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<Custom string formatting in .Net ⁄ >

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Recently, while working on a project, I came across the need to format the phone number supplied as string in the standard U.S. phone format(i.e. 1234567890 should be displayed as (123) 456-7890. The phone number was being fetched as a string from the database. I personally feel, that a better option to operate on strings is to save them in a formatted manner i.e. the way you wish to display them, but this is not always possible.

So how do you custom format the strings in .Net? You got it - you use IFormatProvider. IFormatProvider is an interface that provides you an option to format the value as per your requirements. The sole member contained in this interface is GetFormat(). To provide the custom formatting, you need to make a class that implements IFormatProvider. Apart from this, your class must also implement ICustomFormatter. This is the interface that actually handles the custom logic of formatting the supplied value. ICustomFormatter contains a single method named Format() which accepts the format in which value should be formatted, the value that is to be formatted and an instance of IFormatProvider(i.e your custom class that implements IFormatProvider).

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