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Event Handling With C#

C#'s event handling mechanisms are powerful and don't have to be complicated. In this article Deepak introduces us to the concepts of delegates, event handlers and GUI event handling using C#.

Author Info:
By: Deepak Dutta
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 30
July 23, 2002
  1. · Event Handling With C#
  2. · Delegates in C#
  3. · Event Handlers in C#
  4. · GUI Event Handling
  5. · Conclusion

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Event Handling With C# - Delegates in C#
(Page 2 of 5 )

A delegate in C# allows you to pass methods of one class to objects of other classes that can call those methods. You can pass method m in Class A, wrapped in a delegate, to class B and Class B will be able to call method m in class A. You can pass both static and instance methods.

This concept is familiar to C++ developers who have used function pointers to pass functions as parameters to other methods in the same class or in another class. The concept of a delegate was introduced in Visual J++, and then carried over to C#. C# delegates are implemented in the .Net framework as a class derived from System.Delegate. The use of a delegate involves four steps:
  1. Declare a delegate object with a signature that exactly matches the method signature that you are trying to encapsulate.
  2. Define all the methods whose signatures match the signature of the delegate object that you have defined in step 1.
  3. Create a delegate object and plug-in the methods that you want to encapsulate.
  4. Call the encapsulated methods through the delegate object.
The following C# code shows the above four steps implemented using one delegate and four classes. Your implementation will vary depending on the design of your classes:

using System;

//Step 1. Declare a delegate with the signature of the encapsulated method
public delegate void MyDelegate(string input);

//Step 2. Define methods that match with the signature of delegate declaration
class MyClass1{
public void delegateMethod1(string input){
Console.WriteLine("This is delegateMethod1 and the input to the method is {0}",input);
public void delegateMethod2(string input){
Console.WriteLine("This is delegateMethod2 and the input to the method is {0}",input);

//Step 3. Create delegate object and plug in the methods
class MyClass2{
public MyDelegate createDelegate(){
MyClass1 c2=new MyClass1();
MyDelegate d1 = new MyDelegate(c2.delegateMethod1);
MyDelegate d2 = new MyDelegate(c2.delegateMethod2);
MyDelegate d3 = d1 + d2;
return d3;

//Step 4. Call the encapsulated methods through the delegate
class MyClass3{
public void callDelegate(MyDelegate d,string input){

class Driver{
static void Main(string[] args){
MyClass2 c2 = new MyClass2();
MyDelegate d = c2.createDelegate();
MyClass3 c3 = new MyClass3();
c3.callDelegate(d,"Calling the delegate");

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