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July 21, 2009

Populating a TreeView Control from XML

Filed under: C#,VB.NET,WinForms,XML @ 4:58 pm

This post describes how to populate a WinForms TreeView control from an XML file assuming you are targeting the .NET Framework Version 3.5.

The XML file used in this example looks like this:

  <State name="California">
      <Region name="San Luis Obispo">
        <Area name="Santa Maria" />
        <Area name="Seaside" />
      <Region name="Silicon Valley">
        <Area name="San Jose"/>
        <Area name="Sunnyvale"/>
  <State name="Wisconsin">
      <Region name="Milwaukee">
        <Area name ="Mukwanago"/>
        <Area name="Germantown"/>
      <Region name="Fox Valley">
        <Area name="Oshkosh" />
        <Area name="Appleton" />

The TreeView will display the following:

— Region
—— Area

The code is provided here in VB and C# and then described in detail below.

NOTE: Be sure to set a reference to System.Core and System.Xml.Linq

In C#:

XElement doc  = XElement.Load("testXML.xml");

TreeNode stateNode;
TreeNode regionNode;
foreach (XElement state  in doc.Descendants("State"))
    stateNode = treeView1.Nodes.Add(state.Attribute("name").Value);
    foreach (XElement region in state.Descendants("Region"))
        regionNode =
        foreach (XElement area in region.Descendants("Area"))

In VB:

Dim doc As XElement = XElement.Load("testXML.xml")

Dim stateNode As TreeNode
Dim regionNode As TreeNode
For Each state As XElement In doc…<State>
    stateNode = TreeView1.Nodes.Add(state.@name)
    For Each region As XElement In state…<Region>
        regionNode = stateNode.Nodes.Add(region.@name)
        For Each area As XElement In region…<Area>

In both cases, the XML is first retrieved from a file. An in-memory XML string could be used instead.

Three for/each loops are used, one for each level of the TreeView hierarchy.

The states are processed first. A node is added for each state name.

The regions are processed next. A node is added under the state for each region name.

Finally, the areas are processed. A node is added under the region for each area name.

Notice that the VB code leverages XML literals. The C# code uses XElements (which also work in VB).



  1.   Suguresh — March 11, 2013 @ 1:55 am    Reply

    How can i do the same thing (from XML to tree structure) for dynamically selected XML file, where tag names will be different from each XML file? if i have same parent and child tag or elements in one of the XML file, will it work?

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