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RichTextBox.LoadFile Method (String)

Loads a rich text format (RTF) or standard ASCII text file into the RichTextBox control.

Namespace:  System.Windows.Forms
Assembly:  System.Windows.Forms (in System.Windows.Forms.dll)

public void LoadFile(
	string path


Type: System.String
The name and location of the file to load into the control.


An error occurred while loading the file into the control.


The file being loaded is not an RTF document.

When loading a file with the LoadFile method, the contents of the file being loaded replace the entire contents of the RichTextBox control. This will cause the values of the Text and Rtf properties to change. You can use this method to load a previously created text or RTF document into the control for manipulation. If you want to save the file, you can use the SaveFile method.


With this version of the LoadFile method, if the file being loaded is not an RTF document, an exception will occur. To load a different type of file such as an ASCII text file, use the other versions of this method that accept a value from the RichTextBoxStreamType enumeration as a parameter.


The LoadFile method will not open a file until a handle is created for the RichTextBox. Ensure that the control's handle is created before calling the LoadFile method.

The following code example opens an RTF file into the RichTextBox control. The example uses the OpenFileDialog class to display a dialog to request the file from the user. The code then loads that file assuming that it is an RTF document file. If the file is not, the example code will throw an exception. This example requires that the code is placed in a Form class that has a RichTextBox control named richTextBox1.

public void LoadMyFile()
   // Create an OpenFileDialog to request a file to open.
   OpenFileDialog openFile1 = new OpenFileDialog();

   // Initialize the OpenFileDialog to look for RTF files.
   openFile1.DefaultExt = "*.rtf";
   openFile1.Filter = "RTF Files|*.rtf";

   // Determine whether the user selected a file from the OpenFileDialog.
   if(openFile1.ShowDialog() == System.Windows.Forms.DialogResult.OK &&
      openFile1.FileName.Length > 0) 
      // Load the contents of the file into the RichTextBox.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

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