Print The Top View of a Binary Tree

Objective: Given a binary tree, print it in Top View of it.

What is Top View: Top view means when you look the tree from the top the nodes you will see will be called the top view of the tree. See the example below.

Print The Top View of a Binary Tree.

Print The Top View of a Binary Tree.

as you can see in the example above,8, 4, 2, 1, 3, 7 is the Top view of the given binary tree.


This Approach is quite similar to the Print the Binary Tree in Vertical Order Path. Just modified the code so that it will print only the first element it will encounter in the vertical order.

How will you know that you are visiting the first node at every level?

  • Take a vari­able called level, when ever you go left, do level++ AND when ever you go right do level–.
  • With step above we have sep­a­rated out the lev­els vertically.
  • Vertical-Order-Sum-Implementation
  • Now all we need to do the level order traversal just to ensure that we will visit the top most node at level before we visit any other node at that level.
  • We will use simple queue technique for level order traversal or BFS.
  • we will create a class QueuePack, this will store the objects containing node and its level.
  • See the code for better understanding.

Complete Code:


 1   2   3   4   7   8   



Top Companies Interview Questions..-


If you find anything incorrect or you feel that there is any better approach to solve the above problem, please write comment.

You may also like...

11 Responses

  1. OP says:

    I am sorry but it seems to be wrong. it wont work on not “well ordered” tree, like:

    2 3




    it will print 2,1,5,6 instead of 2,1,3,6

    • Sumit says:

      Thanks OP for find­ing out the error. I have corrected the code. Please do let me know if you find errors in other posts.

  2. Ramesh Babu Y says:

    very good explanation , thanks Sumit . go head

  3. Ramesh Babu Y says:

    In your code ,

    // add the left and right children of visiting nodes to the queue

    if (tnode.left != null) {

    queue.add(new QueuePack(lvl – 1, tnode.left));


    if (tnode.right != null) {

    queue.add(new QueuePack(lvl + 1, tnode.right));


    it is wrong , because when we are moving left we must add that is level++ , but your code is doing level– and same type if issue when we are moving right side

    please correct the code

    • tutorialhorizon says:

      Ramesh, levels are just way to differentiate the vertical orders. It does not matter while moving left you do level++ or level–. Its just that it should be opposite to what you do on the right side. We will get the same result by changing the code. Just see the diagram where levels are differentiated.
      Please revert back if needed more clarification or have further queries.

  4. Jagmohan Singh says:

    A simpler approach in C++

    // printing top view of the tree

    void left_array(node *p)







    cout<data<<" ";



    void right_array(node *p)









    void top_view(node * root) // Call this function from main

    { int i=0;

    node *t1=root;

    node *t2=root;




  5. only a treeset would suffice .. we just have store level number in treeSet ..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: