A list view is basically used to show some items. It offers orientation thereby and allows navigation without the need of other controls. Additionally, a list view may be used for single selection (users select one item from a list of mutually exclusive values) or multiple selection (selections in combination with the Shift key or Control key). However, because there is no common visual clue whether a list box’ mode is single or multiple and since other controls are more efficient for single selection, a list box should be used for single selection only. HT: Recommendation should be checked



  • Prefer a list view to show items that belong together and in case of sufficient space.


  • Alternate row color (use theme settings). Use different keys (e.g. page up/down) when more lists should be accessible.
  • Enable browsing through list by cursor up/down.
  • Do not have blank list items; use meta-options, e.g. (None) instead.
  • Place options that represent general options (e.g. All, None) at the beginning of the list.
  • Sort list items in a logical order. Make sure sorting fits translation.
  • For lists with more than one column view headers and enable sorting by clicking the header. Show sort order in header.
  • Always give list controls a label, positioned above or to the left of the list, in sentence capitalization. Provide an accelerator key in the label that allows the user to give focus directly to the list.


Check the following against recommendation

  • Use the list view for selection if it is easy for users to know which items are checked at any given time, for one or more of these reasons:
    • There are no more than twice the number of options then are visible at a time
    • The options are well-known (for example months of a year or days of a week)
    • Usually the selected options are close to each other in the list

Choose a) or b)

  • a) In any other case, use the dual-list pattern because it allows users to easily see which items are selected at any point, without having to scroll through the available options
  • b) Use a list box for multiple selections with more than five options.
  • Provide extended multiple selection with Shift+Click or Ctrl+Click to select groups of contiguous or non-adjacent values, respectively.

Make sure that KCB is feasonable

  • Add 'KCheckBoxes' to list items.
    • KCB are flat (no frame, no shadow, no bevel) for clear differentiation from normal check boxes.
    • KCB are hidden by default, that means when no list item is selected.
    • KCB have a fade-in effect on mouse over to introduce themselves to users.
    • KCB are transparent and therby clearly part of the list item.
    • Legacy keyboard use applies to KCB as well. Thus, the whole item can be clicked to toggle option.

Code snippets

This page was last edited on 4 August 2016, at 11:26. Content is available under Creative Commons License SA 4.0 unless otherwise noted.