[c#] Getting attributes of Enum's value



8 Answers

This piece of code should give you a nice little extension method on any enum that lets you retrieve a generic attribute. I believe it's different to the lambda function above because it's simpler to use and slightly - you only need to pass in the generic type.

public static class EnumHelper
{
    /// <summary>
    /// Gets an attribute on an enum field value
    /// </summary>
    /// <typeparam name="T">The type of the attribute you want to retrieve</typeparam>
    /// <param name="enumVal">The enum value</param>
    /// <returns>The attribute of type T that exists on the enum value</returns>
    /// <example>string desc = myEnumVariable.GetAttributeOfType<DescriptionAttribute>().Description;</example>
    public static T GetAttributeOfType<T>(this Enum enumVal) where T:System.Attribute
    {
        var type = enumVal.GetType();
        var memInfo = type.GetMember(enumVal.ToString());
        var attributes = memInfo[0].GetCustomAttributes(typeof(T), false);
        return (attributes.Length > 0) ? (T)attributes[0] : null;
    }
}
Question

I would like to know if it is possible to get attributes of the enum values and not of the enum itself? For example, suppose I have the following enum:

using System.ComponentModel; // for DescriptionAttribute

enum FunkyAttributesEnum
{
    [Description("Name With Spaces1")]
    NameWithoutSpaces1,    
    [Description("Name With Spaces2")]
    NameWithoutSpaces2
}

What I want is given the enum type, produce 2-tuples of enum string value and its description.

Value was easy:

Array values = System.Enum.GetValues(typeof(FunkyAttributesEnum));
foreach (int value in values)
    Tuple.Value = Enum.GetName(typeof(FunkyAttributesEnum), value);

But how do I get description attribute's value, to populate Tuple.Desc? I can think of how to do it if the Attribute belongs to the enum itself, but I am at a loss as to how to get it from the value of the enum.




Get the dictionary from enum.

public static IDictionary<string, int> ToDictionary(this Type enumType)
{
    return Enum.GetValues(enumType)
    .Cast<object>()
    .ToDictionary(v => ((Enum)v).ToEnumDescription(), k => (int)k); 
}

Now call this like...

var dic = typeof(ActivityType).ToDictionary();

EnumDecription Ext Method

public static string ToEnumDescription(this Enum en) //ext method
{
    Type type = en.GetType();
    MemberInfo[] memInfo = type.GetMember(en.ToString());
    if (memInfo != null && memInfo.Length > 0)
    {
        object[] attrs = memInfo[0].GetCustomAttributes(typeof(DescriptionAttribute), false);
        if (attrs != null && attrs.Length > 0)
            return ((DescriptionAttribute)attrs[0]).Description;
    }
    return en.ToString();
}

public enum ActivityType
{
    [Description("Drip Plan Email")]
    DripPlanEmail = 1,
    [Description("Modification")]
    Modification = 2,
    [Description("View")]
    View = 3,
    [Description("E-Alert Sent")]
    EAlertSent = 4,
    [Description("E-Alert View")]
    EAlertView = 5
}



And if you want the full list of names you can do something like

typeof (PharmacyConfigurationKeys).GetFields()
        .Where(x => x.GetCustomAttributes(false).Any(y => typeof(DescriptionAttribute) == y.GetType()))
        .Select(x => ((DescriptionAttribute)x.GetCustomAttributes(false)[0]).Description);



Taking advantage of some of the newer C# language features, you can reduce the line count:

public static TAttribute GetEnumAttribute<TAttribute>(this Enum enumVal) where TAttribute : Attribute
{
    var memberInfo = enumVal.GetType().GetMember(enumVal.ToString());
    return memberInfo[0].GetCustomAttributes(typeof(TAttribute), false).OfType<TAttribute>().FirstOrDefault();
}

public static string GetEnumDescription(this Enum enumValue) => enumValue.GetEnumAttribute<DescriptionAttribute>()?.Description ?? enumValue.ToString();



I've merged a couple of the answers here to create a little more extensible solution. I'm providing it just in case it's helpful to anyone else in the future. Original posting here.

using System;
using System.ComponentModel;

public static class EnumExtensions {

    // This extension method is broken out so you can use a similar pattern with 
    // other MetaData elements in the future. This is your base method for each.
    public static T GetAttribute<T>(this Enum value) where T : Attribute {
        var type = value.GetType();
        var memberInfo = type.GetMember(value.ToString());
        var attributes = memberInfo[0].GetCustomAttributes(typeof(T), false);
        return (T)attributes[0];
    }

    // This method creates a specific call to the above method, requesting the
    // Description MetaData attribute.
    public static string ToName(this Enum value) {
        var attribute = value.GetAttribute<DescriptionAttribute>();
        return attribute == null ? value.ToString() : attribute.Description;
    }

}

This solution creates a pair of extension methods on Enum. The first allows you to use reflection to retrieve any attribute associated with your value. The second specifically calls retrieves the DescriptionAttribute and returns it's Description value.

