Monday, November 10, 2008

Auto scroll ListBox in WPF

In WinForms era it was very simple to autoscroll listbox content in order to select last or newly added item. It become a bit complicated in WPF. However, complicated does not mean impossible.


As for me, Microsoft should add this feature to base ListBox implementation as another attempt to be attractive environment for LOB application. See, for example this thread from MSDN forums. I'm really understand this guy. He do not want to implement it with a lot of code, he just want it to be included in core WPF control (but he should mark answers)

Generally, the simplest way to it is by using attached properties. So, your code will look like this

<ListBox Height="200" l:SelectorExtenders.IsAutoscroll="true" IsSynchronizedWithCurrentItem="True" Name="list"/>

But what's going on under the hoods? There it bit complicated :) First of all, we should create attached property, named IsAutoscroll

public class SelectorExtenders : DependencyObject {

        public static bool GetIsAutoscroll(DependencyObject obj) {
            return (bool)obj.GetValue(IsAutoscrollProperty);

        public static void SetIsAutoscroll(DependencyObject obj, bool value) {
            obj.SetValue(IsAutoscrollProperty, value);

        public static readonly DependencyProperty IsAutoscrollProperty =
            DependencyProperty.RegisterAttached("IsAutoscroll", typeof(bool), typeof(SelectorExtenders), new UIPropertyMetadata(default(bool),OnIsAutoscrollChanged));

now handle it when you set it's value by handling new items arrivals, set current and then scroll into it

public static void OnIsAutoscrollChanged(DependencyObject s, DependencyPropertyChangedEventArgs e) {
            var val = (bool)e.NewValue;
            var lb = s as ListBox;
            var ic = lb.Items;
            var data = ic.SourceCollection as INotifyCollectionChanged;

            var autoscroller = new System.Collections.Specialized.NotifyCollectionChangedEventHandler(
                (s1, e1) => {
                    object selectedItem = default(object);
                    switch (e1.Action) {
                        case NotifyCollectionChangedAction.Add:
                        case NotifyCollectionChangedAction.Move: selectedItem = e1.NewItems[e1.NewItems.Count - 1]; break;
                        case NotifyCollectionChangedAction.Remove: if (ic.Count < e1.OldStartingIndex) { selectedItem = ic[e1.OldStartingIndex - 1]; } else if (ic.Count > 0) selectedItem = ic[0]; break;
                        case NotifyCollectionChangedAction.Reset: if (ic.Count > 0) selectedItem = ic[0]; break;

                    if (selectedItem != default(object)) {

            if (val) data.CollectionChanged += autoscroller; 
            else  data.CollectionChanged -= autoscroller;


That's all. Also it can be done by visual tree querying (as thread started proposed). Find scrollviewer inside the ListBox visual tree and then invoke "ScrollToEnd" method of it.

Have a nice day and be good people. And, yes, WPF development team should consider this feature implemented internally for any Selector and ScrollViewer control

Source code for this article

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