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How to: Read Text from a File

The following code examples show how to read text from a text file. The second example notifies you when the end of the file is detected. This functionality can also be achieved by using the ReadAllLines or ReadAllText methods.

using System;
using System.IO;

class Test 
{
    public static void Main() 
    {
        try 
        {
            // Create an instance of StreamReader to read from a file.
            // The using statement also closes the StreamReader.
            using (StreamReader sr = new StreamReader("TestFile.txt")) 
            {
                String line;
                // Read and display lines from the file until the end of 
                // the file is reached.
                while ((line = sr.ReadLine()) != null) 
                {
                    Console.WriteLine(line);
                }
            }
        }
        catch (Exception e) 
        {
            // Let the user know what went wrong.
            Console.WriteLine("The file could not be read:");
            Console.WriteLine(e.Message);
        }
    }
}
using System;
using System.IO;
public class TextFromFile 
{
    private const string FILE_NAME = "MyFile.txt";
    public static void Main(String[] args) 
    {
        if (!File.Exists(FILE_NAME)) 
        {
            Console.WriteLine("{0} does not exist.", FILE_NAME);
            return;
        }
        using (StreamReader sr = File.OpenText(FILE_NAME))
        {
            String input;
            while ((input=sr.ReadLine())!=null) 
            {
                Console.WriteLine(input);
            }
            Console.WriteLine ("The end of the stream has been reached.");
        }
    }

This code creates a StreamReader that points to MyFile.txt through a call to File.OpenText. StreamReader.ReadLine returns each line as a string. When there are no more characters to read, a message is displayed to that effect, and the stream is closed.

NoteNote:

Visual Basic users may choose to use the methods and properties provided by the My.Computer.FileSystem object for file I/O. For more information, see My.Computer.FileSystem Object.

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