WPF DataGrid CustomSort for each Column

I created a couple of attached properties which handle this issue. I hope this comes in handy for someone!

First – a simple interface for your directionalised comparer. This extends IComparer but gives us one more property (SortDirection). Your implementation should use this to determine the correct ordering of elements (which would otherwise have been lost).

public interface ICustomSorter : IComparer
    ListSortDirection SortDirection { get; set; }

Next is the attached behavior – this does two things: 1) tells the grid to use custom sort logic (AllowCustomSort=true) and b) gives us the ability to set this logic at a per-column level.

public class CustomSortBehaviour
    public static readonly DependencyProperty CustomSorterProperty =
        DependencyProperty.RegisterAttached("CustomSorter", typeof(ICustomSorter), typeof(CustomSortBehaviour));

    public static ICustomSorter GetCustomSorter(DataGridColumn gridColumn)
        return (ICustomSorter)gridColumn.GetValue(CustomSorterProperty);

    public static void SetCustomSorter(DataGridColumn gridColumn, ICustomSorter value)
        gridColumn.SetValue(CustomSorterProperty, value);

    public static readonly DependencyProperty AllowCustomSortProperty =
        DependencyProperty.RegisterAttached("AllowCustomSort", typeof(bool),
        typeof(CustomSortBehaviour), new UIPropertyMetadata(false, OnAllowCustomSortChanged));

    public static bool GetAllowCustomSort(DataGrid grid)
        return (bool)grid.GetValue(AllowCustomSortProperty);

    public static void SetAllowCustomSort(DataGrid grid, bool value)
        grid.SetValue(AllowCustomSortProperty, value);

    private static void OnAllowCustomSortChanged(DependencyObject d, DependencyPropertyChangedEventArgs e)
        var existing = d as DataGrid;
        if (existing == null) return;

        var oldAllow = (bool)e.OldValue;
        var newAllow = (bool)e.NewValue;

        if (!oldAllow && newAllow)
            existing.Sorting += HandleCustomSorting;
            existing.Sorting -= HandleCustomSorting;

    private static void HandleCustomSorting(object sender, DataGridSortingEventArgs e)
        var dataGrid = sender as DataGrid;
        if (dataGrid == null || !GetAllowCustomSort(dataGrid)) return;

        var listColView = dataGrid.ItemsSource as ListCollectionView;
        if (listColView == null)
            throw new Exception("The DataGrid's ItemsSource property must be of type, ListCollectionView");

        // Sanity check
        var sorter = GetCustomSorter(e.Column);
        if (sorter == null) return;

        // The guts.
        e.Handled = true;

        var direction = (e.Column.SortDirection != ListSortDirection.Ascending)
                            ? ListSortDirection.Ascending
                            : ListSortDirection.Descending;

        e.Column.SortDirection = sorter.SortDirection = direction;
        listColView.CustomSort = sorter;

To use it, implement an ICustomComparer (with a parameterless constructor) and in your XAML:

    <converters:MyComparer x:Key="MyComparer"/>
    <!-- add more if you need them -->
<DataGrid behaviours:CustomSortBehaviour.AllowCustomSort="True" ItemsSource="{Binding MyListCollectionView}">
        <DataGridTextColumn Header="Test" Binding="{Binding MyValue}" behaviours:CustomSortBehaviour.CustomSorter="{StaticResource MyComparer}" />

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