Display an arrow in the header of GridView
Visits: 45483
Monday, April 10, 2006

Framework .NET 2.0

To sort a GridView is only necessary set the AllowSorting property to true. Simple and fast but often we can't understand which field is sorted or in which direction (asc/desc). To solve that problem, let's create 2 images with an arrow drawed inside (up/down) and catch the RowCreated event of the GridView:

protected void GridView1_RowCreated(object sender, GridViewRowEventArgs e)
    if (e.Row.RowType == DataControlRowType.Header)
        foreach (TableCell tc in e.Row.Cells)
            if (tc.HasControls())
                // search for the header link
                LinkButton lnk = (LinkButton)tc.Controls[0];
                if (lnk != null)
                    // inizialize a new image
                    System.Web.UI.WebControls.Image img = new System.Web.UI.WebControls.Image();
                    // setting the dynamically URL of the image
                    img.ImageUrl = "~/img/ico_" + (GridView1.SortDirection == SortDirection.Ascending ? "asc" : "desc") + ".gif";
                    // checking if the header link is the user's choice
                    if (GridView1.SortExpression == lnk.CommandArgument)
                        // adding a space and the image to the header link
                        tc.Controls.Add(new LiteralControl(" "));

Make a loop through the GridView Header to search a LinkButton (the Framework creates it only if the SortExpression property is set). Then, if the found LinkButton is the sorted field, then show the image to the output.


Excellent work - exactly what I was looking for! One note - adding the space before the image may result in odd-looking wrapping (depending on column widths). I suggest removing that line and instead adding img.CssClass = "sortarrow"; And specifying in the stylesheet, .sortarrow { margin-left: 5px; } Always a good idea to handle the formatting using CSS. Thanks again!
Written by Neven Mrgan - Thursday, May 25, 2006 at 6:58 PM

Thank's ! I was just lokking to do something like this. Great.
Written by Legoman - Thursday, November 9, 2006 at 1:55 PM

really good article!!!!!
Written by Myro Vus - Wednesday, January 31, 2007 at 3:49 PM

Thank you very much.
Written by Jack - Tuesday, July 24, 2007 at 8:13 AM

Great post, this is a much cleaner solution than others I've seen. Thanks heaps!!!
Written by Chad - Tuesday, August 14, 2007 at 3:30 PM

Very informative post! Keep up the good work.
Written by James - Wednesday, August 22, 2007 at 5:07 PM

Thank you very much. But when I implemented this code, the image appeared twice for both ascending or descending order for each column heading. Any reasons?
Written by Arun - Monday, October 22, 2007 at 11:38 PM

I am not sure why this is not working, but I have added the code and I am not seeing any arrows.
Written by Sgt13Echo - Friday, June 13, 2008 at 11:55 PM

I was able to display the arrows but when I sorted the row the image did not change. During debugging the SortDirection was the same...ascending. I have 3 columns and they all have the sorting ability. Could that be the problem. Also I had to take out the 'if(gridview.SortExpression == lnk.CommandArgument) line because for some reason my gridview.SortExpression is returning emply. Does anyone know what could cause this? Thanks
Written by Tuck - Monday, June 23, 2008 at 5:19 PM

I'm sorry, but I don't see the buttons either. It seems that the if (GridView1.SortExpression == lnk.CommandArgument) is not true on any occasion. Why is that? Bye Hinke
Written by Hinke - Wednesday, August 27, 2008 at 10:43 AM

good info, many thanks!
Written by Merwan - Friday, December 5, 2008 at 4:36 PM

excelent, and works on gridview for paging too
Written by Zdenek - Friday, January 16, 2009 at 6:10 PM

Great work! Thk!!!
Written by Felipe - Thursday, March 26, 2009 at 7:20 PM

thankz alot.. ur code is really simple to understand.. =)
Written by davion - Tuesday, July 14, 2009 at 10:59 AM

Works really fine! Great work! Saved me a lot of time and gave me a much better solution! Thnak you so much!
Written by Hugo Martins - Monday, July 27, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Thank you for your effort and great solutions! This was exactly what I needed!
Written by Nina - Thursday, October 8, 2009 at 4:10 PM

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