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String::CompareTo Method (String^)

 

Compares this instance with a specified String object and indicates whether this instance precedes, follows, or appears in the same position in the sort order as the specified string.

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

public:
virtual int CompareTo(
	String^ strB
) sealed

Parameters

strB
Type: System::String^

The string to compare with this instance.

Return Value

Type: System::Int32

A 32-bit signed integer that indicates whether this instance precedes, follows, or appears in the same position in the sort order as the strB parameter.

Value

Condition

Less than zero

This instance precedes strB.

Zero

This instance has the same position in the sort order as strB.

Greater than zero

This instance follows strB.

-or-

strB is null.

This method performs a word (case-sensitive and culture-sensitive) comparison using the current culture. For more information about word, string, and ordinal sorts, see System.Globalization::CompareOptions.

System_CAPS_cautionCaution

The CompareTo method was designed primarily for use in sorting or alphabetizing operations. It should not be used when the primary purpose of the method call is to determine whether two strings are equivalent. To determine whether two strings are equivalent, call the Equals method.

For more information about the behavior of this method, see the Remarks section of the Compare(String^, String^) method.

This method implements the System::IComparable<T> interface and performs slightly better than the String::CompareTo(Object^) method, because it does not have to determine whether the strB argument is a mutable value type that must be boxed, and it does not have to cast its parameter from an Objectto aString.

Notes to Callers:

Character sets include ignorable characters. The CompareTo(String^) method does not consider such characters when it performs a culture-sensitive comparison. For example, if the following code is run on the .NET Framework 4 or later, a comparison of "animal" with "ani-mal" (using a soft hyphen, or U+00AD) indicates that the two strings are equivalent.

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

To recognize ignorable characters in a string comparison, call the CompareOrdinal(String^, String^) method.

The following example uses the CompareTo method to compare the current string instance with another string.

using namespace System;

String^ CompareStrings(String^ str1, String^ str2)
{
   // compare the values, using the CompareTo method on the first string
   int cmpVal = str1->CompareTo(str2);
   if (cmpVal == 0)
      // the values are the same
      return "The strings occur in the same position in the sort order.";
   else if (cmpVal > 0)
      return "The first string precedes the second in the sort order.";
   else
      return "The first string follows the second in the sort order.";
}

int main()
{
   String^ strFirst = "Goodbye";
   String^ strSecond = "Hello";
   String^ strThird = "a small String*";
   String^ strFourth = "goodbye";

   // Compare a string to itself.
   Console::WriteLine(CompareStrings(strFirst, strFirst));
   Console::WriteLine(CompareStrings(strFirst, strSecond));
   Console::WriteLine(CompareStrings(strFirst, strThird));

   // Compare a string to another string that varies only by case.
   Console::WriteLine(CompareStrings(strFirst, strFourth));
   Console::WriteLine(CompareStrings(strFourth, strFirst));
}
// The example displays the following output:
//       The strings occur in the same position in the sort order.
//       The first string follows the second in the sort order.
//       The first string precedes the second in the sort order.
//       The first string precedes the second in the sort order.
//       The first string follows the second in the sort order.

The following example demonstrates generic and non-generic versions of the CompareTo method for several value and reference types.

// This example demonstrates the two versions of the 
// CompareTo method for several base types.
// The general version takes a parameter of type Object, while the specific
// version takes a type-specific parameter, such as Boolean, Int32, or Double.
using namespace System;

void Show( String^ caption, Object^ var1, Object^ var2, int resultGeneric, int resultNonGeneric )
{
   String^ relation;
   Console::Write( caption );
   if ( resultGeneric == resultNonGeneric )
   {
      if ( resultGeneric < 0 )
            relation = "less than";
      else
      if ( resultGeneric > 0 )
            relation = "greater than";
      else
            relation = "equal to";
      Console::WriteLine( "{0} is {1} {2}", var1, relation, var2 );
   }
   // The following condition will never occur because the generic and non-generic
   // CompareTo methods are equivalent.
   else
   {
      Console::WriteLine( "Generic CompareTo = {0}; non-generic CompareTo = {1}", resultGeneric, resultNonGeneric );
   }
}

int main()
{
   String^ nl = Environment::NewLine;
   String^ msg = "{0}The following is the result of using the generic and non-generic{0}"
   "versions of the CompareTo method for several base types:{0}";
   Object^ obj; // An Object used to insure CompareTo(Object) is called.

