Set Width of gridview columns dynamically when AutoGenerateColumns is true 1


I faced a lot of problems when I asked to set the width of a gridview dynamically, that is the property AutoGenerateColumns set to AutoGenerateColumns=”true” and the gridview was directly bounded from a dataset in code behind. Thus, we don’t have bound fields to set the width of columns individually. I tried a lot of methods found over the internet but sadly anyone could not help me. But I have overcome the problem using some tricks and am now sharing this article with all of you so that if anyone has a problem like me, he will not get more frustrated.


I used many methods found over the internet, but they could not work for me. Then I used both methods – that is one for bound field and another for setting the AutoGenerateColumns=”true” – individually in two projects and then when page got rendered in browser, I used “View Source” functionality of browser and then realized what is the main difference in both types.
Using the Code
First, I created a sample webpage in ASP.NET 3.5. I also attached the source code in a zipped file.

Below is the aspx page:

<%@ Page Language="vb" AutoEventWireup="false" CodeBehind="Default.aspx.vb" Inherits="GridViewWidth._Default" %>

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">

<html xmlns="" >
<head runat="server">
<form id="form1" runat="server">
<asp:GridView ID="GridView1" runat="server" AutoGenerateColumns="true"

style="table-layout:fixed;" Width="1000px">

<!-- Mind the above two lines to make this trick effective you must have to use both properties as is; -->


Code behind file:

Imports System.Data.SqlClient

Partial Public Class _Default
Inherits System.Web.UI.Page

Protected Sub Page_Load(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Me.Load
Dim strCon As New SqlConnection("Data Source=myDataSource;Initial Catalog=myDataBaseName;Persist Security Info=True;User ID=GKRANJAN;Password=abcdef")
Dim da As New SqlDataAdapter("Select * from myTableName", strCon)
Dim ds As New DataSet
GridView1.DataSource = ds
End Sub

Private Sub GridView1_RowDataBound(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.Web.UI.WebControls.GridViewRowEventArgs) Handles GridView1.RowDataBound
If e.Row.RowType = DataControlRowType.Header Then

'For first column set to 200 px
Dim cell As TableCell = e.Row.Cells(0)
cell.Width = New Unit("200px")

'For others set to 50 px
'You can set all the width individually

For i = 1 To e.Row.Cells.Count - 1
'Mind that i used i=1 not 0 because the width of cells(0) has already been set
Dim cell2 As TableCell = e.Row.Cells(i)
cell2.Width = New Unit("10px")
End If
End Sub
End Class

Please mind two things in .aspx:



Actually, when we use bound fields then gridview columns width renders in browser as we set the widths of each and every columns until overflow condition occurs. In overflow condition, browser uses its mind and sets it to some values so that it can be readable to user.

In my scenario, I saw that if I am using bound field for gridview, it adds the following in rendered source:


Then I understood the actual problem that even I am using the code written below, it was not working. Then I added the lines defined in “Please mind two things in .aspx”

Points of Interest

What I used in code behind, you can get it if you will give some time in searching the same over the internet, but it’s tough to find the factor by which I fixed my bug. Because I could not get anything like that over the internet, I am sharing my trick with all of you. I used in .aspx page to fix the layout of table. Hence gridview renders as table in browser.


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Gopal Krishna Ranjan

About Gopal Krishna Ranjan

I am Gopal Krishna Ranjan, having 6+ years of industry experience in Software development using Microsoft technologies. I have a head down experience in Database development, performance tuning in SQL Server, T-SQL optimization, BI (Business Intelligence) project implementation, reporting in SSRS, using SSIS for ETL, implementing multi dimensional and tabular data-warehouse in SSAS, querying cubes using MDX and DAX, Windows and Web Applications development with C#.

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