File.ReadAllText Method (String, Encoding)

Opens a file, reads all lines of the file with the specified encoding, and then closes the file.

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

public static string ReadAllText(
	string path,
	Encoding encoding
)

Parameters

path
Type: System.String

The file to open for reading.

encoding
Type: System.Text.Encoding

The encoding applied to the contents of the file.

Return Value

Type: System.String
A string containing all lines of the file.

ExceptionCondition
ArgumentException

path is a zero-length string, contains only white space, or contains one or more invalid characters as defined by InvalidPathChars.

ArgumentNullException

path is null.

PathTooLongException

The specified path, file name, or both exceed the system-defined maximum length. For example, on Windows-based platforms, paths must be less than 248 characters, and file names must be less than 260 characters.

DirectoryNotFoundException

The specified path is invalid (for example, it is on an unmapped drive).

IOException

An I/O error occurred while opening the file.

UnauthorizedAccessException

path specified a file that is read-only.

-or-

This operation is not supported on the current platform.

-or-

path specified a directory.

-or-

The caller does not have the required permission.

FileNotFoundException

The file specified in path was not found.

NotSupportedException

path is in an invalid format.

SecurityException

The caller does not have the required permission.

This method opens a file, reads each line of the file, and then adds each line as an element of a string. It then closes the file. A line is defined as a sequence of characters followed by a carriage return ('\r'), a line feed ('\n'), or a carriage return immediately followed by a line feed. The resulting string does not contain the terminating carriage return and/or line feed.

This method attempts to automatically detect the encoding of a file based on the presence of byte order marks. Encoding formats UTF-8 and UTF-32 (both big-endian and little-endian) can be detected.

The file handle is guaranteed to be closed by this method, even if exceptions are raised.

To use the encoding settings as configured for your operating system, specify the Encoding.Default property for the encoding parameter.

The following code example demonstrates the use of the ReadAllText method to display the contents of a file. In this example a file is created, if it doesn't already exist, and text is added to it.

using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Text;

class Test
{
    public static void Main()
    {
        string path = @"c:\temp\MyTest.txt";

        // This text is added only once to the file. 
        if (!File.Exists(path))
        {
            // Create a file to write to. 
            string createText = "Hello and Welcome" + Environment.NewLine;
            File.WriteAllText(path, createText, Encoding.UTF8);
        }

        // This text is always added, making the file longer over time 
        // if it is not deleted. 
        string appendText = "This is extra text" + Environment.NewLine;
        File.AppendAllText(path, appendText, Encoding.UTF8);

        // Open the file to read from. 
        string readText = File.ReadAllText(path);
        Console.WriteLine(readText);
    }
}

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.5.2, 4.5.1, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core Role not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core Role supported with SP1 or later; Itanium not supported)

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

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