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How can I store more than one piece of information in a ComboBox item?

Posted on 2012-03-13
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Last Modified: 2012-03-13
Hi all,
Sorry if this is a stupid question, but how should I store more than one piece of information in a ComboBox Item?
For example, say I have 3 entries:
'Red'
'Blue'
'Green'

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but when I select the item, I want a 'hidden' field to be available, such  as:
'R'
'B'
'G'

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Ideally I would like to do something like:
MyCombo.AddItem('Red', 'R');
MyCombo.AddItem('Green', 'G');
MyCombo.AddItem('Blue', 'B');

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and be accessed:
HiddenValue := MyCombo.Items[MyCombo.SelIndex].Value;

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Any ideas how I can achieve something resembling this?
Any help would be appreciated...
Best regards,
James
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Question by:James Atkin
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9 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:wellhole
ID: 37715026
You could bind your combobox to a datasource (ie MyCombo.Datasource = table) and set the display and value members to the columns in the table.

table = new datatable
table.columns.add("description")
table.columns.add("value")
table.rows.add("desc1", "value1")
table.rows.add("desc2", "value2")
table.rows.add("desc3", "value3")

combo.displaymember = "description"
combo.valuemember = "value"
combo.datasource = table

When you want to get the value of the selection you would simply use MyCombo.SelectedValue.
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Author Comment

by:James Atkin
ID: 37715073
Thanks for the suggestion but this is required for Delphi....
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Expert Comment

by:wellhole
ID: 37715110
My mistake. This new website makes it much more difficult to tell what kind of questions I'm reading.
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Accepted Solution

by:
Thommy earned 2000 total points
ID: 37715112
Set your combobox items to <name>=<value>

MyCombo.AddItem('Red=R',nil);
MyCombo.AddItem('Green=G',nil);
MyCombo.AddItem('Blue=B',nil);

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Retrieve values and names...

var
  AValue: string;
  AName: string;

AValue :=MyCombo.Items.ValueFromIndex[0];  //returns 'R'
AValue :=MyCombo.Items.Values['Red'];  //also returns 'R'

AName:=MyCombo.Items.Names[0];  //returns 'Red'

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Author Comment

by:James Atkin
ID: 37715162
Thanks...
That makes the selection filter correctly, but how do I stop the 'Red=R' from being displayed in the dropdown? It should only display 'Red'
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LVL 4

Author Comment

by:James Atkin
ID: 37715231
Ah!
I can owner draw the ComboBox:
procedure TForm1.ComboBox1DrawItem(Control: TWinControl; Index: Integer; Rect: TRect; State: TOwnerDrawState);
begin
    ComboBox1.Canvas.TextRect(Rect, Rect.Left, Rect.Top, ComboBox1.Items.Names[Index]);
end;

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Is this a 'correct' way to achieve this?
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:Thommy
ID: 37715269
if you don't want both, name and value, displayed in your combobox I suggest to use a separate stringlist...

 
  sl: TstringList;  //global var

  ComboBox1.AddItem('Red',nil);
  ComboBox1.AddItem('Green',nil);
  ComboBox1.AddItem('Blue',nil);

  //create separate stringlist with names and values derived from combobox
  sl:=TStringList.create;  
  sl.AddStrings(combobox1.Items);
  sl[0]:=sl[0]+'=R';
  sl[1]:=sl[1]+'=G';
  sl[2]:=sl[2]+'=B';

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Retrieve data using current combobox item data...

var
  AValue: string;
  AName: string;

//returns value of your current combobox item
AValue :=sl.ValueFromIndex[combobox1.ItemIndex];  

//also returns value of your current combobox item
AValue :=sl.Values[combobox1.Text];

//returns name of your current combobox item
//same as combobox1.Text
AName:=sl.Names[combobox1.ItemIndex];  

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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:Thommy
ID: 37715373
Using OwnerDraw is also possible, but keep in mind to set style property of your combobox to csOwnerDrawFixed or csOwnerDrawVariable to activate OnDrawItem event...
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Author Closing Comment

by:James Atkin
ID: 37715392
Thanks for the help :-)
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