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Enum.ToString Method (String)

Updated: August 2010

Converts the value of this instance to its equivalent string representation using the specified format.

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

public string ToString(
	string format


Type: System.String

A format string.

Return Value

Type: System.String
The string representation of the value of this instance as specified by format.


format contains an invalid specification.


format equals "X", but the enumeration type is unknown.

The format parameter can contain the "G" or "g", "D" or "d", "X" or "x", and "F" or "f" format strings. If format is null or an empty string (""), the general format specifier ("G") is used. For more information about formatting enumeration values, see Enumeration Format Strings. For more information about formatting in general, see Formatting Overview.

Notes to Callers:

If multiple enumeration members have the same underlying value and you attempt to retrieve the string representation of an enumeration member's name based on its underlying value, your code should not make any assumptions about which name the method will return. For example, the following enumeration defines two members, Shade.Gray and Shade.Grey, that have the same underlying value.

enum Shade
    White = 0, Gray = 1, Grey = 1, Black = 2 

The following method call attempts to retrieve the name of a member of the Shade enumeration whose underlying value is 1. The method can return either "Gray" or "Grey", and your code should not make any assumptions about which string will be returned.

string shadeName = ((Shade) 1).ToString("F");

The following example demonstrates how to convert an enumerated value to a string.

// Sample for Enum.ToString(String) 
using System;

class Sample 
    enum Colors {Red, Green, Blue, Yellow = 12};

    public static void Main() 
    Colors myColor = Colors.Yellow;

    Console.WriteLine("Colors.Red = {0}", Colors.Red.ToString("d"));
    Console.WriteLine("Colors.Green = {0}", Colors.Green.ToString("d"));
    Console.WriteLine("Colors.Blue = {0}", Colors.Blue.ToString("d"));
    Console.WriteLine("Colors.Yellow = {0}", Colors.Yellow.ToString("d"));

    Console.WriteLine("{0}myColor = Colors.Yellow{0}", Environment.NewLine);

    Console.WriteLine("myColor.ToString(\"g\") = {0}", myColor.ToString("g"));
    Console.WriteLine("myColor.ToString(\"G\") = {0}", myColor.ToString("G"));

    Console.WriteLine("myColor.ToString(\"x\") = {0}", myColor.ToString("x"));
    Console.WriteLine("myColor.ToString(\"X\") = {0}", myColor.ToString("X"));

    Console.WriteLine("myColor.ToString(\"d\") = {0}", myColor.ToString("d"));
    Console.WriteLine("myColor.ToString(\"D\") = {0}", myColor.ToString("D"));    

    Console.WriteLine("myColor.ToString(\"f\") = {0}", myColor.ToString("f"));
    Console.WriteLine("myColor.ToString(\"F\") = {0}", myColor.ToString("F"));
This example produces the following results:
Colors.Red = 0
Colors.Green = 1
Colors.Blue = 2
Colors.Yellow = 12

myColor = Colors.Yellow

myColor.ToString("g") = Yellow
myColor.ToString("G") = Yellow
myColor.ToString("x") = 0000000C
myColor.ToString("X") = 0000000C
myColor.ToString("d") = 12
myColor.ToString("D") = 12
myColor.ToString("f") = Yellow
myColor.ToString("F") = Yellow

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Xbox 360, Zune

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

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0




August 2010

Updated cross-references in the Remarks section.

Customer feedback.

August 2009

Added the Notes for Callers section.

Customer feedback.

April 2009

Added exception information.

Information enhancement.