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TextElementEnumerator Class

Updated: May 2010

Enumerates the text elements of a string.

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

public class TextElementEnumerator : IEnumerator

The .NET Framework defines a text element as a unit of text that is displayed as a single character, that is, a grapheme. A text element can be a base character, a surrogate pair, or a combining character sequence. The Unicode Standard defines a surrogate pair as a coded character representation for a single abstract character that consists of a sequence of two code units, where the first unit of the pair is a high surrogate and the second is a low surrogate. The Unicode Standard defines a combining character sequence as a combination of a base character and one or more combining characters. A surrogate pair can represent a base character or a combining character. For more information on surrogate pairs and combining character sequences, see The Unicode Standard at

Text element enumerators are intended to be used only to read data in the string. Enumerators cannot be used to modify the underlying string.

The enumerator does not have exclusive access to the string.

When an enumerator is created, it takes a snapshot of the current state of the string. Two enumerators created from the same string at the same time can have different snapshots of the string.

The enumerator is in an invalid state if it is positioned before the first text element in the string or after the last text element in the string. Whenever the enumerator is in an invalid state, calling Current throws an exception.

Initially, the enumerator is positioned before the first text element in the string. Reset also brings the enumerator back to this position. Therefore, after an enumerator is created or after a Reset is called, MoveNext must be called to advance the enumerator to the first text element of the string before reading the value of Current.

Current returns the same object until either MoveNext or Reset is called.

After the end of the string is passed, the enumerator is again in an invalid state and calling MoveNext returns false. Calling Current throws an exception if the last call to MoveNext returned false.

The following code example shows the values returned by TextElementEnumerator.

using System;
using System.Globalization;

public class SamplesTextElementEnumerator  {

   public static void Main()  {

      // Creates and initializes a String containing the following: 
      //   - a surrogate pair (high surrogate U+D800 and low surrogate U+DC00) 
      //   - a combining character sequence (the Latin small letter "a" followed by the combining grave accent)
      //   - a base character (the ligature "")
      String myString = "\uD800\uDC00\u0061\u0300\u00C6";

      // Creates and initializes a TextElementEnumerator for myString.
      TextElementEnumerator myTEE = StringInfo.GetTextElementEnumerator( myString );

      // Displays the values returned by ElementIndex, Current and GetTextElement. 
      // Current and GetTextElement return a string containing the entire text element. 
      Console.WriteLine( "Index\tCurrent\tGetTextElement" );
      while (myTEE.MoveNext())  {
         Console.WriteLine( "[{0}]:\t{1}\t{2}", myTEE.ElementIndex, myTEE.Current, myTEE.GetTextElement() );



This code produces the following output.  The question marks take the place of high and low surrogates.

Index   Current GetTextElement
[0]:    ??      ??
[2]:    a`      a`
[4]:    Æ       Æ



Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

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




May 2010

Removed exception information.

Content bug fix.