matched exactly. See the MappingName property for an example.

You can also bind the DataGrid to an ArrayList. A feature of the ArrayList is that it can contain objects of multiple types, but the DataGrid can only bind to such a list when all items in the list are of the same type as the first item. This means that all objects must either be of the same type, or they must inherit from the same class as the first item in the list. For example, if the first item in a list is a Control, the second item could be a TextBox (which inherits from Control). If, on the other hand, the first item is a TextBox, the second object cannot be a Control. Further, the ArrayList must have items in it when it is bound. An empty ArrayList will result in an empty grid. In addition, the objects in the ArrayList must contain public properties. When binding to an ArrayList, set the MappingName of the DataGridTableStyle to "ArrayList" (the type name).

For each DataGridTableStyle, you can set color and caption attributes that override the settings for the System.Windows.Forms.DataGrid control. However, if those properties are not set, the settings for the control are used by default. The following properties can be overridden by DataGridTableStyle properties:

To customize the appearance of individual columns, add DataGridColumnStyle objects to the GridColumnStylesCollection, which is accessed through the GridColumnStyles property of each DataGridTableStyle. To synchronize each DataGridColumnStyle with a DataColumn in the DataTable, set the MappingName to the ColumnName of a DataColumn. When constructing a DataGridColumnStyle, you can also set a formatting string that specifies how the column displays data. For example, you can specify that the column use a short-date format to display dates contained in the table.

Caution noteCaution:

Always create DataGridColumnStyle objects and add them to the GridColumnStylesCollection before adding DataGridTableStyle objects to the GridTableStylesCollection. When you add an empty DataGridTableStyle with a valid MappingName value to the collection, DataGridColumnStyle objects are automatically generated for you. Consequently, an exception will be thrown if you try to add new DataGridColumnStyle objects with duplicate MappingName values to the GridColumnStylesCollection.


The DataGridView control replaces and adds functionality to the DataGrid control; however, the DataGrid control is retained for both backward compatibility and future use, if you choose. For more information, see Differences Between the Windows Forms DataGridView and DataGrid Controls.

The following code example creates a Windows form, a DataSet containing two DataTable objects, and a DataRelation that relates the two tables. To display the data, a System.Windows.Forms.DataGrid control is then bound to the DataSet through the SetDataBinding method. A button on the form changes the appearance of the grid by creating two DataGridTableStyle objects and setting the MappingName of each object to a TableName of one of the DataTable objects. The example also contains code in the MouseUp event that uses the HitTest method to print the column, row, and part of the grid that has been clicked.

using System;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Data;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Windows.Forms;

public class Form1 : System.Windows.Forms.Form
   private System.ComponentModel.Container components;
   private Button button1;
   private Button button2;
   private DataGrid myDataGrid;   
   private DataSet myDataSet;
   private bool TablesAlreadyAdded;
   public Form1()
      // Required for Windows Form Designer support.
      // Call SetUp to bind the controls.

   protected override void Dispose( bool disposing ){
      if( disposing ){
         if (components != null){
      base.Dispose( disposing );
   private void InitializeComponent()
      // Create the form and its controls. 
      this.components = new System.ComponentModel.Container();
      this.button1 = new System.Windows.Forms.Button();
      this.button2 = new System.Windows.Forms.Button();
      this.myDataGrid = new DataGrid();

      this.Text = "DataGrid Control Sample";
      this.ClientSize = new System.Drawing.Size(450, 330);

      button1.Location = new Point(24, 16);
      button1.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(120, 24);
      button1.Text = "Change Appearance";
      button1.Click+=new System.EventHandler(button1_Click);

      button2.Location = new Point(150, 16);
      button2.Size = new System.Drawing.Size(120, 24);
      button2.Text = "Get Binding Manager";
      button2.Click+=new System.EventHandler(button2_Click);

      myDataGrid.Location = new  Point(24, 50);
      myDataGrid.Size = new Size(300, 200);
      myDataGrid.CaptionText = "Microsoft DataGrid Control";
      myDataGrid.MouseUp += new MouseEventHandler(Grid_MouseUp);


   public static void Main()
      Application.Run(new Form1());

   private void SetUp()
      // Create a DataSet with two tables and one relation.
      /* Bind the DataGrid to the DataSet. The dataMember
      specifies that the Customers table should be displayed.*/
      myDataGrid.SetDataBinding(myDataSet, "Customers");

   private void button1_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
      if(TablesAlreadyAdded) return;

   private void AddCustomDataTableStyle()
      DataGridTableStyle ts1 = new DataGridTableStyle();
      ts1.MappingName = "Customers";
      // Set other properties.
      ts1.AlternatingBackColor = Color.LightGray;

