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IDictionary.Item Property

Gets or sets the element with the specified key.

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

Object this[
	Object key
] { get; set; }

Parameters

key
Type: System.Object
The key of the element to get or set.

Property Value

Type: System.Object
The element with the specified key.

ExceptionCondition
ArgumentNullException

key is null.

NotSupportedException

The property is set and the IDictionary object is read-only.

-or-

The property is set, key does not exist in the collection, and the IDictionary has a fixed size.

This property provides the ability to access a specific element in the collection by using the following syntax: myCollection[key].

You can also use the Item property to add new elements by setting the value of a key that does not exist in the dictionary (for example, myCollection["myNonexistentKey"] = myValue). However, if the specified key already exists in the dictionary, setting the Item property overwrites the old value. In contrast, the Add method does not modify existing elements.

Implementations can vary in whether they allow the key to be null.

The C# language uses the thisthis (C# Reference) keyword to define the indexers instead of implementing the Item property. Visual Basic implements Item as a default property, which provides the same indexing functionality.

The following code example demonstrates how to implement the Item property. This code example is part of a larger example provided for the IDictionary class.


public object this[object key]
{
    get
    {   
        // If this key is in the dictionary, return its value.
        Int32 index;
        if (TryGetIndexOfKey(key, out index))
        {
            // The key was found; return its value.
            return items[index].Value;
        } 
        else
        {
            // The key was not found; return null.
            return null;
        }
    }

    set
    {
        // If this key is in the dictionary, change its value. 
        Int32 index;
        if (TryGetIndexOfKey(key, out index))
        {
            // The key was found; change its value.
            items[index].Value = value;
        } 
        else
        {
            // This key is not in the dictionary; add this key/value pair.
            Add(key, value);
        }
    }
}


.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

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

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