Encoding::GetCharCount Method (array<Byte>^, Int32, Int32)


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When overridden in a derived class, calculates the number of characters produced by decoding a sequence of bytes from the specified byte array.

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

virtual int GetCharCount(
	array<unsigned char>^ bytes,
	int index,
	int count
) abstract


Type: array<System::Byte>^

The byte array containing the sequence of bytes to decode.

Type: System::Int32

The index of the first byte to decode.

Type: System::Int32

The number of bytes to decode.

Return Value

Type: System::Int32

The number of characters produced by decoding the specified sequence of bytes.

Exception Condition

bytes is null.


index or count is less than zero.


index and count do not denote a valid range in bytes.


A fallback occurred (see Character Encoding in the .NET Framework for complete explanation)


DecoderFallback is set to DecoderExceptionFallback.

To calculate the exact array size required by GetChars to store the resulting characters, you should use the GetCharCount method. To calculate the maximum array size, use the GetMaxCharCount method. The GetCharCount method generally allows allocation of less memory, while the GetMaxCharCount method generally executes faster.

The GetCharCount method determines how many characters result in decoding a sequence of bytes, and the GetChars method performs the actual decoding. The GetChars method expects discrete conversions, in contrast to the Decoder::GetChars method, which handles multiple passes on a single input stream.

Several versions of GetCharCount and GetChars are supported. The following are some programming considerations for use of these methods:

  • Your app might need to decode multiple input bytes from a code page and process the bytes using multiple calls. In this case, you probably need to maintain state between calls.

  • If your app handles string outputs, it is recommended to use the GetString method. Since this method must check string length and allocate a buffer, it is slightly slower, but the resulting String type is to be preferred.

  • The byte version of GetChars(Byte*, Int32, Char*, Int32) allows some fast techniques, particularly with multiple calls to large buffers. Bear in mind, however, that this method version is sometimes unsafe, since pointers are required.

  • If your app must convert a large amount of data, it should reuse the output buffer. In this case, the GetChars(array<Byte>^, Int32, Int32, array<Char>^, Int32) version that supports output character buffers is the best choice.

  • Consider using the Decoder::Convert method instead of GetCharCount. The conversion method converts as much data as possible and throws an exception if the output buffer is too small. For continuous decoding of a stream, this method is often the best choice.

The following example converts a string from one encoding to another.

using namespace System;
using namespace System::Text;

int main()
   String^ unicodeString = "This string contains the unicode character Pi (\u03a0)";

   // Create two different encodings.
   Encoding^ ascii = Encoding::ASCII;
   Encoding^ unicode = Encoding::Unicode;

   // Convert the string into a byte array.
   array<Byte>^unicodeBytes = unicode->GetBytes( unicodeString );

   // Perform the conversion from one encoding to the other.
   array<Byte>^asciiBytes = Encoding::Convert( unicode, ascii, unicodeBytes );

   // Convert the new Byte into[] a char and[] then into a string.
   array<Char>^asciiChars = gcnew array<Char>(ascii->GetCharCount( asciiBytes, 0, asciiBytes->Length ));
   ascii->GetChars( asciiBytes, 0, asciiBytes->Length, asciiChars, 0 );
   String^ asciiString = gcnew String( asciiChars );

   // Display the strings created before and after the conversion.
   Console::WriteLine( "Original String*: {0}", unicodeString );
   Console::WriteLine( "Ascii converted String*: {0}", asciiString );
// The example displays the following output:
//    Original string: This string contains the unicode character Pi (Π)
//    Ascii converted string: This string contains the unicode character Pi (?)

The following example encodes a string into an array of bytes, and then decodes a range of the bytes into an array of characters.

using namespace System;
using namespace System::Text;
void PrintCountsAndChars( array<Byte>^bytes, int index, int count, Encoding^ enc );
int main()

   // Create two instances of UTF32Encoding: one with little-endian byte order and one with big-endian byte order.
   Encoding^ u32LE = Encoding::GetEncoding( "utf-32" );
   Encoding^ u32BE = Encoding::GetEncoding( "utf-32BE" );

   // Use a string containing the following characters:
   //    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)
   String^ myStr = "za\u0306\u01FD\u03B2";

   // Encode the string using the big-endian byte order.
   array<Byte>^barrBE = gcnew array<Byte>(u32BE->GetByteCount( myStr ));
   u32BE->GetBytes( myStr, 0, myStr->Length, barrBE, 0 );

   // Encode the string using the little-endian byte order.
   array<Byte>^barrLE = gcnew array<Byte>(u32LE->GetByteCount( myStr ));
   u32LE->GetBytes( myStr, 0, myStr->Length, barrLE, 0 );

   // Get the char counts, decode eight bytes starting at index 0,
   // and print out the counts and the resulting bytes.
   Console::Write( "BE array with BE encoding : " );
   PrintCountsAndChars( barrBE, 0, 8, u32BE );
   Console::Write( "LE array with LE encoding : " );
   PrintCountsAndChars( barrLE, 0, 8, u32LE );

void PrintCountsAndChars( array<Byte>^bytes, int index, int count, Encoding^ enc )

   // Display the name of the encoding used.
   Console::Write( "{0,-25} :", enc );

   // Display the exact character count.
   int iCC = enc->GetCharCount( bytes, index, count );
   Console::Write( " {0,-3}", iCC );

   // Display the maximum character count.
   int iMCC = enc->GetMaxCharCount( count );
   Console::Write( " {0,-3} :", iMCC );

   // Decode the bytes and display the characters.
   array<Char>^chars = enc->GetChars( bytes, index, count );

   // The following is an alternative way to decode the bytes:
   // Char[] chars = new Char[iCC];
   // enc->GetChars( bytes, index, count, chars, 0 );
   Console::WriteLine( chars );

This code produces the following output.  The question marks take the place of characters that cannot be displayed at the console.

BE array with BE encoding : System.Text.UTF32Encoding : 2   6   :za
LE array with LE encoding : System.Text.UTF32Encoding : 2   6   :za


Universal Windows Platform
Available since 8
.NET Framework
Available since 1.1
Portable Class Library
Supported in: portable .NET platforms
Available since 2.0
Windows Phone Silverlight
Available since 7.0
Windows Phone
Available since 8.1
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