      /* Add a GridColumnStyle and set its MappingName 
      to the name of a DataColumn in the DataTable. 
      Set the HeaderText and Width properties. */

      DataGridColumnStyle boolCol = new DataGridBoolColumn();
      boolCol.MappingName = "Current";
      boolCol.HeaderText = "IsCurrent Customer";
      boolCol.Width = 150;

      // Add a second column style.
      DataGridColumnStyle TextCol = new DataGridTextBoxColumn();
      TextCol.MappingName = "custName";
      TextCol.HeaderText = "Customer Name";
      TextCol.Width = 250;

      // Create the second table style with columns.
      DataGridTableStyle ts2 = new DataGridTableStyle();
      ts2.MappingName = "Orders";

      // Set other properties.
      ts2.AlternatingBackColor = Color.LightBlue;

      // Create new ColumnStyle objects
      DataGridColumnStyle cOrderDate = 
      new DataGridTextBoxColumn();
      cOrderDate.MappingName = "OrderDate";
      cOrderDate.HeaderText = "Order Date";
      cOrderDate.Width = 100;

      /* Use a PropertyDescriptor to create a formatted
      column. First get the PropertyDescriptorCollection
      for the data source and data member. */
      PropertyDescriptorCollection pcol = this.BindingContext
      [myDataSet, "Customers.custToOrders"].GetItemProperties();

      /* Create a formatted column using a PropertyDescriptor.
      The formatting character "c" specifies a currency format. */     
      DataGridColumnStyle csOrderAmount = 
      new DataGridTextBoxColumn(pcol["OrderAmount"], "c", true);
      csOrderAmount.MappingName = "OrderAmount";
      csOrderAmount.HeaderText = "Total";
      csOrderAmount.Width = 100;

      /* Add the DataGridTableStyle instances to 
      the GridTableStylesCollection. */

     // Sets the TablesAlreadyAdded to true so this doesn't happen again.

   private void button2_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
      BindingManagerBase bmGrid;
      bmGrid = BindingContext[myDataSet, "Customers"];
      MessageBox.Show("Current BindingManager Position: " + bmGrid.Position);

   private void Grid_MouseUp(object sender, MouseEventArgs e)
      // Create a HitTestInfo object using the HitTest method. 

      // Get the DataGrid by casting sender.
      DataGrid myGrid = (DataGrid)sender;
      DataGrid.HitTestInfo myHitInfo = myGrid.HitTest(e.X, e.Y);

   // Create a DataSet with two tables and populate it. 
   private void MakeDataSet()
      // Create a DataSet.
      myDataSet = new DataSet("myDataSet");

      // Create two DataTables.
      DataTable tCust = new DataTable("Customers");
      DataTable tOrders = new DataTable("Orders");

      // Create two columns, and add them to the first table.
      DataColumn cCustID = new DataColumn("CustID", typeof(int));
      DataColumn cCustName = new DataColumn("CustName");
      DataColumn cCurrent = new DataColumn("Current", typeof(bool));

      // Create three columns, and add them to the second table.
      DataColumn cID = 
      new DataColumn("CustID", typeof(int));
      DataColumn cOrderDate = 
      new DataColumn("orderDate",typeof(DateTime));
      DataColumn cOrderAmount = 
      new DataColumn("OrderAmount", typeof(decimal));

      // Add the tables to the DataSet.

      // Create a DataRelation, and add it to the DataSet.
      DataRelation dr = new DataRelation
      ("custToOrders", cCustID , cID);

      /* Populates the tables. For each customer and order, 
      creates two DataRow variables. */
      DataRow newRow1;
      DataRow newRow2;

      // Create three customers in the Customers Table. 
      for(int i = 1; i < 4; i++)
         newRow1 = tCust.NewRow();
         newRow1["custID"] = i;
         // Add the row to the Customers table.
      // Give each customer a distinct name.
      tCust.Rows[0]["custName"] = "Customer1";
      tCust.Rows[1]["custName"] = "Customer2";
      tCust.Rows[2]["custName"] = "Customer3";

      // Give the Current column a value.
      tCust.Rows[0]["Current"] = true;
      tCust.Rows[1]["Current"] = true;
      tCust.Rows[2]["Current"] = false;

      // For each customer, create five rows in the Orders table. 
      for(int i = 1; i < 4; i++)
         for(int j = 1; j < 6; j++)
            newRow2 = tOrders.NewRow();
            newRow2["CustID"]= i;
            newRow2["orderDate"]= new DateTime(2001, i, j * 2);
            newRow2["OrderAmount"] = i * 10 + j  * .1;
            // Add the row to the Orders table.

Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0, 1.0