   DateTime now = DateTime::Now;

   // Time span = 11 days, 22 hours, 33 minutes, 44 seconds
   TimeSpan tsX = TimeSpan(11,22,33,44);

   // Version = 1.2.333.4
   Version^ versX = gcnew Version(  "1.2.333.4" );

   // Guid = CA761232-ED42-11CE-BACD-00AA0057B223
   Guid guidX = Guid( "{CA761232-ED42-11CE-BACD-00AA0057B223}");
   Boolean a1 = true,a2 = true;
   Byte b1 = 1,b2 = 1;
   Int16 c1 = -2,c2 = 2;
   Int32 d1 = 3,d2 = 3;
   Int64 e1 = 4,e2 = -4;
   Decimal f1 = Decimal(-5.5), f2 = Decimal(5.5);
   Single g1 = 6.6f,g2 = 6.6f;
   Double h1 = 7.7,h2 = -7.7;
   Char i1 = 'A',i2 = 'A';
   String^ j1 = "abc", ^j2 = "abc";
   DateTime k1 = now,k2 = now;
   TimeSpan l1 = tsX,l2 = tsX;
   Version^ m1 = versX, ^m2 = gcnew Version(  "2.0" );
   Guid n1 = guidX,n2 = guidX;

   // The following types are not CLS-compliant.
   SByte w1 = 8,w2 = 8;
   UInt16 x1 = 9,x2 = 9;
   UInt32 y1 = 10,y2 = 10;
   UInt64 z1 = 11,z2 = 11;

   //
   Console::WriteLine( msg, nl );
   try
   {
      Show( "Boolean: ", a1, a2, a1.CompareTo( a2 ), a1.CompareTo( a2 ) );
      Show( "Byte:    ", b1, b2, b1.CompareTo( b2 ), b1.CompareTo( b2 ) );
      Show( "Int16:   ", c1, c2, c1.CompareTo( c2 ), c1.CompareTo( c2 ) );
      Show( "Int32:   ", d1, d2, d1.CompareTo( d2 ), d1.CompareTo( d2 ) );
      Show( "Int64:   ", e1, e2, e1.CompareTo( e2 ), e1.CompareTo( e2 ) );
      Show( "Decimal: ", f1, f2, f1.CompareTo( f2 ), f1.CompareTo( f2 ) );
      Show( "Single:  ", g1, g2, g1.CompareTo( g2 ), g1.CompareTo( g2 ) );
      Show( "Double:  ", h1, h2, h1.CompareTo( h2 ), h1.CompareTo( h2 ) );
      Show( "Char:    ", i1, i2, i1.CompareTo( i2 ), i1.CompareTo( i2 ) );

      // Use an anonymous object to hide the String object.
      obj = j2;
      Show( "String:  ", j1, j2, j1->CompareTo( j2 ), j1->CompareTo( obj ) );
      Show( "DateTime:", k1, k2, k1.CompareTo( k2 ), k1.CompareTo( k2 ) );
      Show(  "TimeSpan: ", l1, l2, l1.CompareTo( l2 ), l1.CompareTo( l2 ) );

      // Use an anonymous object to hide the Version object.
      obj = m2;
      Show(  "Version:  ", m1, m2, m1->CompareTo( m2 ), m1->CompareTo( obj ) );
      Show(  "Guid:     ", n1, n2, n1.CompareTo( n2 ), n1.CompareTo( n2 ) );

      //
      Console::WriteLine( "{0}The following types are not CLS-compliant:", nl );
      Show( "SByte:   ", w1, w2, w1.CompareTo( w2 ), w1.CompareTo( w2 ) );
      Show( "UInt16:  ", x1, x2, x1.CompareTo( x2 ), x1.CompareTo( x2 ) );
      Show( "UInt32:  ", y1, y2, y1.CompareTo( y2 ), y1.CompareTo( y2 ) );
      Show( "UInt64:  ", z1, z2, z1.CompareTo( z2 ), z1.CompareTo( z2 ) );
   }
   catch ( Exception^ e ) 
   {
      Console::WriteLine( e );
   }

}
//     This example displays the following output:
//     
//     The following is the result of using the generic and non-generic versions of the
//     CompareTo method for several base types:
//     
//     Boolean:  True is equal to True
//     Byte:     1 is equal to 1
//     Int16:    -2 is less than 2
//     Int32:    3 is equal to 3
//     Int64:    4 is greater than -4
//     Decimal:  -5.5 is less than 5.5
//     Single:   6.6 is equal to 6.6
//     Double:   7.7 is greater than -7.7
//     Char:     A is equal to A
//     String:   abc is equal to abc
//     DateTime: 12/1/2003 5:37:46 PM is equal to 12/1/2003 5:37:46 PM
//     TimeSpan: 11.22:33:44 is equal to 11.22:33:44
//     Version:  1.2.333.4 is less than 2.0
//     Guid:     ca761232-ed42-11ce-bacd-00aa0057b223 is equal to ca761232-ed42-11ce-bacd-00
//     aa0057b223
//     
//     The following types are not CLS-compliant:
//     SByte:    8 is equal to 8
//     UInt16:   9 is equal to 9
//     UInt32:   10 is equal to 10
//     UInt64:   11 is equal to 11

Universal Windows Platform
Available since 4.5
.NET Framework
Available since 1.1
Portable Class Library
Supported in: portable .NET platforms
Silverlight
Available since 2.0
Windows Phone Silverlight
Available since 7.0
Windows Phone
Available since 8.1
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