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Posted 14 Mar 2002

An INI file handling class using C#

, 14 Mar 2002
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A C# class that exposes the INI file handling functions from Kernal32.dll
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I created a C# class Ini which exposes 2 functions from KERNEL32.dll. These functions are: WritePrivateProfileString and


Namespaces you will need: System.Runtime.InteropServices and System.Text

The Class

using System;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
using System.Text;

namespace Ini
    /// <summary>
    /// Create a New INI file to store or load data
    /// </summary>
    public class IniFile
        public string path;

        private static extern long WritePrivateProfileString(string section,
            string key,string val,string filePath);
        private static extern int GetPrivateProfileString(string section,
                 string key,string def, StringBuilder retVal,
            int size,string filePath);

        /// <summary>
        /// INIFile Constructor.
        /// </summary>
        /// <PARAM name="INIPath"></PARAM>
        public IniFile(string INIPath)
            path = INIPath;
        /// <summary>
        /// Write Data to the INI File
        /// </summary>
        /// <PARAM name="Section"></PARAM>
        /// Section name
        /// <PARAM name="Key"></PARAM>
        /// Key Name
        /// <PARAM name="Value"></PARAM>
        /// Value Name
        public void IniWriteValue(string Section,string Key,string Value)
        /// <summary>
        /// Read Data Value From the Ini File
        /// </summary>
        /// <PARAM name="Section"></PARAM>
        /// <PARAM name="Key"></PARAM>
        /// <PARAM name="Path"></PARAM>
        /// <returns></returns>
        public string IniReadValue(string Section,string Key)
            StringBuilder temp = new StringBuilder(255);
            int i = GetPrivateProfileString(Section,Key,"",temp, 
                                            255, this.path);
            return temp.ToString();


Using the class

Steps to use the Ini class:

  1. In your project namespace definition add 
    using INI;
  2. Create a INIFile like this
    INIFile ini = new INIFile("C:\\test.ini");
  3. Use IniWriteValue to write a new value to a specific key in a section or use IniReadValue to read a value FROM a key in a specific Section.

That's all. It's very easy in C# to include API functions in your class(es).


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Web Developer
Canada Canada
No Biography provided

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Comments and Discussions

Generalsuggestion to add some more methods to this class. Pin
hugoandrioli@yahoo.com28-Dec-10 0:15
memberhugoandrioli@yahoo.com28-Dec-10 0:15 
GeneralRe: suggestion to add some more methods to this class. Pin
md5sum5-Jan-11 9:28
membermd5sum5-Jan-11 9:28 
GeneralRe: suggestion to add some more methods to this class. Pin
(^-^)h~ugo5-Jan-11 11:45
member(^-^)h~ugo5-Jan-11 11:45 
GeneralRe: suggestion to add some more methods to this class. [modified] Pin
md5sum5-Jan-11 12:02
membermd5sum5-Jan-11 12:02 
I suppose if you need that much granularity in your error reporting, then it would be necessary to report it that way. However, I would probably instead change:
throw new IniFileException("Tried to retrieve invalid value type from ini.");

throw new IniFileException(string.Format("Tried to retrieve invalid value type from ini. Tried to convert \"{0}\" to int.", s));

in order to introduce the same level of reporting the cause of the error without the granularity of exception types generated through the alternate, multiple catch method. I can't imagine an instance where I would need (for myself or my users) to have more than a single exception generated from this block of code. In general though, if you absolutely want to keep the InnerException and specifically NOT use a TryParse, I would limit it to simply:
    i = Convert.ToInt32(s);
catch (Exception ex)
    throw new IniFileException("Tried to retrieve invalid value type from ini.", ex);

and add the following constructor back to the IniFileException class:
public IniFileException(string Message, Exception ex)
    : base(Message, ex)

This will keep your granularity in exception types, rethrowing the wrapped exception with an appropriate InnerException. I just can't imagine why you would want that in this particular case.
modified on Friday, January 7, 2011 2:38 PM

GeneralRe: suggestion to add some more methods to this class. Pin
tttony076-Mar-11 15:48
membertttony076-Mar-11 15:48 
GeneralRe: suggestion to add some more methods to this class. Pin
Member 922029317-Feb-14 8:55
memberMember 922029317-Feb-14 8:55 

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