What is Public Methods or Public Keyword in C#?


Access modifiers play a crucial role in object-oriented programming languages like C#. They dictate the accessibility of classes, methods, properties, and other members within a program. Among these modifiers, the 'public' keyword holds significant importance, as it grants unrestricted access to the designated member from anywhere in the program. In this article, we delve into the concept of public methods in C#, exploring their significance, usage, and best practices.

Access Modifiers in C#

Before delving into the specifics of public methods, let's briefly review the concept of access modifiers in C#. Access modifiers are keywords that define the scope or visibility of types and type members in a C# program. These modifiers control how other parts of the program can interact with the members they modify.

C# provides several access modifiers, including 'public', 'private', 'protected', 'internal', 'protected internal', and 'private protected'. Each of these modifiers has its own rules regarding accessibility, determining whether a member can be accessed from within the same class, derived classes, the same assembly, or any assembly.

Understanding Public Keyword

The public keyword is an access modifier for types and type members. Public access is the most permissive access level. There are no restrictions on accessing public members, as in this example:

class SampleClass
    public int x; // No access restrictions.

Understanding Public Methods

A public method in C# is a method declared with the 'public' access modifier. When a method is marked as public, it means that it is accessible from outside the class in which it is defined. This accessibility allows other classes, objects, or components within the same assembly or even in different assemblies to call and use that method.

public class MyClass
    // This is a public method
    public void MyPublicMethod()
        Console.WriteLine("This is a public method.");

In the above example, the MyPublicMethod() is declared as public. As a result, it can be invoked from any other class within the same assembly or a different assembly. This flexibility enables developers to create reusable and modular code by exposing specific functionalities through public methods.

Importance of Public Methods

Public methods serve as the entry points or interfaces to a class, encapsulating its behavior and exposing only the necessary functionalities to external code. By carefully designing public methods, developers can establish clear and intuitive APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) for their classes, making it easier for other developers to understand and utilize their components.

  1. Encapsulation and Abstraction: Public methods encapsulate the internal logic of a class, abstracting away the implementation details and exposing only the essential features. This promotes information hiding and reduces the complexity of using the class, as external code interacts with it through a well-defined interface.
  2. Modularity and Reusability: Public methods facilitate modularity by allowing classes to interact with each other in a decoupled manner. By exposing specific functionalities through public methods, developers can create reusable components that can be easily integrated into different parts of the application.
  3. Interoperability: Public methods enable interoperability between different modules, libraries, or components within a software system. By exposing certain functionalities publicly, developers can establish communication channels between disparate parts of the application, promoting collaboration and code reuse.
  4. Testing and Debugging: Public methods play a crucial role in unit testing and debugging. Since they represent the external interface of a class, they are the primary targets for testing and validation. By testing public methods, developers can verify the correctness and behavior of the class under different scenarios, ensuring its reliability and robustness.

Best Practices for Using Public Methods

While public methods offer numerous benefits, it's essential to follow certain best practices to ensure their effectiveness and maintainability:

  1. Limit Exposure: Expose only the necessary functionalities through public methods, keeping the interface simple and focused. Avoid exposing internal details or implementation-specific logic, as it may tightly couple the class with its consumers and hinder future modifications.
  2. Follow Naming Conventions: Use meaningful and descriptive names for public methods, adhering to the naming conventions specified by the C# language guidelines. Clear and intuitive method names enhance code readability and make it easier for developers to understand the purpose of each method.
  3. Document APIs: Provide comprehensive documentation for public methods, including summaries, parameter descriptions, return types, and example usage. Proper documentation helps developers understand how to use the methods correctly and promotes better code comprehension and maintenance.
  4. Ensure Compatibility and Stability: Consider the compatibility and stability implications of public methods when designing APIs. Avoid making frequent changes to public method signatures or behaviors, as it may break existing code and disrupt the workflow of other developers using the class.
  5. Protect Invariants: Ensure that public methods preserve the invariants and constraints of the class, maintaining its integrity and consistency. Validate input parameters, handle edge cases gracefully, and provide meaningful error messages to guide users in correct usage.


Public methods play a crucial role in C# programming, serving as the primary means of interaction between classes, modules, and components. By exposing specific functionalities through public methods, developers can create reusable, modular, and interoperable code that is easy to understand, maintain, and extend. Understanding the principles of public methods and following best practices for their usage empowers developers to design robust and scalable software systems in C#.

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