Choosing the Property Builder from the smart tags menu displays a window that
lets us set various properties of a DataList. We can access the same settings
through the Properties window, but with the DataList we have another way to
set these properties.
The Choose Data Source item in the smart tags menu lets us choose a data source
control for our list. Youll learn a lot more about this in Chapter 12.
Styling the DataList
The Auto Format item in the smart tag menu is probably the most interesting. I
left this discussion until the end of the chapter to give you the chance to play
with it a little beforehand. When you select Auto Format, a dialog with a number
of predefined setups will appear; you can customize these options manually to
suit your tastes, as Figure 10.10 illustrates.
Figure 10.10. Choosing an Auto Format option
If you choose the Simple style, then remove the SeparatorTemplate from your
DataList, your Employee Directory page will look like the one shown in Fig-
ure 10.11.
You may ask what happened behind the scenes. If you look at the DataList
definition in EmployeeDirectory.aspx, youll see it contains a few new lines
that Visual Web Developer generated for us after we chose the style:
</EditItemTemplate>
<FooterStyle BackColor="#1C5E55" Font-Bold="True"
ForeColor="White" />
424
Chapter 10: Displaying Content Using Data Lists
Figure 10.11. The styled Employee Directory list
<SelectedItemStyle BackColor="#C5BBAF" Font-Bold="True"
ForeColor="#333333" />
<AlternatingItemStyle BackColor="White" />
<ItemStyle BackColor="#E3EAEB" />
<HeaderStyle BackColor="#1C5E55" Font-Bold="True"
ForeColor="White" />
</asp:DataList>
The significance of these new elements is as follows:
HeaderStyle
customizes the appearance of the DataLists heading
ItemStyle
customizes the appearance of each item displayed within the DataList
AlternatingItemStyle
customizes the appearance of every other item displayed within the DataList
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Styling the DataList

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