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Attribute::GetCustomAttribute Method (Assembly, Type, Boolean)

Retrieves a custom attribute applied to an assembly. Parameters specify the assembly, the type of the custom attribute to search for, and an ignored search option.

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

static Attribute^ GetCustomAttribute(
	Assembly^ element, 
	Type^ attributeType, 
	bool inherit


Type: System.Reflection::Assembly

An object derived from the Assembly class that describes a reusable collection of modules.

Type: System::Type

The type, or a base type, of the custom attribute to search for.

Type: System::Boolean

This parameter is ignored, and does not affect the operation of this method.

Return Value

Type: System::Attribute
A reference to the single custom attribute of type attributeType that is applied to element, or nullptr if there is no such attribute.


element or attributeType is nullptr.


attributeType is not derived from Attribute.


More than one of the requested attributes was found.


Starting with the .NET Framework version 2.0, this method returns security attributes if the attributes are stored in the new metadata format. Assemblies compiled with version 2.0 or later use the new format. Dynamic assemblies and assemblies compiled with earlier versions of the .NET Framework use the old XML format. See Emitting Declarative Security Attributes.

The following code example illustrates the use of the GetCustomAttribute method taking an Assembly as a parameter.

using namespace System;
using namespace System::Reflection;

// Add an AssemblyDescription attribute
[assembly:AssemblyDescription("A sample description")];
namespace IsDef1CS
   ref class DemoClass
      static void Main()

         // Get the class type to access its metadata.
         Type^ clsType = DemoClass::typeid;

         // Get the assembly object.
         Assembly^ assy = clsType->Assembly;

         // Store the assembly's name.
         String^ assyName = assy->GetName()->Name;

         //Type assyType = assy.GetType(); 
         // See if the Assembly Description is defined. 
         bool isdef = Attribute::IsDefined( assy, AssemblyDescriptionAttribute::typeid );
         if ( isdef )

            // Affirm that the attribute is defined.
            Console::WriteLine( "The AssemblyDescription attribute " 
            "is defined for assembly {0}.", assyName );

            // Get the description attribute itself.
            AssemblyDescriptionAttribute^ adAttr = dynamic_cast<AssemblyDescriptionAttribute^>(Attribute::GetCustomAttribute( assy, AssemblyDescriptionAttribute::typeid ));

            // Display the description. 
            if ( adAttr != nullptr )
                        Console::WriteLine( "The description is \"{0}\".", adAttr->Description );
                        Console::WriteLine( "The description could not " 
            "be retrieved." );
                  Console::WriteLine( "The AssemblyDescription attribute is not " 
         "defined for assembly {0}.", assyName );



 * Output:
 * The AssemblyDescription attributeis defined for assembly IsDef1CS.
 * The description is "A sample description".

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.6, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0

.NET for Windows Phone apps

Supported in: Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Phone Silverlight 8.1, Windows Phone Silverlight 8
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