This documentation is archived and is not being maintained.

EnumConverter Class

Provides a type converter to convert Enum objects to and from various other representations.

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

[HostProtectionAttribute(SecurityAction.LinkDemand, SharedState = true)]
public class EnumConverter : TypeConverter


The HostProtectionAttribute attribute applied to this type or member has the following Resources property value: SharedState. The HostProtectionAttribute does not affect desktop applications (which are typically started by double-clicking an icon, typing a command, or entering a URL in a browser). For more information, see the HostProtectionAttribute class or SQL Server Programming and Host Protection Attributes.

This converter can only convert an enumeration object to and from a string. The EnumConverter class provides the Comparer property to get an IComparer interface that can be used to sort the values of the enumeration. By default, the enumeration values are sorted in the order they appear in the file.

For more information about type converters, see the TypeConverter base class and How to: Implement a Type Converter.


You should never create an instance of an EnumConverter. Instead, call the GetConverter method of the TypeDescriptor class. For more information, see the examples in the TypeConverter base class.

Notes to Inheritors:

If you want to sort the values into a different order, override the Comparer property.

The following code example converts a variable of type Enum to a string, and vice versa. The example requires that you have declared an Enum called Servers and that it has the following members:

Windows=1, Exchange=2, BizTalk=3
Enum myServer= Servers.Exchange;
string myServerString = "BizTalk";
Console.WriteLine(TypeDescriptor.GetConverter(myServer).ConvertTo(myServer, typeof(string))); 

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

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

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