Reader Level:

XML TreeView

By James Divine on Sep 11, 2003
My goal was to be able to reflect any Xml file into the Windows Forms TreeView control.
Download Files:

The application shown here was my first adventure into Xml in the .Net platform. My goal was to be able to reflect any Xml file into the Windows Forms TreeView control. I found various examples online, but none I found were suited for opening all Xml files, rather they were suited to one schema or another.

The problem I ran into while writing this was more of a programming theory issue than a coding issue.This example deals with two instances of recursion, one for reading the Xml file in and one for adding the data correctly to the TreeView control.

I am aware that this application reinvents the wheel, since Internet Explorer gives the exact same functionality, but I was more interested in learning how to work with Xml files within the .Net Platform, especially using the XmlDocument class and this seemed like a good start.

The following code snippet shows the method I used to accomplish my goal.

private void FillTree(XmlNode node, TreeNodeCollection parentnode)
// End recursion if the node is a text type
if(node == null || node.NodeType == XmlNodeType.Text || node.NodeType == XmlNodeType.CDATA)
TreeNodeCollection tmptreenodecollection = AddNodeToTree(node, parentnode);
// Add all the children of the current node to the treeview
foreach(XmlNode tmpchildnode in node.ChildNodes)
FillTree(tmpchildnode, tmptreenodecollection);
private TreeNodeCollection AddNodeToTree(XmlNode node, TreeNodeCollection parentnode)
TreeNode newchildnode = CreateTreeNodeFromXmlNode(node);
// if nothing to add, return the parent item
if(newchildnode == null) return parentnode;
// add the newly created tree node to its parent
if(parentnode != null) parentnode.Add(newchildnode);
return newchildnode.Nodes;
private TreeNode CreateTreeNodeFromXmlNode(XmlNode node)
TreeNode tmptreenode =
new TreeNode();
if((node.HasChildNodes) && (node.FirstChild.Value != null))
tmptreenode =
new TreeNode(node.Name);
TreeNode tmptreenode2 =
new TreeNode(node.FirstChild.Value);
else if(node.NodeType != XmlNodeType.CDATA)
tmptreenode =
new TreeNode(node.Name);
return tmptreenode;

James Divine

James is a Senior Software Developer with over 12 years experience working with web programming, desktop application programming, server application programming and handheld/mobil device programming. He has been working ... Read more