VB.NET Hashtable

The Hashtable represents a collection of key/value pairs organized based on the hash code of the key.

  • The HashTable stores a Key/Value pair type collection of data.
  • We can retrieve items from HashTable to provide the key.
  • Both key and value are Objects.

The following example shows how to create, initialize and perform various functions to a Hashtable and how to print out its keys and values.

Public Sub Example1()
    Dim openWith As Hashtable = New Hashtable()
    openWith.Add("txt", "notepad.exe")
    openWith.Add("bmp", "paint.exe")
    openWith.Add("dib", "paint.exe")
    openWith.Add("rtf", "wordpad.exe")

        openWith.Add("txt", "winword.exe")
        Console.WriteLine("An element with Key = ""txt"" already exists.")
    End Try

    Console.WriteLine("For key = ""rtf"", value = {0}.", openWith("rtf"))
    openWith("rtf") = "winword.exe"
    Console.WriteLine("For key = ""rtf"", value = {0}.", openWith("rtf"))
    openWith("doc") = "winword.exe"

    If Not openWith.ContainsKey("ht") Then
        openWith.Add("ht", "hypertrm.exe")
        Console.WriteLine("Value added for key = ""ht"": {0}", openWith("ht"))
    End If


    For Each de As DictionaryEntry In openWith
        Console.WriteLine("Key = {0}, Value = {1}", de.Key, de.Value)

    Dim valueColl As ICollection = openWith.Values

    For Each s As String In valueColl
        Console.WriteLine("Value = {0}", s)

    Dim keyColl As ICollection = openWith.Keys

    For Each s As String In keyColl
        Console.WriteLine("Key = {0}", s)

    Console.WriteLine(vbLf & "Remove(""doc"")")

    If Not openWith.ContainsKey("doc") Then
        Console.WriteLine("Key ""doc"" is not found.")
    End If
End Sub

Let's run the above code and you will see the following output.

An element with Key = "txt" already exists.
For key = "rtf", value = wordpad.exe.
For key = "rtf", value = winword.exe.
Value added for key = "ht": hypertrm.exe

Key = ht, Value = hypertrm.exe
Key = txt, Value = notepad.exe
Key = dib, Value = paint.exe
Key = rtf, Value = winword.exe
Key = doc, Value = winword.exe
Key = bmp, Value = paint.exe

Value = hypertrm.exe
Value = notepad.exe
Value = paint.exe
Value = winword.exe
Value = winword.exe
Value = paint.exe

Key = ht
Key = txt
Key = dib
Key = rtf
Key = doc
Key = bmp

Key "doc" is not found.

Each element is a key/value pair stored in a DictionaryEntry object. A key cannot be null, but a value can be.

  • The For Each returns an object of the type of the elements in the collection.
  • Since each element of the Hashtable is a key/value pair, the element type is not the type of the key or the type of the value.
  • Instead, the element type is DictionaryEntry.