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IEqualityComparer<T> Interface

Defines methods to support the comparison of objects for equality.

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

generic<typename T>
public interface class IEqualityComparer

Type Parameters

in T

The type of objects to compare.

This type parameter is contravariant. That is, you can use either the type you specified or any type that is less derived. For more information about covariance and contravariance, see Covariance and Contravariance in Generics.

The IEqualityComparer<T> type exposes the following members.

  NameDescription
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryEqualsDetermines whether the specified objects are equal.
Public methodSupported by the XNA FrameworkSupported by Portable Class LibraryGetHashCodeReturns a hash code for the specified object.
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This interface allows the implementation of customized equality comparison for collections. That is, you can create your own definition of equality for type T, and specify that this definition be used with a collection type that accepts the IEqualityComparer<T> generic interface. In the .NET Framework, constructors of the Dictionary<TKey, TValue> generic collection type accept this interface.

A default implementation of this interface is provided by the Default property of the EqualityComparer<T> generic class. The StringComparer class implements IEqualityComparer<T> of type String.

This interface supports only equality comparisons. Customization of comparisons for sorting and ordering is provided by the IComparer<T> generic interface.

We recommend that you derive from the EqualityComparer<T> class instead of implementing the IEqualityComparer<T> interface, because the EqualityComparer<T> class tests for equality using the IEquatable<T>::Equals method instead of the Object::Equals method. This is consistent with the Contains, IndexOf, LastIndexOf, and Remove methods of the Dictionary<TKey, TValue> class and other generic collections.

The following example adds custom Box objects to a dictionary collection. The Box objects are considered equal if their dimensions are the same.

No code example is currently available or this language may not be supported.

.NET Framework

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

.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

Portable Class Library

Supported in: Portable Class Library
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