MVC3 Razor DropDownListFor Enums

By | January 3, 2018
Questions:

Trying to get my project updated to MVC3, something I just can’t find:

I have a simple datatype of ENUMS:

public enum States()
{
  AL,AK,AZ,...WY
}

Which I want to use as a DropDown/SelectList in my view of a model that contains this datatype:

public class FormModel()
{
    public States State {get; set;}
}

Pretty straight forward: when I go to use the auto-generate view for this partial class, it ignores this type.

I need a simple select list that sets the value of the enum as the selected item when I hit submit and process via my AJAX – JSON POST Method.

And than the view (???!):

    <div class="editor-field">
        @Html.DropDownListFor(model => model.State, model => model.States)
    </div>

thanks in advance for the advice!

Answers:

I’ve just made one for my own project. The code below is part of my helper class, I hope that I got all methods needed. Write a comment if it doesn’t work, and I’ll check again.

public static class SelectExtensions
{

    public static string GetInputName<TModel, TProperty>(Expression<Func<TModel, TProperty>> expression)
    {
        if (expression.Body.NodeType == ExpressionType.Call)
        {
            MethodCallExpression methodCallExpression = (MethodCallExpression)expression.Body;
            string name = GetInputName(methodCallExpression);
            return name.Substring(expression.Parameters[0].Name.Length + 1);

        }
        return expression.Body.ToString().Substring(expression.Parameters[0].Name.Length + 1);
    }

    private static string GetInputName(MethodCallExpression expression)
    {
        // p => p.Foo.Bar().Baz.ToString() => p.Foo OR throw...
        MethodCallExpression methodCallExpression = expression.Object as MethodCallExpression;
        if (methodCallExpression != null)
        {
            return GetInputName(methodCallExpression);
        }
        return expression.Object.ToString();
    }

    public static MvcHtmlString EnumDropDownListFor<TModel, TProperty>(this HtmlHelper<TModel> htmlHelper, Expression<Func<TModel, TProperty>> expression) where TModel : class
    {
        string inputName = GetInputName(expression);
        var value = htmlHelper.ViewData.Model == null
            ? default(TProperty)
            : expression.Compile()(htmlHelper.ViewData.Model);

        return htmlHelper.DropDownList(inputName, ToSelectList(typeof(TProperty), value.ToString()));
    }

    public static SelectList ToSelectList(Type enumType, string selectedItem)
    {
        List<SelectListItem> items = new List<SelectListItem>();
        foreach (var item in Enum.GetValues(enumType))
        {
            FieldInfo fi = enumType.GetField(item.ToString());
            var attribute = fi.GetCustomAttributes(typeof(DescriptionAttribute), true).FirstOrDefault();
            var title = attribute == null ? item.ToString() : ((DescriptionAttribute)attribute).Description;
            var listItem = new SelectListItem
                {
                    Value = ((int)item).ToString(),
                    Text = title,
                    Selected = selectedItem == ((int)item).ToString()
                };
            items.Add(listItem);
        }

        return new SelectList(items, "Value", "Text", selectedItem);
    }
}

Use it as:

Html.EnumDropDownListFor(m => m.YourEnum);

Update

I’ve created alternative Html Helpers. All you need to do to use them is to change your baseviewpage in views\web.config.

With them you can just do:

@Html2.DropDownFor(m => m.YourEnum);
@Html2.CheckboxesFor(m => m.YourEnum);
@Html2.RadioButtonsFor(m => m.YourEnum);

More info here: http://blog.gauffin.org/2011/10/first-draft-of-my-alternative-html-helpers/

Questions:
Answers:

I found a way simpler solution for this here:
http://coding-in.net/asp-net-mvc-3-method-extension/

using System;
using System.Linq.Expressions;
using System.Web;
using System.Web.Mvc;
using System.Web.Mvc.Html;

namespace EnumHtmlHelper.Helper
{    
    public static class EnumDropDownList
    {
        public static HtmlString EnumDropDownListFor<TModel, TProperty>(this HtmlHelper<TModel> htmlHelper, Expression<Func<TModel, TProperty>> modelExpression, string firstElement)
        {
            var typeOfProperty = modelExpression.ReturnType;
            if(!typeOfProperty.IsEnum)
                throw new ArgumentException(string.Format("Type {0} is not an enum", typeOfProperty));     
            var enumValues = new SelectList(Enum.GetValues(typeOfProperty));
            return htmlHelper.DropDownListFor(modelExpression, enumValues, firstElement);
}   }   }

One line in razor will do it:

@Html.DropDownListFor(model => model.State, new SelectList(Enum.GetValues(typeof(MyNamespace.Enums.States))))

You can also find code for doing it with an extension method in the linked article.

