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Referenced Description Attribute

, 6 May 2008
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An article on how to call an existing description in the designer

Introduction

This attribute shows the existing description of another control and a specific property instead of writing the same text again.

Background

The .NET Framework contains many descriptions that are shown in designer. I didn't want to write the same text again for another control.

Using the Code

Add the source file to a specific assembly, e.g. FrameworkExtensions.dll, and add a reference to this assembly.

Use the ReferencedDescriptionAttribute at the top of your control's class calling the referenced type and the specific property.

Example: You developed a DataGridViewMaskedTextColumn with your own property Mask. You want the description to match the description of MaskedTextBox's property Mask. Then you define:

[ReferencedDescription(typeof(System.Windows.Forms.MaskedTextBox), "Mask")]

How It Works

The ReferencedDescriptionAttribute class is derived from the DescriptionAttribute class. The only constructor needs two arguments:

  1. The referenced type
  2. The referenced property
using System;
using System.ComponentModel;

public class ReferencedDescriptionAttribute : DescriptionAttribute
{
  public ReferencedDescriptionAttribute(Type referencedType, string propertyName)
  {
    //  default result string
    string result = "Referenced description not available";
  }
} 

First, we get the properties of the referenced type. If they exist, we get the PropertyDescriptor to the specific property.

    PropertyDescriptorCollection properties
            = TypeDescriptor.GetProperties(referencedType);

    if (properties != null) {
      PropertyDescriptor property = properties[propertyName];
      if (property != null) {

Next, we get all the attributes to the property. The DescriptionAttribute is always available with an empty string by default. If it's not empty, we use this description as reference:

        AttributeCollection attributes = property.Attributes;
        DescriptionAttribute descript
          = (DescriptionAttribute)attributes[typeof(DescriptionAttribute)];

        // register the referenced description
        if (!String.IsNullOrEmpty(descript.Description))
          result = descript.Description;
      }
    }
    DescriptionValue = result;

That's all.

History

  • 05/03/2008 First version

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

About the Author

J.Thomas

Germany Germany
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

 
GeneralWell Done PinmemberYildirim Kocdag11-May-08 20:36 

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