Browsing for a folder without FolderBrowserDialog

Posted on 2004-09-09
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-21
My Windows Forms application requires users to specify certain folders to store output files and I currently am using .Net's FolderBrowserDialog.  My problem is that I think this is a terrible interface for browsing folders, and I'm looking for a way to do that is more like the OpenFileDialog.  

My list of complaints includes (but is not limited to):
- You cannot resize the dialog box.
- You cannot create new folders, or delete folders
- There is not a link to common locations like My Documents, Desktop, or Favorites
- User's are already used to the OpenFile Dialog style of browsing, so the tree version seems clumsy

I know this can be done, because the VS.Net IDE utilizes a folder browser component that is *exactly* what I'd like.  To see what I'd like:

Open VS.Net
Click Tools --> Options
From the Environment folder, click on 'Projects and Solutions'
There is a 'Settings' Section, click on the Browse button
voila!  A folder browser that is just like the Open File Dialog.

Basicly, I'm looking for *any* help in tracking something like this down.  I would accept any of the following:
- Info about a third party control that has this same functionality and design that I could buy
- Code that you've used to create this functionality
- Information about what control I can inherit from to create my own control.
- confirmation that this bothers you too and that you are outraged that MS didn't include this control in the Common Components of VS.net
Question by:bkrier71
  • 2
LVL 86

Accepted Solution

Mike Tomlinson earned 1000 total points
ID: 12022253

I am running the .Net Framework 1.1 and my FolderBrowser dialog DOES everything you say yours doesn't.

I can resize the dialog box.
I can create a new folder with the "Make New Folder' button.
I can delete a folder by right clicking on it and selecting "Delete"
The dialog opens with "Desktop", "My Documents", "My Computer" and "Recycle Bin" in it.


LVL 86

Expert Comment

by:Mike Tomlinson
ID: 12022266
The system folder browse dialog resides in shell32.dll, so either that file our your .Net framework is out of date.


Assisted Solution

Javert93 earned 1000 total points
ID: 12022311
You could use the Win32 GetOpenFileName API and specify a hook procedure in the OPENFILENAME structure. That way you can intercept the CDN_INCLUDEITEM notification message to determine if an item should be displayed or not. It wasn't really possible in VB 6, but .NET gives you the tools to do it.

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