How to get all Description Attributes of an Enum using C# or VB.NET

To get all Description Attributes of an Enum using C# or VB.NET you can use the snippet below.

Sample C# – Class

public class DescriptionAttributes<T>
    {
        protected List<DescriptionAttribute> Attributes = new List<DescriptionAttribute>();
        public List<string> Descriptions { get; set; }

        public DescriptionAttributes()
        {
            RetrieveAttributes();
            Descriptions = Attributes.Select(x => x.Description).ToList();
        }

        private void RetrieveAttributes()
        {
            foreach (var attribute in typeof(T).GetMembers().SelectMany(member => member.GetCustomAttributes(typeof(DescriptionAttribute), true).Cast<DescriptionAttribute>()))
            {
                Attributes.Add(attribute);
            }
        }
    }

Usage C#

class Program
    {
        public enum TestEnum
        {
            [Description("An apple a day keeps the doctor away")]
            Apple=0,
            [Description("Yummie Strawberry")]
            Strawberry=1,
            [Description("Banana for scale")]
            Banana=2
        }

        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            var descriptions = new DescriptionAttributes<TestEnum>().Descriptions.ToList();
            foreach (var description in descriptions)
            {
                Console.WriteLine(description);
            }
            Console.Read();
        }
    }

Sample VB.NET – Class

Public Class DescriptionAttributes(Of T)
	Protected Attributes As New List(Of DescriptionAttribute)()
	Public Property Descriptions() As List(Of String)
		Get
			Return m_Descriptions
		End Get
		Set
			m_Descriptions = Value
		End Set
	End Property
	Private m_Descriptions As List(Of String)

	Public Sub New()
		RetrieveAttributes()
		Descriptions = Attributes.[Select](Function(x) x.Description).ToList()
	End Sub

	Private Sub RetrieveAttributes()
		For Each attribute As var In GetType(T).GetMembers().SelectMany(Function(member) member.GetCustomAttributes(GetType(DescriptionAttribute), True).Cast(Of DescriptionAttribute)())
			Attributes.Add(attribute)
		Next
	End Sub
End Class

Usage VB.NET

Class Program
	Public Enum TestEnum
		<Description("An apple a day keeps the doctor away")> _
		Apple = 0
		<Description("Yummie Strawberry")> _
		Strawberry = 1
		<Description("Banana for scale")> _
		Banana = 2
	End Enum

	Private Shared Sub Main(args As String())
		Dim descriptions = New DescriptionAttributes(Of TestEnum)().Descriptions.ToList()
		For Each description As var In descriptions
			Console.WriteLine(description)
		Next
		Console.Read()
	End Sub
End Class

Result / Output

Enum Descriptions

Enum Descriptions

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