String Type in C Sharp

by Dinesh 2012-07-22 20:27:07

The string Type in C#

A string is a sequence of text characters. You typically create a string with a string literal, enclosed in quotes: "This is an example of a string." You've seen strings being used in Lesson 1, where we used the Console.WriteLine method to send output to the console.

Some characters aren't printable, but you still need to use them in strings. Therefore, C# has a special syntax where characters can be escaped to represent non-printable characters. For example, it is common to use newlines in text, which is represented by the '\n' char. The backslash, '\', represents the escape. When preceded by the escape character, the 'n' is no longer interpreted as an alphabetical character, but now represents a newline.

You may be now wondering how you could represent a backslash character in your code. We have to escape that too by typing two backslashes, as in '\\'.


Escape Sequence Meaning
\' Single Quote
\" Double Quote
\\ Backslash
\0 Null, not the same as the C# null value
\a Bell
\b Backspace
\f form Feed
\n Newline
\r Carriage Return
\t Horizontal Tab
\v Vertical Tab

Another useful feature of C# strings is the verbatim literal, which is a string with a @ symbol prefix, as in @"Some string". Verbatim literals make escape sequences translate as normal characters to enhance readability. To appreciate the value of verbatim literals, consider a path statement such as "c:\\topdir\\subdir\\subdir\\myapp.exe". As you can see, the backslashes are escaped, causing the string to be less readable. You can improve the string with a verbatim literal, like this: @"c:\topdir\subdir\subdir\myapp.exe".

That is fine, but now you have the problem where quoting text is not as easy. In that case, you would specify double double quotes. For example, the string "copy \"c:\\source file name with spaces.txt\" c:\\newfilename.txt" would be written as the verbatim literal @"copy ""c:\source file name with spaces.txt"" c:\newfilename.txt".

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