Property Overrides and Redeclarations

A property declaration that doesn't specify a type is called a property override. Property overrides allow you to change a property's inherited visibility or specifiers. The simplest override consists only of the reserved word property followed by an inherited property identifier; this form is used to change a property's visibility. For example, if an ancestor class declares a property as protected, a derived class can redeclare it in a public or published section of the class. Property overrides can include read, write, stored, default, and nodefault directives; any such directive overrides the corresponding inherited directive. An override can replace an inherited access specifier, add a missing specifier, or increase a property's visibility, but it cannot remove an access specifier or decrease a property's visibility. An override can include an implements directive, which adds to the list of implemented interfaces without removing inherited ones.

The following declarations illustrate the use of property overrides.


TAncestor = class protected property Size: Integer read FSize;

property Text: string read GetText write SetText;

property Color: TColor read FColor write SetColor stored False;

end; type

TDerived = class(TAncestor)

protected property Size write SetSize; published property Text;

property Color stored True default clBlue;


The override of Size adds a write specifier to allow the property to be modified. The overrides of Text and Color change the visibility of the properties from protected to published. The property override of Color also specifies that the property should be filed if its value isn't clBlue.

A redeclaration of a property that includes a type identifier hides the inherited property rather than overriding it. This means that a new property is created with the same name as the inherited one. Any property declaration that specifies a type must be a complete declaration, and must therefore include at least one access specifier.

Whether a property is hidden or overridden in a derived class, property look-up is always static. That is, the declared (compile-time) type of the variable used to identify an object determines the interpretation of its property identifiers. Hence, after the following code executes, reading or assigning a value to MyObject.Value invokes Methodl or Method2, even though MyObject holds an instance of TDescendant. But you can cast MyObject to TDescendant to access the descendant class's properties and their access specifiers.


TAncestor = class property Value: Integer read Methodl write Method2; end;

TDescendant = class(TAncestor)

property Value: Integer read Method3 write Method4; end;

var MyObject: TAncestor;

MyObject := TDescendant.Create;

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