Questions:
Answers:

As of ASP.NET MVC 5.1 (RC1), EnumDropDownListFor is included by default as an extension method of HtmlHelper.

Questions:
Answers:

If you want something really simple then there’s another way, depending on how you store the state in the database.

If you had an entity like this:

public class Address
{
     //other address fields

     //this is what the state gets stored as in the db
     public byte StateCode { get; set; }

     //this maps our db field to an enum
     public States State
     {
         get
         {
             return (States)StateCode;
         }
         set
         {
             StateCode = (byte)value;
         }
     }
}

Then generating the dropdown would be as easy as this:

@Html.DropDownListFor(x => x.StateCode,
    from State state in Enum.GetValues(typeof(States))
    select new SelectListItem() { Text = state.ToString(), Value = ((int)state).ToString() }
);

Isn’t LINQ pretty?

Questions:
Answers:

I was able to do this in a one liner.

@Html.DropDownListFor(m=>m.YourModelProperty,new SelectList(Enum.GetValues(typeof(YourEnumType))))

Questions:
Answers:

Based on the accepted answer by @jgauffin, I’ve created my own version of EnumDropDownListFor, which deals with the problem of selecting items.

The problem is detailed in another SO answer here:, and is basically down to a misunderstanding of the behaviour of the different overloads of DropDownList.

My full code (which includes overloads for htmlAttributes etc is:

public static class EnumDropDownListForHelper
{

    public static MvcHtmlString EnumDropDownListFor<TModel, TProperty>(
            this HtmlHelper<TModel> htmlHelper, 
            Expression<Func<TModel, TProperty>> expression
        ) where TModel : class
    {
        return EnumDropDownListFor<TModel, TProperty>(
                            htmlHelper, expression, null, null);
    }

    public static MvcHtmlString EnumDropDownListFor<TModel, TProperty>(
            this HtmlHelper<TModel> htmlHelper, 
            Expression<Func<TModel, TProperty>> expression, 
            object htmlAttributes
        ) where TModel : class
    {
        return EnumDropDownListFor<TModel, TProperty>(
                            htmlHelper, expression, null, htmlAttributes);
    }

    public static MvcHtmlString EnumDropDownListFor<TModel, TProperty>(
            this HtmlHelper<TModel> htmlHelper, 
            Expression<Func<TModel, TProperty>> expression, 
            IDictionary<string, object> htmlAttributes
        ) where TModel : class
    {
        return EnumDropDownListFor<TModel, TProperty>(
                            htmlHelper, expression, null, htmlAttributes);
    }

    public static MvcHtmlString EnumDropDownListFor<TModel, TProperty>(
            this HtmlHelper<TModel> htmlHelper, 
            Expression<Func<TModel, TProperty>> expression, 
            string optionLabel
        ) where TModel : class
    {
        return EnumDropDownListFor<TModel, TProperty>(
                            htmlHelper, expression, optionLabel, null);
    }

    public static MvcHtmlString EnumDropDownListFor<TModel, TProperty>(
            this HtmlHelper<TModel> htmlHelper, 
            Expression<Func<TModel, TProperty>> expression, 
            string optionLabel, 
            IDictionary<string,object> htmlAttributes
        ) where TModel : class
    {
        string inputName = GetInputName(expression);
        return htmlHelper.DropDownList(
                            inputName, ToSelectList(typeof(TProperty)), 
                            optionLabel, htmlAttributes);
    }

    public static MvcHtmlString EnumDropDownListFor<TModel, TProperty>(
            this HtmlHelper<TModel> htmlHelper, 
            Expression<Func<TModel, TProperty>> expression, 
            string optionLabel, 
            object htmlAttributes
        ) where TModel : class
    {
        string inputName = GetInputName(expression);
        return htmlHelper.DropDownList(
                            inputName, ToSelectList(typeof(TProperty)), 
                            optionLabel, htmlAttributes);
    }


    private static string GetInputName<TModel, TProperty>(
            Expression<Func<TModel, TProperty>> expression)
    {
        if (expression.Body.NodeType == ExpressionType.Call)
        {
            MethodCallExpression methodCallExpression 
                            = (MethodCallExpression)expression.Body;
            string name = GetInputName(methodCallExpression);
            return name.Substring(expression.Parameters[0].Name.Length + 1);

        }
        return expression.Body.ToString()
                    .Substring(expression.Parameters[0].Name.Length + 1);
    }

    private static string GetInputName(MethodCallExpression expression)
    {
        // p => p.Foo.Bar().Baz.ToString() => p.Foo OR throw...
        MethodCallExpression methodCallExpression 
                            = expression.Object as MethodCallExpression;
        if (methodCallExpression != null)
        {
            return GetInputName(methodCallExpression);
        }
        return expression.Object.ToString();
    }


    private static SelectList ToSelectList(Type enumType)
    {
        List<SelectListItem> items = new List<SelectListItem>();
        foreach (var item in Enum.GetValues(enumType))
        {
            FieldInfo fi = enumType.GetField(item.ToString());
            var attribute = fi.GetCustomAttributes(
                                       typeof(DescriptionAttribute), true)
                                  .FirstOrDefault();
            var title = attribute == null ? item.ToString() 
                              : ((DescriptionAttribute)attribute).Description;
            var listItem = new SelectListItem
            {
                Value = item.ToString(),
                Text = title,
            };
            items.Add(listItem);
        }

        return new SelectList(items, "Value", "Text");
    }
}

I’ve written this up on my blog here.

