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using Statement (C# Reference)
Updated: February 2009
Provides a convenient syntax that ensures the correct use of IDisposable objects.
File and Font are examples of managed types that access unmanaged resources (in this case file handles and device contexts). There are many other kinds of unmanaged resources and class library types that encapsulate them. All such types must implement the IDisposable interface.
As a rule, when you use an IDisposable object, you should declare and instantiate it in a using statement. The using statement calls the Dispose method on the object in the correct way, and (when you use it as shown earlier) it also causes the object itself to go out of scope as soon as Dispose is called. Within the using block, the object is read-only and cannot be modified or reassigned.
The using statement ensures that Dispose is called even if an exception occurs while you are calling methods on the object. You can achieve the same result by putting the object inside a try block and then calling Dispose in a finally block; in fact, this is how the using statement is translated by the compiler. The code example earlier expands to the following code at compile time (note the extra curly braces to create the limited scope for the object):
Multiple objects can be used with a using statement, but they must be declared inside the using statement, as in the following example:
You can instantiate the resource object and then pass the variable to the using statement, but this is not a best practice. In this case, the object remains in scope after control leaves the using block even though it will probably no longer have access to its unmanaged resources. In other words, it will no longer be fully initialized. If you try to use the object outside the using block, you risk causing an exception to be thrown. For this reason, it is generally better to instantiate the object in the using statement and limit its scope to the using block.
For more information, see the following sections in the C# Language Specification:
220.127.116.11 Using statements
8.13 The using statement