# How to: Declare Enumerations (Visual Basic)

You create an enumeration with the Enum statement in the declarations section of a class or module. You cannot declare an enumeration within a method. To specify the appropriate level of access, use Private, Protected, Friend, or Public.

An Enum type has a name, an underlying type, and a set of fields, each representing a constant. The name must be a valid Visual Basic .NET qualifier. The underlying type must be one of the integer types—Byte, Short, Long or Integer. Integer is the default. Enumerations are always strongly typed and are not interchangeable with integer number types.

Enumerations cannot have floating-point values. If an enumeration is assigned a floating-point value with Option Strict On, a compiler error results. If Option Strict is Off, the value is automatically converted to the Enum type.

For information on names, and how to use the Imports statement to make name qualification unnecessary, see Enumerations and Name Qualification.

### To declare an enumeration

1. Write a declaration that includes a code access level, the Enum keyword, and a valid name, as in the following examples, each of which declares a different Enum.

Private Enum SampleEnum
SampleMember
End Enum
Public Enum SampleEnum2
SampleMember
End Enum
Protected Enum SampleEnum3
SampleMember
End Enum
Friend Enum SampleEnum4
SampleMember
End Enum
Protected Friend Enum SampleEnum5
SampleMember
End Enum

2. Define the constants in the enumeration. By default, the first constant in an enumeration is initialized to 0, and subsequent constants are initialized to a value of one more than the previous constant. For example, the following enumeration, Days, contains a constant named Sunday with the value 0, a constant named Monday with the value 1, a constant named Tuesday with the value of 2, and so on.

Public Enum Days
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
End Enum

3. You can explicitly assign values to constants in an enumeration by using an assignment statement. You can assign any integer value, including negative numbers. For example, you may want constants with values less than zero to represent error conditions. In the following enumeration, the constant Invalid is explicitly assigned the value –1, and the constant Sunday is assigned the value 0. Because it is the first constant in the enumeration, Saturday is also initialized to the value 0. The value of Monday is 1 (one more than the value of Sunday); the value of Tuesday is 2, and so on.

Public Enum WorkDays
Saturday
Sunday = 0
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Invalid = -1
End Enum


### To declare an enumeration as an explicit type

• Specify the type of the enum by using the As clause, as shown in the following example.

Public Enum MyEnum As Byte
Zero
One
Two
End Enum