Using a CheckBox control as a list item renderer in Flex

The following example will show you how you can use a CheckBox control as a custom item renderer in a List control in Flex.
I haven’t done a lot of testing yet, so if you have any tips/suggestions/improvements, please, share them in the comments.

Full code after the jump.


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<!-- -->
<mx:Application xmlns:mx=""
            import mx.utils.ObjectUtil;
            private function init():void {
                arrColl.dispatchEvent(new CollectionEvent(CollectionEvent.COLLECTION_CHANGE));
            private function arrColl_collectionChange(evt:CollectionEvent):void {
                try {
                    var tArr:Array = arrColl.source.filter(selectedOnly);
                    textArea.text = ObjectUtil.toString(tArr);
                    lbl.text = tArr.length.toString() + " item(s) selected";
                } catch (err:Error) {
                    // ignore.
            private function selectedOnly(item:ListItemValueObject, idx:uint, arr:Array):Boolean {
                return item.isSelected;
    <mx:Array id="arr">
        <vo:ListItemValueObject label="One" isSelected="true" />
        <vo:ListItemValueObject label="Two" isSelected="true" />
        <vo:ListItemValueObject label="Three" isSelected="true" />
        <vo:ListItemValueObject label="Four" isSelected="true" />
        <vo:ListItemValueObject label="Five" isSelected="false" />
        <vo:ListItemValueObject label="Six" isSelected="false" />
        <vo:ListItemValueObject label="Seven" isSelected="false" />
        <vo:ListItemValueObject label="Eight" isSelected="false" />
        <vo:ListItemValueObject label="Nine" isSelected="false" />
        <vo:ListItemValueObject label="Ten" isSelected="false" />
        <vo:ListItemValueObject label="Eleven" isSelected="false" />
        <vo:ListItemValueObject label="Twelve" isSelected="false" />
    <mx:ArrayCollection id="arrColl"
            collectionChange="arrColl_collectionChange(event);" />
    <mx:Panel id="panel"
            status="{arrColl.length} total"
        <mx:List id="list"
                alternatingItemColors="[#EEEEEE, white]"
                    <mx:CheckBox selectedField="isSelected"
                                private function onChange(evt:Event):void {
                                    data.isSelected = !data.isSelected;
        <mx:ControlBar horizontalAlign="right">
            <mx:Label id="lbl" />
    <mx:TextArea id="textArea"
            height="{panel.height}" />


package {
    public class ListItemValueObject {
        public var label:String;
        public var isSelected:Boolean;
        public function ListItemValueObject() {

View source is enabled in the following example.

For lots more information on item renderers from somebody who knows what he’s talking about, check out Alex Harui’s excellent item renderer articles: “Thinking About Item Renderers” and “More Thinking About Item Renderers”.

28 thoughts on “Using a CheckBox control as a list item renderer in Flex

  1. I am attempting to build a filter that will add or remove items from a Datagrid. The two fields I would like to filter are categories and locations. I would like to filter the two fields with a checkbox for each field. Here is the example. A user selects a location which filters the categories available at that location, it also filters the Datagrid. The user then selects a category which filters the DataGrid. If the user removes the check mark, the filtered data is removed from the DataGrid. The filter also has the ability to display all items. Is it possible to use your code in the example above?

  2. Hi Keith,

    The way I accomplish that is to dispatch a custom DoFilter event each time a checkbox is checked/unchecked.

    The DoFilter event triggers 2 things. First, it updates a list of active filters (unchecked check boxes). Second, it calls myDataGrid.dataProvider.refresh().

    The refresh() call triggers the dataprovider’s sort() and filterFunction() functions.

    You’ll need to define the filterFunction for the dataProvider such that it looks through the list of active filters and returns true/false for each item appropriately.


  3. I’m trying to figure out how to make a List box multi-select using check-boxes as well as the standard ctrl/shift shortcuts.

    I’ve tried modifying the selectedItems collection and overriding ctrlKey during the capture stage of the mouse events. Neither seem to work right.

    Any ideas?

  4. Finally figured it out. I’ll try to post the code on when I get a chance to fully document it.

    I subclassed List (CheckList) and overrode the mouseDownHandler and mouseUpHandler functions, and changed the event.ctrlKey property when the mouse was over a checkbox (actually, I delegated the decision to the item renderer through mouseEventToItemRenderer(e); and a custom ICheckListRenderer interface.

    I subclassed Checkbox (BlindCheckbox) and overrode clickHandler, leaving it blank (except for the stopImmedatePropogation command when disabled).

    I added an event handler for each checkbox in the renderer (listData set function).
    To get the parent list from the item renderer you use IDropInListItemRenderer and implement listData.

    _parentList.addEventListener(ListEvent.CHANGE, function():void{
       chkSelected.selected = _parentList.isItemSelected(me.Data);
    chkSelected.selected = _parentList.isItemSelected(me.Data);

    Here’s how to translate mouse coordinates arbitrarily from any UI element event to local coordinates (Used by the item renderer to determine whether the checkbox was clicked. I give the user a larger click area).

    var pt:Point = new Point(e.localX, e.localY);
     pt = DisplayObject(;
    pt = globalToLocal(pt);
  5. Hello Friends,

    I have used this Multi-Selected Checkbox, but finding it difficult to write a function which does Select-All or Deselects All.

    Can anyone please supply/guide me with the code.

    Appreciate the help.


