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Encoding.UTF8 Property

Updated: October 2010

Gets an encoding for the UTF-8 format.

Namespace:  System.Text
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

public static Encoding UTF8 { get; }

Property Value

Type: System.Text.Encoding
An encoding for the UTF-8 format.

This property returns a UTF8Encoding object that encodes Unicode characters into a sequence of one to four bytes per character, and that decodes a UTF-8-encoded byte array to Unicode characters. For information about the character encodings supported by the .NET Framework and a discussion of which Unicode encoding to use, see Understanding Encodings.

The UTF8Encoding object that is returned by this property may not have the appropriate behavior for your application. It uses replacement fallback to replace each string that it cannot encode and each byte that it cannot decode with a question mark ("?") character. Instead, you can call the UTF8Encoding.UTF8Encoding(Boolean, Boolean) constructor to instantiate a UTF8Encoding object whose fallback is either an EncoderFallbackException or a DecoderFallbackException, as the following example illustrates.

using System;
using System.Text;

public class Example
{
   public static void Main()
   {
      Encoding enc = new UTF8Encoding(true, true);
      string value = "\u00C4 \uD802\u0033 \u00AE"; 

      try {
         byte[] bytes= enc.GetBytes(value);
         foreach (var byt in bytes)
            Console.Write("{0:X2} ", byt);
         Console.WriteLine();

         string value2 = enc.GetString(bytes);
         Console.WriteLine(value2);
      }
      catch (EncoderFallbackException e) {
         Console.WriteLine("Unable to encode {0} at index {1}", 
                           e.IsUnknownSurrogate() ? 
                              String.Format("U+{0:X4} U+{1:X4}", 
                                            Convert.ToUInt16(e.CharUnknownHigh),
                                            Convert.ToUInt16(e.CharUnknownLow)) :
                              String.Format("U+{0:X4}", 
                                            Convert.ToUInt16(e.CharUnknown)),
                           e.Index);
      }                     
   }
}
// The example displays the following output: 
//        Unable to encode U+D802 at index 2

The following example determines the number of bytes required to encode a character array, encodes the characters, and displays the resulting bytes.

using System;
using System.Text;

public class SamplesEncoding  {

   public static void Main()  {

      // The characters to encode: 
      //    Latin Small Letter Z (U+007A) 
      //    Latin Small Letter A (U+0061) 
      //    Combining Breve (U+0306) 
      //    Latin Small Letter AE With Acute (U+01FD) 
      //    Greek Small Letter Beta (U+03B2) 
      //    a high-surrogate value (U+D8FF) 
      //    a low-surrogate value (U+DCFF) 
      char[] myChars = new char[] { 'z', 'a', '\u0306', '\u01FD', '\u03B2', '\uD8FF', '\uDCFF' };

      // Get different encodings.
      Encoding  u7    = Encoding.UTF7;
      Encoding  u8    = Encoding.UTF8;
      Encoding  u16LE = Encoding.Unicode;
      Encoding  u16BE = Encoding.BigEndianUnicode;
      Encoding  u32   = Encoding.UTF32;

      // Encode the entire array, and print out the counts and the resulting bytes.
      PrintCountsAndBytes( myChars, u7 );
      PrintCountsAndBytes( myChars, u8 );
      PrintCountsAndBytes( myChars, u16LE );
      PrintCountsAndBytes( myChars, u16BE );
      PrintCountsAndBytes( myChars, u32 );

   }


   public static void PrintCountsAndBytes( char[] chars, Encoding enc )  {

      // Display the name of the encoding used.
      Console.Write( "{0,-30} :", enc.ToString() );

      // Display the exact byte count. 
      int iBC  = enc.GetByteCount( chars );
      Console.Write( " {0,-3}", iBC );

      // Display the maximum byte count. 
      int iMBC = enc.GetMaxByteCount( chars.Length );
      Console.Write( " {0,-3} :", iMBC );

      // Encode the array of chars.
      byte[] bytes = enc.GetBytes( chars );

      // Display all the encoded bytes.
      PrintHexBytes( bytes );

   }


   public static void PrintHexBytes( byte[] bytes )  {

      if (( bytes == null ) || ( bytes.Length == 0 ))
         Console.WriteLine( "<none>" );
      else  {
         for ( int i = 0; i < bytes.Length; i++ )
            Console.Write( "{0:X2} ", bytes[i] );
         Console.WriteLine();
      }

   }

}


/* 
This code produces the following output.

System.Text.UTF7Encoding       : 18  23  :7A 61 2B 41 77 59 42 2F 51 4F 79 32 50 2F 63 2F 77 2D
System.Text.UTF8Encoding       : 12  24  :7A 61 CC 86 C7 BD CE B2 F1 8F B3 BF
System.Text.UnicodeEncoding    : 14  16  :7A 00 61 00 06 03 FD 01 B2 03 FF D8 FF DC
System.Text.UnicodeEncoding    : 14  16  :00 7A 00 61 03 06 01 FD 03 B2 D8 FF DC FF
System.Text.UTF32Encoding      : 24  32  :7A 00 00 00 61 00 00 00 06 03 00 00 FD 01 00 00 B2 03 00 00 FF FC 04 00

*/

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Xbox 360, Zune

The .NET Framework and .NET Compact Framework do not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0, 1.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0

Date

History

Reason

October 2010

Noted replacement fallback behavior.

Customer feedback.

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