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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

QuestionRead and write ini files in VB.Net Pin
Nasenbaaer5-Oct-11 4:46
memberNasenbaaer5-Oct-11 4:46 
My piece of code in VB.Net

 <Runtime.InteropServices.DllImport("kernel32.dll", CharSet:=Runtime.InteropServices.CharSet.Ansi, SetLastError:=True)> _
            Private Function WritePrivateProfileString(Section As String, Key As String, Value As String, FilePath As String) As Long
            End Function
            <Runtime.InteropServices.DllImport("kernel32.dll", CharSet:=Runtime.InteropServices.CharSet.Ansi, SetLastError:=True)> _
            Private Function GetPrivateProfileString(Section As String, Key As String, DefaultValue As String, Result As System.Text.StringBuilder, Size As Integer, FilePath As String) As Long
            End Function

            ''' <summary>
            ''' Modify or create an value in an ini file. 
            ''' </summary>
            ''' <param name="FilePath">Path of ini file for example: C\Mydirectory\file.ini</param>
            ''' <param name="Section">Keyword Parent</param>
            ''' <param name="Key">Keyword</param>
            ''' <param name="Value">Value to store</param>
            ''' <returns>True if successfully</returns>
            ''' <remarks>Timo Böhme,,,
            ''' IniFileModifyValue:
            ''' If the function successfully copies the string to the initialization file, the return value is nonzero.</remarks>
            Public Function IniFileModifyValue(ByVal FilePath As String, ByVal Section As String, ByVal Key As String, ByVal Value As String) As Boolean
                Dim ret As Long
                    ret = WritePrivateProfileString(Section, Key, Value, FilePath)
                    If ret = 0 Then Return False
                Catch ex As Exception
                    Return False
                End Try
                Return True
            End Function

            ''' <summary>
            ''' Read an existing value in an ini file. Returns the default value if file or key does not exist.
            ''' </summary>
            ''' <param name="FilePath">Path of ini file for example: C\Mydirectory\file.ini</param>
            ''' <param name="Section">Keyword Parent</param>
            ''' <param name="Key">Keyword</param>
            ''' <param name="DefaultValue">Value to store</param>
            ''' <returns>The value from ini file</returns>
            ''' <remarks>
            ''' GetPrivateProfileString 
            ''' The return value is the number of characters copied to the buffer, not including the terminating null character.</remarks>
            Public Function IniFileReadSingleValue(FilePath As String, Section As String, Key As String, DefaultValue As String) As String
                Dim ret As Long
                Dim res As String = DefaultValue
                Dim sb As New System.Text.StringBuilder(255)
                If IO.File.Exists(FilePath) = True Then

                    ret = GetPrivateProfileString(Section, Key, DefaultValue, sb, sb.Capacity, FilePath)
                    If ret > 0 Then
                        ret = Global.System.Math.Min(ret, sb.Capacity) 'important! because ret could be more than 255
                        ret = Global.System.Math.Min(ret, sb.Length) 'important! because buffer can be unused and less than 255
                        res = sb.ToString(0, ret)
                    End If
                End If
                Return res
            End Function

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