Multiline String Literal in C#



Answers

It's called a verbatim string literal in C#, and it's just a matter of putting @ before the literal. Not only does this allow multiple lines, but it also turns off escaping. So for example you can do:

string query = @"SELECT foo, bar
FROM table
WHERE name = 'a\b'";

The only bit of escaping is that if you want a double quote, you have to add an extra double quote symbol:

string quote = @"Jon said, ""This will work,"" - and it did!";
Question

Is there an easy way to create a multiline string literal in C#?

Here's what I have now:

string query = "SELECT foo, bar"
+ " FROM table"
+ " WHERE id = 42";

I know PHP has

<<<BLOCK

BLOCK;

Does C# have something similar?




Why do people keep confusing strings with string literals? The accepted answer is a great answer to a different question; not to this one.

I know this is an old topic, but I came here with possibly the same question as the OP, and it is frustrating to see how people keep misreading it. Or maybe I am misreading it, I don't know.

Roughly speaking, a string is a region of computer memory that, during the execution of a program, contains a sequence of bytes that can be mapped to text characters. A string literal, on the other hand, is a piece of source code, not yet compiled, that represents the value used to initialize a string later on, during the execution of the program in which it appears.

In C#, the statement...

 string query = "SELECT foo, bar"
 + " FROM table"
 + " WHERE id = 42";

... does not produce a three-line string but a one liner; the concatenation of three strings (each initialized from a different literal) none of which contains a new-line modifier.

What the OP seems to be asking -at least what I would be asking with those words- is not how to introduce, in the compiled string, line breaks that mimick those found in the source code, but how to break up for clarity a long, single line of text in the source code without introducing breaks in the compiled string. And without requiring an extended execution time, spent joining the multiple substrings coming from the source code. Like the trailing backslashes within a multiline string literal in javascript or C++.

Suggesting the use of verbatim strings, nevermind StringBuilders, String.Joins or even nested functions with string reversals and what not, makes me think that people are not really understanding the question. Or maybe I do not understand it.

As far as I know, C# does not (at least in the paleolithic version I am still using, from the previous decade) have a feature to cleanly produce multiline string literals that can be resolved during compilation rather than execution.

Maybe current versions do support it, but I thought I'd share the difference I perceive between strings and string literals.




The problem with using string literal I find is that it can make your code look a bit "weird" because in order to not get spaces in the string itself, it has to be completely left aligned:

    var someString = @"The
quick
brown
fox...";

Yuck.

So the solution I like to use, which keeps everything nicely aligned with the rest of your code is:

var someString = String.Join(
    Environment.NewLine,
    "The",
    "quick",
    "brown",
    "fox...");

And of course, if you just want to logically split up lines of an SQL statement like you are and don't actually need a new line, you can always just substitute Environment.NewLine for " ".




If you don't want spaces/newlines, string addition seems to work:

var myString = String.Format(
  "hello " + 
  "world" +
  " i am {0}" +
  " and I like {1}.",
  animalType,
  animalPreferenceType
);
// hello world i am a pony and I like other ponies.

You can run the above here if you like.




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