    1. public function selectAll():void {
                  var _arr:Array = [];
                  for ( var i:int=0; i &lt; super.dataProvider.length; i++ ) {
                      var item:Object = super.dataProvider[i] as Object;                    
                          if( item[selectedField] == false){            
                              item[selectedField] = true;                    
                  super.selectedIndices = _arr;
              public function deselectAll():void {
                  for ( var j:int=0; j &lt; super.dataProvider.length; j++ ) {
                      var item:Object = super.dataProvider[j] as Object;                    
                          if(item[selectedField] == true){                                
                              item[selectedField] = false;                            
                  super.selectedIndices = [];            
  6. thanks for the code – I used it to create a very long list of items and had some trouble with the events. It ends up picking up scroll events too and so checkboxes end up getting random states.

    I fixed it with changing your onChange fn to;

    private function onChange(evt:Event):void {
       data.isSelected = selected;

    so that it used the new checkbox state rather than assuming a state change. Hopefully that wan’t a dumb thing to do (worked at least).


  7. Hi ,
    I am very new to Flex. I want to do the same thing with Checkbox but i need it to display horizontally , how can I do it?

    Please help

  8. I have used this Multi-Selected Checkbox, but i wants to display selected checkboxes and as well as which one is not selected checkboxes in jsp code one page to another page .

    Can anyone please supply/guide me with the code.

  9. I have used this Multi-Selected Checkbox, but i wants to display selected checkboxes and as well as which one is not selected checkboxes in jsp code one page to another page .

    Can anyone please supply/guide me with the code.

    * Select the checkbox for those students who are present, for absentees do not select.

    Student Name
    Leave Applications

    pavan pavan

    Prasad Rao-

    Ramesh Shrestha

    satish india-

    star starworld-

    Vikas Verma-



  10. I want to use this list box in my application but dataprovider for my list is an arraycollection of class Assets type. I am using RemoteObject to call data from server

    	public class Asset
    		public function Asset()
    		public var assetId:Number;
          	public var assetName:String;
          	public var company:String;
          	public var categoryId:Number;
            public var modelNo:String;
            public var unitPrice:Number;
          	public var serialNo:String;
          	public var purchaseDate:String;
          	public var isMovable:Number;

    But this doesn’t work, tell me where i am going wrong ?

  11. Hi Peter,

    You use the filter method on the underlying array (source) for the
    arrayCollection datasource of the list. The function is:

    private function selectedOnly(item:ListItemValueObject, idx:uint, arr:Array):Boolean {
        return item.isSelected;

    The filter method, according to the Flex docs, ‘executes a test
    function on each item in the array and constructs a new array for all
    items that return true for the specified function.’ That I understand,
    and I can see that you’re being returned an array, tArr. But how are
    you able to call a function with that signature and know that all
    three parameters are going to be passed in? I tried adding a fourth
    parameter – , porky:String – and it broke. How does this method know
    that idx:uint is OK, but porky:String isn’t?

    I also tried adding this to the arrColl_collectionChange function:

    if(list.selectedIndex == -1)
    {"No items are selected!");

    But the only time it fires is when the app first loads, presumably
    because the list isn’t yet populated. If I uncheck all the checkboxes,
    it doesn’t show. The event in question is the change event of the
    checkbox, so it seems to me this ought to work. No?

    I did get it to work by modifying as follows:

    {"No items are selected!");
  12. Hi
    I have a problem with checkbox with combobox
    when ever i click on label or checkbox it’s selecting
    when i click on list item (NOT ON LABEL OF LIST) its not selecting

    Can any one give solution

  13. Hi Peter,

    Thanks for the tutorial. Do you know if it’s possible to do the same thing, but using a more complex ItemRenderer which includes a CheckBox? For example:

            <mx:HBox horizontalAlign="left" paddingLeft="5">
                    public var cbSelected:Boolean;
                <mx:CheckBox id="displayCheckBox" selected="true" click="cbSelected = displayCheckBox.selected;" />
                <mx:Label text="{data.color}" />

    I’ve been trying to do this by binding a variable in the item renderer’s outermost component which is tied to the underlying variable in the ArrayCollection I want to change, however, if I call a function right after setting the linked variable, the underlying ArrayCollection will not have been updated yet. If I call the same function manually a second later though, it will have.

    I also tried listening for the “CollectionEvent.COLLECTION_CHANGE” event at the ArrayCollection level, but once again, the changes do not take effect soon enough with the indirect binding.

    Any suggestions?

  14. Hi Peter
    I like your solution of generating the CheckBox using ItemRenderer at run time but if I have to disable the checkbox then how can I achive that using ItemRenderer, I tried by giving enabled=”false” but this does not work.


    1. Hi PK,
      Did you found a solution to uncheck the checkbox in te datagrid by code. If I remove the Item the checkbox are still checked and do weird things.

  15. hi , thnx alot for you example … but i have a problem to deal with this , i want to get the array of names from page and display them as a checkboxes and when i select a check box the name will be add on the list anybody plz help me on this ..

  16. Hi Alex, thanks for the great example.

    Just a simple question: In your array declaration, you have, for each element:


    But the in the file, there is just “package”, not “package vo”. Just curious about this little part. I’m a Flash/Flex newb by the way.


  17. How do I change it so the i’m using an XML as the dataprovider rather than the array collection?

  18. What about if I want to have a “Unckeck All” button?? How do I uncheck the comboboxes? How do I enter in the ItemRenderer>Componente to uncheck it?

  19. I just having the arraycollection to be listed in checkbox.


    Issue on initial selection of the check box.

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