Convert Enum to List<> using C# or VB.NET

A user recently asked me how to convert an Enum to a List<>. Here’s the code to do so:

C#

class Program
{
enum Days { Sat, Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri };

static void Main(string[] args)
{
Array arr = Enum.GetValues(typeof(Days));
List<string> lstDays = new List<string>(arr.Length);
for (int i = 0; i < arr.Length; i++)
{
lstDays.Add(arr.GetValue(i).ToString());
}
}
}

VB.NET

Friend Class Program
Private Enum Days
Sat
Sun
Mon
Tue
Wed
Thu
Fri
End Enum

Shared Sub
Main(ByVal args() As String)
Dim arr As Array = System.Enum.GetValues(GetType(Days))
Dim lstDays As New List(Of String)(arr.Length)
For i As Integer = 0 To arr.Length - 1
lstDays.Add(arr.GetValue(i).ToString())
Next i
End Sub
End Class
Additionally you can also add a check to evaluate if arr.GetValue(i) is not null before adding it to the List<>

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About The Author

Suprotim Agarwal
Suprotim Agarwal, ASP.NET Architecture MVP (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional) works as an Architect Consultant and provides consultancy on how to design and develop Web applications.

Suprotim is also the founder and primary contributor to DevCurry, DotNetCurry and SQLServerCurry. He is the Editor of a Developer Magazine called DNC Magazine. He has also written two EBooks 51 Recipes using jQuery with ASP.NET Controls. and The Absolutely Awesome jQuery CookBook

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3 comments:

Harley Pebley said...

Just curious: any reason not to use Enum.GetNames?

(It returns a string array. I suppose if you need a list, you can use Linq's ToList() method.)

Cheers.

Suprotim Agarwal said...

If I am not wrong, Enum.GetNames() accepts an enumeration type as a parameter

Harley Pebley said...

Exactly. Can't the whole main routine could be reduced to:

var lstDays = Enum.GetNames(typeof(Days));

with the same result?