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Solution to being able to use ItemTips smartly in Listboxes.

A few months ago, I posted a problem on the Foxite forum about a problem with FoxPro listboxes and ItemTips.

ItemTips, for those who weren't aware, is a property that when turned on, will show the entire item text when there isn't sufficient space in the width of a listbox.

The problem arises however if you are using two (or more) columns with the listbox and the total width of the list is sufficient but the first column doesn't.

x = createobject("Form")
x.listbox.columncount = 2
x.listbox.columnwidths = "125,50"
x.listbox.additem("This is my long item in my listbox")
x.listbox.additem("This is my longer item in my list")
x.listbox.additem("This is my short item")
x.listbox.visible = .t.
x.listbox.itemtips = .t.
x.listbox.width = 200

If you move your mouse over the first item, you will see the tip.
If you move your mouse over the second item, you won't - because the actual text WOULD fit into the text box if you weren't using 2 columns.

Here's the BEFORE picture:

The only solution I had come up with was to pad the text of the items in the list with a bunch of spaces and then some final text, which looks completely bizarre.

Thanks to Rod Lewis of Data Developers - the solution was Found!

It all comes back to the super duper ability to Hide columns. Usually FoxPro developers are used to hiding a column that they want to use as a primary key field but don't want to show it. As in:

listbox.addItem("My company name")
listbox.list(1,2) = "XIFIDSIS"
listbox.columnwidths = "200,0"
listbox.boundcolumn = 2

But this time, think about reversing the logic! When adding the items to your list, add a column before anything else and make the width 0.

Using the previous example:

x = createobject("Form")
x.listbox.columncount = 3
x.listbox.columnwidths = "0,125,50"
x.listbox.additem("This is my long item in my listbox")
x.listbox.additem("This is my longer item in my list")
x.listbox.additem("This is my short item")
x.listbox.list(1,2) = x.listbox.List(1,1)
x.listbox.list(2,2) = x.listbox.List(2,1)
x.listbox.list(3,2) = x.listbox.List(3,1)

x.listbox.visible = .t.
x.listbox.itemtips = .t.
x.listbox.width = 200

Et voila!

The ItemTip will reference the very first column which isn't really hidden - but has a width of 0 so it is invisible.

Here's a picture showing the tip:

One gotcha here: it's a good idea to keep the first part of the hidden column the same as your visible column so users can still use the auto-search with the first few letters.

Foxite.COM Visual FoxPro Forum - - The Home Of The Visual FoxPro Experts


Peter said…
Sorry Andrew, it does not work for me

Andrew MacNeill said…
What version of VFP are you using?

I just tried it in both VFP 9 and 8 without a problem.

Did you just copy and paste the code?
Andrew MacNeill said…
I just updated it with images to show.
Anonymous said…
I have tried it on VFP8 CZ, but it doesnt work in both cases. In the first and also in the second example the tip is shown on the first line (because the last "x" of text is out of listbox frame) but is NOT shown on the second line (because the text is shorter than width of listbox - although longer than first column and thus not fully visible)
Andrew MacNeill said…
Note that you do HAVE to make sure the first column is wider than the entire width of the listbox.

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