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StringComparer Class

Note: This class is new in the .NET Framework version 2.0.

Represents a string comparison operation that uses specific case and culture-based or ordinal comparison rules.

Namespace: System
Assembly: mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

[SerializableAttribute] 
[ComVisibleAttribute(true)] 
public abstract class StringComparer : IComparer, IEqualityComparer, IComparer<string>, 
	IEqualityComparer<string>
/** @attribute SerializableAttribute() */ 
/** @attribute ComVisibleAttribute(true) */ 
public abstract class StringComparer implements IComparer, IEqualityComparer, 
	IComparer<String>, IEqualityComparer<String>
SerializableAttribute 
ComVisibleAttribute(true) 
public abstract class StringComparer implements IComparer, IEqualityComparer, 
	IComparer<String>, IEqualityComparer<String>

An object derived from the StringComparer class embodies string-based comparison, equality, and hash code operations that take into account both case and culture-specific comparison rules. You can use the StringComparer class to create a type-specific comparison to sort the elements in a generic collection. Classes such as Hashtable, Dictionary, SortedList, and SortedList use the StringComparer class for sorting purposes.

A comparison operation that is represented by the StringComparer class is defined to be either case-sensitive or case-insensitive, and use either word (culture-sensitive) or ordinal (culture-insensitive) comparison rules. For more information about word and ordinal comparison rules, see System.Globalization.CompareOptions.

Implemented Properties

You might be confused about how to use the StringComparer class properties because of a seeming contradiction. The StringComparer class is declared abstract (MustInherit in Visual Basic), which means its members can be invoked only on an object of a class derived from the StringComparer class. The contradiction is that each property of the StringComparer class is declared static (Shared in Visual Basic), which means the property can be invoked without first creating a derived class.

You can call a StringComparer property directly because each property actually returns an instance of an anonymous class that is derived from the StringComparer class. Consequently, the type of each property value is StringComparer, which is the base class of the anonymous class, not the type of the anonymous class itself. Each StringComparer class property returns a StringComparer object that supports predefined case and comparison rules.

The following code example demonstrates the properties and the Create method of the StringComparer class. The example illustrates how different StringComparer objects sort three versions of the Latin letter I.

// This example demonstrates members of the 
// System.StringComparer class.

using System;
using System.Collections;
using System.Collections.Generic;
using System.Globalization;
using System.Threading;

class Sample 
{
    public static void Main() 
    {
// Create a list of string.
    List<string> list = new List<string>();

// Get the tr-TR (Turkish-Turkey) culture.
    CultureInfo turkish = new CultureInfo("tr-TR");

// Get the culture that is associated with the current thread.
    CultureInfo thisCulture = Thread.CurrentThread.CurrentCulture;

// Get the standard StringComparers.
    StringComparer invCmp =   StringComparer.InvariantCulture;
    StringComparer invICCmp = StringComparer.InvariantCultureIgnoreCase;
    StringComparer currCmp = StringComparer.CurrentCulture;
    StringComparer currICCmp = StringComparer.CurrentCultureIgnoreCase;
    StringComparer ordCmp = StringComparer.Ordinal;
    StringComparer ordICCmp = StringComparer.OrdinalIgnoreCase;

// Create a StringComparer that uses the Turkish culture and ignores case.
    StringComparer turkICComp = StringComparer.Create(turkish, true);

// Define three strings consisting of different versions of the letter I.
// LATIN CAPITAL LETTER I (U+0049)
    string capitalLetterI = "I";  

// LATIN SMALL LETTER I (U+0069)
    string smallLetterI   = "i";

// LATIN SMALL LETTER DOTLESS I (U+0131)
    string smallLetterDotlessI = "\u0131";

// Add the three strings to the list.
    list.Add(capitalLetterI);
    list.Add(smallLetterI);
    list.Add(smallLetterDotlessI);

// Display the original list order.
    Display(list, "The original order of the list entries...");

// Sort the list using the invariant culture.
    list.Sort(invCmp);
    Display(list, "Invariant culture...");
    list.Sort(invICCmp);
    Display(list, "Invariant culture, ignore case...");

// Sort the list using the current culture.
    Console.WriteLine("The current culture is \"{0}\".", thisCulture.Name);
    list.Sort(currCmp);
    Display(list, "Current culture...");
    list.Sort(currICCmp);
    Display(list, "Current culture, ignore case...");

// Sort the list using the ordinal value of the character code points.
    list.Sort(ordCmp);
    Display(list, "Ordinal...");
    list.Sort(ordICCmp);
    Display(list, "Ordinal, ignore case...");

// Sort the list using the Turkish culture, which treats LATIN SMALL LETTER 
// DOTLESS I differently than LATIN SMALL LETTER I.
    list.Sort(turkICComp);
    Display(list, "Turkish culture, ignore case...");
    }

    public static void Display(List<string> lst, string title)
    {
    Char c;
    int  codePoint;
    Console.WriteLine(title);
    foreach (string s in lst)
        {
        c = s[0];
        codePoint = Convert.ToInt32(c);
        Console.WriteLine("0x{0:x}", codePoint); 
        }
    Console.WriteLine();
    }
}
/*
This code example produces the following results:

The original order of the list entries...
0x49
0x69
0x131

Invariant culture...
0x69
0x49
0x131

Invariant culture, ignore case...
0x49
0x69
0x131

The current culture is "en-US".
Current culture...
0x69
0x49
0x131

Current culture, ignore case...
0x49
0x69
0x131

Ordinal...
0x49
0x69
0x131

Ordinal, ignore case...
0x69
0x49
0x131

Turkish culture, ignore case...
0x131
0x49
0x69

*/

System.Object
  System.StringComparer

Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

Windows 98, Windows 2000 SP4, Windows CE, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Starter Edition

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 2.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 2.0

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