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Designing Custom ComboBox Control

I'm working on a "picklist" control for data-entry in a windows desktop application.  Overall, it's pretty standard stuff: the control has a list of values, autocompletion, sorting, add-to-list support, and validation.  The bulk of it would work nicely using combobox and SHAutoComplete.

What I'm debating is also having a multi-select mode and possibly, a *categorized* multi-select mode.  The filter UI in Excel 2007 does something very similar here:

I like the idea of quickly being able to select multiple values, and categorization seems handy as well.  Still, I wonder what would happen with the textbox portion of the control.  All I can think of is a read-only delimited list of values at the moment.  It seems you'd want to disable text input entirely and only accept selection using the mouse and/or arrow-keys.

I don't want to invent a "platypus" control, however; so I would appreciate feedback.  Has anyone seen a clean dropo down listbox somewhere?  I realize its a bit strange, but my main goals were to preserve real estate and speed data-entry for the user.  The control is intended for scenarios where there is good amount of data entry happening.  Thanks.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Check out the VB Accelerator ComboBox control:

If it doesn't do what you want, it'll at least give you a great jump start in developing your own.
Former COBOL Programmer
Wednesday, July 26, 2006

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