As an example, consider using the DescriptionAttribute attribute from System.ComponentModel

using System.ComponentModel;

public enum Days {
    [Description("Sunday")]
    Sun,
    [Description("Monday")]
    Mon,
    [Description("Tuesday")]
    Tue,
    [Description("Wednesday")]
    Wed,
    [Description("Thursday")]
    Thu,
    [Description("Friday")]
    Fri,
    [Description("Saturday")]
    Sat
}

To use the above extension method, you would now simply call the following:

Console.WriteLine(Days.Mon.ToName());

or

var day = Days.Mon;
Console.WriteLine(day.ToName());



Here's the .NET Core version of AdamCrawford's answer, using System.Reflection.TypeExtensions;

public static class EnumHelper
{
    /// <summary>
    /// Gets an attribute on an enum field value
    /// </summary>
    /// <typeparam name="T">The type of the attribute you want to retrieve</typeparam>
    /// <param name="enumVal">The enum value</param>
    /// <returns>The attribute of type T that exists on the enum value</returns>
    /// <example>string desc = myEnumVariable.GetAttributeOfType<DescriptionAttribute>().Description;</example>
    public static T GetAttributeOfType<T>(this Enum enumVal) where T : System.Attribute
    {
        var type = enumVal.GetType();
        var memInfo = type.GetMember(enumVal.ToString());
        IEnumerable<Attribute> attributes = memInfo[0].GetCustomAttributes(typeof(T), false);
        return (T)attributes?.ToArray()[0];
    }
}



    public enum DataFilters
    {
        [Display(Name= "Equals")]
        Equals = 1,// Display Name and Enum Name are same 
        [Display(Name= "Does Not Equal")]
        DoesNotEqual = 2, // Display Name and Enum Name are different             
    }

Now it will produce error in this case 1 "Equals"

public static string GetDisplayName(this Enum enumValue)
    {
        var enumMember = enumValue.GetType().GetMember(enumValue.ToString()).First();
        return enumMember.GetCustomAttribute<DisplayAttribute>() != null ? enumMember.GetCustomAttribute<DisplayAttribute>().Name : enumMember.Name;
    }

so if it is same return enum name rather than display name because enumMember.GetCustomAttribute() gets null if displayname and enum name are same.....




Fluent one liner...

Here I'm using the DisplayAttribute which contains both the Name and Description properties.

public static DisplayAttribute GetDisplayAttributesFrom(this Enum enumValue, Type enumType)
{
    return enumType.GetMember(enumValue.ToString())
                   .First()
                   .GetCustomAttribute<DisplayAttribute>();
}

Example

public enum ModesOfTransport
{
    [Display(Name = "Driving",    Description = "Driving a car")]        Land,
    [Display(Name = "Flying",     Description = "Flying on a plane")]    Air,
    [Display(Name = "Sea cruise", Description = "Cruising on a dinghy")] Sea
}

void Main()
{
    ModesOfTransport TransportMode = ModesOfTransport.Sea;
    DisplayAttribute metadata = TransportMode.GetDisplayAttributesFrom(typeof(ModesOfTransport));
    Console.WriteLine("Name: {0} \nDescription: {1}", metadata.Name, metadata.Description);
}

Output

Name: Sea cruise 
Description: Cruising on a dinghy



Alternatively, you could do the following:

Dictionary<FunkyAttributesEnum, string> description = new Dictionary<FunkyAttributesEnum, string>()
    {
      { FunkyAttributesEnum.NameWithoutSpaces1, "Name With Spaces1" },
      { FunkyAttributesEnum.NameWithoutSpaces2, "Name With Spaces2" },
    };

And get the description with the following:

string s = description[FunkyAttributesEnum.NameWithoutSpaces1];

In my opinion this is a more efficient way of doing what you want to accomplish, as no reflection is needed..






Related