What does an @ before the start of a string literal mean?

What does an @ before the start of a string literal mean?

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A string literal such as @"c:\Foo" is called a verbatim string literal. It basically means, "don't apply any interpretations to characters until the next quote character is reached". So, a verbatim string literal can contain backslashes (without them being doubled-up) and even line separators. To get a double-quote (") within a verbatim literal, you need to just double it, e.g. @"My name is ""Jon""" represents the string My name is "Jon". Verbatim string literals which contain line separators will also contain the white-space at the start of the line, so I tend not to use them in cases where the white-space matters. They're very handy for including XML or SQL in your source code though, and another typical use (which doesn't need line separators) is for specifying a file system path.

It's worth noting that it doesn't affect the string itself in any way: a string specified as a verbatim string literal is exactly the same as a string specified as a normal string literal with appropriate escaping. The debugger will sometimes choose to display a string as a verbatim string literal - this is solely for ease of viewing the string's contents without worrying about escaping.

[Author: Jon Skeet]

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