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FileDialog Class

Displays a dialog box from which the user can select a file.

For a list of all members of this type, see FileDialog Members.


[Visual Basic]
MustInherit Public Class FileDialog
   Inherits CommonDialog
public abstract class FileDialog : CommonDialog
public __gc __abstract class FileDialog : public CommonDialog
public abstract class FileDialog extends CommonDialog

Thread Safety

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


FileDialog is an abstract class, and cannot be created directly. Additionally, you cannot inherit from this class. To create a dialog box to select or save a file, use OpenFileDialog or SaveFileDialog.

FileDialog is a modal dialog box; therefore, when shown, it blocks the rest of the application until the user has chosen a file. When a dialog box is displayed modally, no input (keyboard or mouse click) can occur except to objects on the dialog box. The program must hide or close the dialog box (usually in response to some user action) before input to the calling program can occur.


[Visual Basic, C#, C++] The following example uses the OpenFileDialog implementation of FileDialog and illustrates creating, setting of properties, and showing the dialog box. The example uses the ShowDialog method to display the dialog box and return the DialogResult. The example assumes a form with a Button placed on it and the System.IO namespace added to it.

[Visual Basic] 
Protected Sub button1_Click(sender As Object, e As System.EventArgs)
    Dim myStream As Stream
    Dim openFileDialog1 As New OpenFileDialog()
    openFileDialog1.InitialDirectory = "c:\"
    openFileDialog1.Filter = "txt files (*.txt)|*.txt|All files (*.*)|*.*"
    openFileDialog1.FilterIndex = 2
    openFileDialog1.RestoreDirectory = True
    If openFileDialog1.ShowDialog() = DialogResult.OK Then
        myStream = openFileDialog1.OpenFile()
        If Not (myStream Is Nothing) Then
            ' Insert code to read the stream here.
        End If
    End If
End Sub

protected void button1_Click(object sender, System.EventArgs e)
    Stream myStream;
    OpenFileDialog openFileDialog1 = new OpenFileDialog();

    openFileDialog1.InitialDirectory = "c:\\" ;
    openFileDialog1.Filter = "txt files (*.txt)|*.txt|All files (*.*)|*.*" ;
    openFileDialog1.FilterIndex = 2 ;
    openFileDialog1.RestoreDirectory = true ;

    if(openFileDialog1.ShowDialog() == DialogResult.OK)
        if((myStream = openFileDialog1.OpenFile())!= null)
            // Insert code to read the stream here.

 void button1_Click(Object* /*sender*/, System::EventArgs* /*e*/)
     Stream* myStream;
     OpenFileDialog* openFileDialog1 = new OpenFileDialog();
     openFileDialog1->InitialDirectory = S"c:\\" ;
     openFileDialog1->Filter = S"txt files (*.txt)|*.txt|All files (*.*)|*.*" ;
     openFileDialog1->FilterIndex = 2 ;
     openFileDialog1->RestoreDirectory = true ;
     if(openFileDialog1->ShowDialog() == DialogResult::OK)
         if((myStream = openFileDialog1->OpenFile())!= 0)
             // Insert code to read the stream here.

[JScript] No example is available for JScript. To view a Visual Basic, C#, or C++ example, click the Language Filter button Language Filter in the upper-left corner of the page.


Namespace: System.Windows.Forms

Platforms: Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 2000, Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, Windows Server 2003 family, .NET Compact Framework

Assembly: System.Windows.Forms (in System.Windows.Forms.dll)

See Also

FileDialog Members | System.Windows.Forms Namespace | CommonDialog | OpenFileDialog | SaveFileDialog