Growing with the Web

Converting a type name into a readable string

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Ever wanted to print a type name as text that the would be suitable for users? For example, converting the type name "SomeTypeName" to "Some type name". I’ve come up with a pretty nice method to convert type names in to nice strings.

The algorithm loops through each character in the string and determines whether to place the character as lower case or upper case and whether to insert a space based on the casing of the character and those surrounding it.

Examples

  • “TypeName” → “Type name”
  • “ABCTypeName” → “ABC type name”
  • “TypeABCName” → “Type ABC name”
  • “IMakeStuff” → “I make stuff”

Code

Here is an extension method on string that takes a type name in the above format and outputs a nicer string.

public static string TypeNameToString(this string text)
{
    var builder = new StringBuilder();
    var typeName = text;
    int index = -1;

    while (++index < typeName.Length)
    {
        char nextChar = typeName[index];
        if (char.IsUpper(nextChar) && index != 0)
        {
            if (char.IsLower(typeName[index - 1]))
            {
                if (typeName.Length > index + 1 &&
                    char.IsLower(typeName[index + 1]))
                {
                   nextChar = char.ToLower(nextChar);
                }
                builder.Append(' ');
            }
            else if (typeName.Length > index + 1 &&
                     char.IsLower(typeName[index + 1]))
            {
                builder.Append(' ');
                nextChar = char.ToLower(nextChar);
            }
        }
        builder.Append(nextChar);
    }

    return builder.ToString();
}

The above can also be combined with a generic enum and Type extension method for more convenient enum value and Type name conversion.

public static string ToNiceString<TEnum>(this TEnum val)
    where TEnum : struct, IConvertible, IComparable, IFormattable
{
    if (!typeof(TEnum).IsEnum)
    {
        throw new ArgumentException("TEnum must be an enum.");
    }

    return Enum.GetName(typeof(TEnum), val).TypeNameToString();
}

public static string ToNiceString(this Type type)
{
    return type.Name.TypeNameToString();
}

The code is also up on GitHub.

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