New to Telerik UI for ASP.NET AJAX? Download free 30-day trial

Multicolumn Headers

The MultiColumn Headers of the RadGrid represent a tree-like structure where one or more columns can be grouped together by a common header. That common header in its turn can be child of another upper MultiColumn header which can also span both columns and other headers. On-line example demonstrating this functionality is available here.

Structure rules

  • A MultiColumn Header can be a child of only one other multicolumn header.

  • A MultiColumn Header must span at least one column.

  • A MultiColumn Header should be defined only for a single row header per level. Hence a multicolumn header always has RowSpan=1.

  • A column can have as a parent only one MultiColumn Header.

  • Each column header can span only a single column. Hence a column header always has ColSpan=1.

  • A column surrounded (in order of definition) by other columns with common multi header cannot have a different multicolumn header on the same or higher row level than the columns that surround it. This rule ensures proper rendering and avoids overlapping of multicolumn headers.


In order to define the MultiColumn Headers in RadGrid Column Groups should be set.

<telerik:GridColumnGroup HeaderText="Product Details" Name="ProductDetails"/>
<telerik:GridColumnGroup HeaderText="Location" Name="Location"/>
<telerik:GridColumnGroup HeaderText="Category" Name="Category" ParentGroupName="ProductDetails"/>
<telerik:GridColumnGroup HeaderText="Order Details" Name="OrderDetails" ParentGroupName="ProductDetails"/>

In order to add the needed column in the MultiColumn Header the ColumnGroupName property should be used:

<telerik:GridBoundColumn UniqueName="Address" DataField="Address" ColumnGroupName="Location" HeaderText="Address"/>

The above definition will be presented in the following output: grid Multi Column Headers

API Model

The described feature is presented by some additional properties related to the GridTableView and GridColumn objects. The GridColumn provides new ColumnGroupName property which is string type and sets the name of the multicolumn header (GridColumnGroup) to which the current column belongs. As for the GridTableView, two new properties are added. These properties are HasMultiHeaders which is boolean type and ColumnGroups which holds a collection of the multiheaders in the GridTableView and is GridColumnGroupCollection type.

The GridColumnGroupCollection type is a new type that implements StateManager and IComparable interface. This type presents the follwoing properties:

Property Type Description
HeaderText String The text that will serve as a caption of the multicolumn header cell.
Name String The name that uniquely identifies each multicolumn header. Used to associate columns to it.
ParentGroupName String Holds the name of the parent multicolumn header of the current header. If not specified the multiheader is no the top level.
HeaderStyle TableItemStyle Defines styles for each multicolumn header style. See Styling section below for more info.
ColSpan Int Public ReadOnly. Return the number of spanned columns by the multicolumn header. Min value is 1.
Visible Bool Public ReadOnly. Returns whether a multicolumn header cell will be rendered as visible or not. True if at least one of its children (gridcolumn or columngroup) is visible, otherwise false.
CompareTo Int Implements standard comparison operation and also allows comparison between GridColumnGroups and ordinary GridColumns. Used to determine the proper order of the cells in each multiheader.
In this article