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Posted 19 Feb 2013


, 19 Feb 2013 CPOL
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Tired of casts when parsing enums? Do you need a faster alternative to Enum.Parse? So, try this.

Today I saw an enum parser generator, and I even posted that a single generic class could do the job. But, as that message was lost, I decided to post this trick.

It is a very simple class to Parse enums. It has the advantage that the Parse is already typed to the right enum type and also that it is faster than the normal Enum.Parse.

The entire code is here:

using System;
using System.Collections.Generic;

public static class EnumParser<T>
  private static readonly Dictionary<string, T> _dictionary = new Dictionary<string, T>();

  static EnumParser()
    if (!typeof(T).IsEnum)
      throw new NotSupportedException("Type " + typeof(T).FullName + " is not an enum.");

    string[] names = Enum.GetNames(typeof(T));
    T[] values = (T[])Enum.GetValues(typeof(T));

    int count = names.Length;
    for(int i=0; i<count; i++)
      _dictionary.Add(names[i], values[i]);

  public static bool TryParse(string name, out T value)
    return _dictionary.TryGetValue(name, out value);

  public static T Parse(string name)
    return _dictionary[name];

And to use it, you only need to call:


Notes: It does not have locks but it is thread safe, as after the creation the dictionary is only read (and it supports multiple readers). It does not support enum [Flags] (ok, a single value is supported, but values separated by comma aren't). It also does not support the ignoreCase mode. It is always case sensitive.


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


About the Author

Paulo Zemek
Engineer YouTube
United States United States
I started to program computers when I was 11 years old, as a hobbyist, programming in AMOS Basic and Blitz Basic for Amiga.
At 12 I had my first try with assembler, but it was too difficult at the time. Then, in the same year, I learned C and, after learning C, I was finally able to learn assembler (for Motorola 680x0).
Not sure, but probably between 12 and 13, I started to learn C++. I always programmed "in an object oriented way", but using function pointers instead of virtual methods.

At 15 I started to learn Pascal at school and to use Delphi. At 16 I started my first internship (using Delphi). At 18 I started to work professionally using C++ and since then I've developed my programming skills as a professional developer in C++ and C#, generally creating libraries that help other developers do their work easier, faster and with less errors.

Want more info or simply want to contact me?
Take a look at:
Or e-mail me at:

Codeproject MVP 2012, 2015 & 2016
Microsoft MVP 2013-2014 (now I work at Microsoft so I can't be a Microsoft MVP anymore)

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Comments and Discussions

Questionsimpler Pin
Matthew Dennis19-Feb-13 17:08
adminMatthew Dennis19-Feb-13 17:08 
AnswerRe: simpler Pin
Paulo Zemek20-Feb-13 3:31
memberPaulo Zemek20-Feb-13 3:31 
GeneralRe: simpler Pin
Jeff Lindholm25-Feb-13 4:34
memberJeff Lindholm25-Feb-13 4:34 
GeneralRe: simpler Pin
Paulo Zemek25-Feb-13 6:31
memberPaulo Zemek25-Feb-13 6:31 
GeneralRe: simpler Pin
Jeff Lindholm25-Feb-13 7:44
memberJeff Lindholm25-Feb-13 7:44 
GeneralRe: simpler Pin
Paulo Zemek25-Feb-13 8:29
memberPaulo Zemek25-Feb-13 8:29 

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