#491 – Use Debug.WriteLine to Output Debug Information

You could use the DEBUG constant to conditionally include code in your program that outputs some debug information.  This can get unwieldy, given that you need #if/#endif directives surrounding every line that outputs some debug information.

A cleaner way to output debug information only for Debug builds is to use the Debug.WriteLine method.  (Debug is defined in the System.Diagnostics namespace).

Below is an example of a method that outputs some debug information.

        public void Bark()
            Debug.WriteLine("DEBUG INFO: Entering Dog.Bark() [{0}]", Name);

            Console.WriteLine("{0} says woof", Name);

            Debug.WriteLine("DEBUG INFO: Exiting Dog.Bark() [{0}]", Name);

To get this debugging output to go to a console window, you also need to define a listener that will direct the output of the Debug class to the console output window.

Debug.Listeners.Add(new TextWriterTraceListener(Console.Out));

You’ll also need to include a using statement that references the System.Diagnostics namespace.