# When to Use an Enumeration (Visual Basic)

Enumerations offer an easy way to work with sets of related constants. An enumeration, or Enum, is a symbolic name for a set of values. Enumerations are treated as data types, and you can use them to create sets of constants for use with variables and properties.

## When to Use an Enumeration

Whenever a procedure accepts a limited set of variables, consider using an enumeration. Enumerations make for clearer and more readable code, particularly when meaningful names are used.

The benefits of using enumerations include:

• Reduces errors caused by transposing or mistyping numbers.

• Makes it easy to change values in the future.

• Makes code easier to read, which means it is less likely that errors will creep into it.

• Ensures forward compatibility. With enumerations, your code is less likely to fail if in the future someone changes the values corresponding to the member names.

## Naming Enumerations

Use a naming convention for enumeration members. When Visual Basic encounters an enumeration member name, an exception may be thrown if other referenced type libraries contain the same name. Use a unique prefix that identifies the values from your application or component.

When referring to a member of an enumeration, you must qualify the member name with the enumeration name or else use the Imports statement. For more information, see Enumerations and Name Qualification.

## Predefined Enumerations

Visual Basic provides a number of predefined enumerations, such as FirstDayOfWeek and MsgBoxResult, to facilitate your code. For a list of these see Constants and Enumerations.