Questions:
Answers:

This would be helpful for selecting an int value from enum:
Here SpecType is an int field…
and enmSpecType is an enum.

@Html.DropDownList(
    "SpecType", 
     YourNameSpace.SelectExtensions.ToSelectList(typeof(NREticaret.Core.Enums.enmSpecType), 
     Model.SpecType.ToString()), "Tip Seçiniz", new 
     { 
         gtbfieldid = "33", 
         @class = "small" 
     })

Questions:
Answers:

I made the following change to the SelectList method to make it work a little better for me. Maybe it will be useful for others.

public static SelectList ToSelectList<T>(T selectedItem)
        {
            if (!typeof(T).IsEnum) throw new InvalidEnumArgumentException("The specified type is not an enum");

            var selectedItemName = Enum.GetName(typeof (T), selectedItem);
            var items = new List<SelectListItem>();
            foreach (var item in Enum.GetValues(typeof(T)))
            {
                var fi = typeof(T).GetField(item.ToString());
                var attribute = fi.GetCustomAttributes(typeof(DescriptionAttribute), true).FirstOrDefault();

                var enumName = Enum.GetName(typeof (T), item);
                var title = attribute == null ? enumName : ((DescriptionAttribute)attribute).Description;

                var listItem = new SelectListItem
                {
                    Value = enumName,
                    Text = title,
                    Selected = selectedItemName == enumName
                };
                items.Add(listItem);
            }

            return new SelectList(items, "Value", "Text");
        }

Questions:
Answers:
    public enum EnumStates
    {
        AL = 0,
        AK = 1,
        AZ = 2,
        WY = 3
    }


@Html.DropDownListFor(model => model.State, (from EnumStates e in Enum.GetValues(typeof(EnumStates))
                                                               select new SelectListItem { Value = ((int)e).ToString(), Text = e.ToString() }), "select", new { @style = "" })
                @Html.ValidationMessageFor(model => model.State)  //With select



//Or


@Html.DropDownListFor(model => model.State, (from EnumStates e in Enum.GetValues(typeof(EnumStates))
                                                               select new SelectListItem { Value = ((int)e).ToString(), Text = e.ToString() }), null, new { @style = "" })
                @Html.ValidationMessageFor(model => model.State)   //With out select

Questions:
Answers:

Same as Mike’s (which is buried between lengthy responses)

model.truckimagelocation is class instance property of the TruckImageLocation enumeration type

@Html.DropDownListFor(model=>model.truckimagelocation,Enum.GetNames(typeof(TruckImageLocation)).ToArray().Select(f=> new SelectListItem() {Text = f, Value = f, Selected = false}))

Questions:
Answers:

you can use enum in your model

your Enum

public enum States()
{
  AL,AK,AZ,...WY
}

make a model

public class enumclass
{
public States statesprop {get; set;}
}

in view

@Html.Dropdownlistfor(a=>a.statesprop)

Questions:
Answers:

The easiest answer in MVC5 is Define Enum:

public enum ReorderLevels {
          zero = 0,
            five = 5,
            ten = 10,
            fifteen = 15,
            twenty = 20,
            twenty_five = 25,
            thirty = 30
        }

Bind In View:

        <div class="form-group">
            <label>Reorder Level</label>
            @Html.EnumDropDownListFor(m => m.ReorderLevel, "Choose Me", new { @class = "form-control" })
        </div>

Questions:
Answers:

This is most generic code which will be used for all Enums.

public static class UtilitiesClass
{

    public static SelectList GetEnumType(Type enumType)
    {
        var value = from e in Enum.GetNames(enumType)
                    select new
                    {
                        ID = Convert.ToInt32(Enum.Parse(enumType, e, true)),
                        Name = e
                    };
        return new SelectList(value, "ID", "Name");
    }
}

Action Method

ViewBag.Enum= UtilitiesClass.GetEnumType(typeof (YourEnumType));

View.cshtml

 @Html.DropDownList("Type", (IEnumerable<SelectListItem>)ViewBag.Enum, new { @class = "form-control"})

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