Format Specifiers in C#
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Format Specifiers in C#

 

You can change the format in which a value is displayed in the Watch window using format specifiers. You can also use format specifiers in the Immediate window, the Command window, and even in source windows. If you pause on an expression in those windows, the result will appear in a DataTip. DataTips will reflect the format specifier in the DataTip display.

To use a format specifier, type the expression followed by a comma. After the comma, add the appropriate specifier.

If you have the following code:

{
	    int my_var1 = 0x0065;
	    int my_var2 = 0x0066;
    	int my_var3 = 0x0067;
}

Add the my_var1 variable to the Watch window (while debugging, Debug / Windows / Watch / Watch 1) and set the display to hexadecimal (in the Watch window, right-click the variable and select Hexadecimal Display). Now the Watch window shows that it contains the value 0x0065. To see this value expressed as a decimal integer instead of a hexadecimal integer, in the Name column, after the variable name, add the decimal format specifier: , d. The Value column now displays the decimal value 101

WatchFormatCSharp

The following table shows the C# format specifiers recognized by the debugger.

Specifier

Format

Original Watch Value

Displays

ac

Force evaluation of an expression. This can be useful when implicit evaluation of properties and implicit function calls is turned off. See Side Effects and Expressions.

Message “Implicit function evaluation is turned off by the user”

<value>

d

decimal integer

0x0065

101

dynamic

Displays the specified object using a Dynamic View

Displays all the members of the object, including the Dynamic View

Displays only the Dynamic View

h

hexadecimal integer

61541

0x0000F065

nq

string with no quotes

"My String"

My String

hidden

Displays all public and non-public members

Displays public members

Displays all members

raw

Displays item as it appears in the raw item node. Valid on proxy objects only.

Dictionary<T>

Raw View of Dictionary<T>

results

Used with a variable of a type that implements IEnumerable or IEnumerable<T>, usually the result of a query expression. Displays only the members that contain the query result.

Displays all the members.

Displays the members the meet the conditions of the query.

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