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No ListItem in Windows Forms
Date 12/18/2009    Tags C#    (0)

After working in .Net web development for years, I'm not spending some time doing Windows Forms development. Today I ran into something rather surprising.

When adding values to a drop down list in webpages, I would typically create a ListItem with the Name/Value pare and add that to the dropdown. Very simple to do. Windows Forms does not seem to have an equivalent for adding to comboboxes (there is a ListItem object, but it is not the same thing). There for if you want to add an item to the combobox that has differing name/values, you need to implement your own ListItem-like class.

Thankfully it's pretty easy to do just that (you can just copy the code below if you like)...

public class ComboBoxItem
    private string name;
    private int value;

    public ComboBoxItem(string initialName, int initialValue)
    { = initialName;
        this.value = initialValue;

    public override string ToString()
Now you can add items to your combobox like so:

this.myComboBox.Items.Add(new ComboBoxItem("Item 1", 1));
this.myComboBox.Items.Add(new ComboBoxItem("Item 2", 2));
this.myComboBox.Items.Add(new ComboBoxItem("Item 3", 3));
Notice that this class also includes an override for ToString(), which allows the display on the combobox to be the Name instead of the Value.

I think you may also be able to use the web ( version of this object to do this (System.Web.UI.WebControls.ListItem) but something about mixing Web and Windows Forms elements makes me feel dirty.

I should also note that the code above is mostly borrowed from another website but for the life of me, I cannot find that site again to give them the credit they deserve. If you happen to know which/where that site is, please let me know via email or the comments below.

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