Managing TreeView pictures

PowerBuilder stores TreeView images in three image lists:

  • Picture list (called the regular picture list here)

  • State picture list

  • Overlay picture list

You add pictures to these lists and associate them with items in the TreeView.

Pictures for items

There are several ways to use pictures in a TreeView. You associate a picture in one of the picture lists with an item by setting one of the item's picture properties, described in the following table.




The primary picture associated with the item is displayed just to the left of the item's label.


A state picture is displayed to the left of the regular picture. The item moves to the right to make room for the state picture. If the Checkboxes property is TRUE, the state picture is replaced by a pair of check boxes.

Because a state picture takes up room, items without state pictures will not align with items that have pictures. So that all items have a state picture and stay aligned, you could use a blank state picture for items that do not have a state to be displayed.

A use for state pictures might be to display a check mark beside items the user has chosen.


An overlay picture is displayed on top of an item's regular picture.

You set up the overlay picture list in a script by designating a picture in the regular picture list for the overlay picture list.

An overlay picture is the same size as a regular picture, but it often uses a small portion of the image space so that it only partially covers the regular picture. A typical use of overlay pictures is the arrow marking shortcut items in the Windows Explorer.


A picture from the regular picture list that is displayed instead of the regular picture when the item is the current item. When the user selects another item, the first item gets its regular picture and the new item displays its selected picture.

If you do not want a different picture when an item is current, set SelectedPictureIndex to the same value as PictureIndex.

How to set pictures

You can change the pictures for all items at a particular level with the SetLevelPictures function, or you can set the picture properties for an individual item.

If you do not want pictures

Your TreeView does not have to use pictures for items. If an item's picture indexes are 0, no pictures are displayed. However, the TreeView always leaves room for the regular picture. You can set the PictureWidth property to 0 to eliminate that space:

tv_2.PictureWidth = 0

Setting up picture lists

You can add pictures to the regular and state picture lists in the painter or during execution. During execution, you can assign pictures in the regular picture list to the overlay list.

Mask color

The mask color is a color used in the picture that becomes transparent when the picture is displayed. Usually you should pick the picture's background color so that the picture blends with the color of the TreeView.

Before you add a picture, in the painter or in a script, you can set the mask color to a color appropriate for that picture. This statement sets the mask color to white, which is right for a picture with a white background:

tv_1.PictureMaskColor = RGB(255, 255, 255)

Each picture can have its own mask color. A picture uses the color that is in effect when the picture is inserted. To change a picture's mask color, you have to delete the picture and add it again.

Image size

In the painter you can change the image size at any time by setting the Height and Width properties on each picture tab. All the pictures in the list are scaled to the specified size.

During execution, you can change the image size for a picture list only when that list is empty. The DeletePictures and DeleteStatePictures functions let you clear the lists.


This sample code illustrates how to change properties and add pictures to the regular picture list during execution. Use similar code for state pictures:

tv_list.PictureHeight = 32
tv_list.PictureWidth = 32

tv_list.PictureMaskColor = RGB(255,255,255)
tv_list.PictureMaskColor = RGB(255,0,0)
tv_list.PictureMaskColor = RGB(128,128,128)

Deleting pictures and how it affects existing items

Deleting pictures from the picture lists can have an unintended effect on item pictures being displayed. When you delete pictures, the remaining pictures in the list are shifted to remove gaps in the list. The remaining pictures get a different index value. This means items that use these indexes get new images.

Deleting pictures from the regular picture list also affects the overlay list, since the overlay list is not a separate list but points to the regular pictures.

To avoid unintentional changes to item pictures, it is best to avoid deleting pictures after you have begun using picture indexes for items.

Using overlay pictures

The pictures in the overlay list come from the regular picture list. First you must add pictures to the regular list, either in the painter or during execution. Then during execution you specify pictures for the overlay picture list. After that you can assign an overlay picture to items, individually or with the SetLevelPictures function.

This code adds a picture to the regular picture list and then assigns it to the overlay list:

integer idx
idx = tv_1.AddPicture("Custom085!")
IF tv_1.SetOverlayPicture(1, idx) <> 1 THEN
   sle_get.Text = "Setting overlay picture failed"

This code for the Clicked event turns the overlay picture on or off each time the user clicks an item:

treeviewitem tvi
This.GetItem(handle, tvi)
IF tvi.OverlayPictureIndex = 0 THEN
   tvi.OverlayPictureIndex = 1
   tvi.OverlayPictureIndex = 0
This.SetItem(handle, tvi)