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Encoding.GetByteCount Method (Char(), Int32, Int32)

When overridden in a derived class, calculates the number of bytes produced by encoding a set of characters from the specified character array.

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

Public MustOverride Function GetByteCount ( _
	chars As Char(), _
	index As Integer, _
	count As Integer _
) As Integer


Type: System.Char()
The character array containing the set of characters to encode.
Type: System.Int32
The index of the first character to encode.
Type: System.Int32
The number of characters to encode.

Return Value

Type: System.Int32
The number of bytes produced by encoding the specified characters.


chars is Nothing.


index or count is less than zero.


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


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


EncoderFallback is set to EncoderExceptionFallback.

To calculate the exact array size required by GetBytes to store the resulting bytes, the application should use GetByteCount. To calculate the maximum array size, the application should use GetMaxByteCount. The GetByteCount method generally allows allocation of less memory, while the GetMaxByteCount method generally executes faster.

The GetByteCount method determines how many bytes result in encoding a set of Unicode characters, and the GetBytes method performs the actual encoding. The GetBytes method expects discrete conversions, in contrast to the Encoder.GetBytes method, which handles multiple conversions on a single input stream.

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

  • The application might need to encode many input characters to a code page and process the characters using multiple calls. In this case, your application probably needs to maintain state between calls, taking into account the state that is persisted by the Encoder object being used.

  • If the application handles string inputs, the string version of GetBytes is recommended.

  • The Unicode character buffer version of GetBytes allows some fast techniques, particularly with multiple calls using the Encoder object or inserting into existing buffers. Bear in mind, however, that this method version is sometimes unsafe, since pointers are required.

  • If your application must convert a large amount of data, it should reuse the output buffer. In this case, the GetBytes version that supports byte arrays is the best choice.

  • Consider using the Encoder.Convert method instead of GetByteCount. The conversion method converts as much data as possible, and does throw an exception if the output buffer is too small. For continuous encoding of a stream, this method is often the best choice.

The following example determines the number of bytes required to encode three characters from a character array, encodes the characters, and displays the resulting bytes.

Imports System
Imports System.Text
Imports Microsoft.VisualBasic

Public Class SamplesEncoding   

   Public Shared Sub Main()

      ' The characters to encode:
      '    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)
      '    a high-surrogate value (U+D8FF)
      '    a low-surrogate value (U+DCFF)
      Dim myChars() As Char = {"z"c, "a"c, ChrW(&H0306), ChrW(&H01FD), ChrW(&H03B2), ChrW(&HD8FF), ChrW(&HDCFF) }

      ' Get different encodings.
      Dim u7 As Encoding = Encoding.UTF7
      Dim u8 As Encoding = Encoding.UTF8
      Dim u16LE As Encoding = Encoding.Unicode
      Dim u16BE As Encoding = Encoding.BigEndianUnicode
      Dim u32 As Encoding = Encoding.UTF32

      ' Encode three characters starting at index 4, and print out the counts and the resulting bytes.
      PrintCountsAndBytes(myChars, 4, 3, u7)
      PrintCountsAndBytes(myChars, 4, 3, u8)
      PrintCountsAndBytes(myChars, 4, 3, u16LE)
      PrintCountsAndBytes(myChars, 4, 3, u16BE)
      PrintCountsAndBytes(myChars, 4, 3, u32)

   End Sub 'Main

   Public Shared Sub PrintCountsAndBytes(chars() As Char, index As Integer, count As Integer, enc As Encoding)

      ' Display the name of the encoding used.
      Console.Write("{0,-30} :", enc.ToString())

      ' Display the exact byte count.
      Dim iBC As Integer = enc.GetByteCount(chars, index, count)
      Console.Write(" {0,-3}", iBC)

      ' Display the maximum byte count.
      Dim iMBC As Integer = enc.GetMaxByteCount(count)
      Console.Write(" {0,-3} :", iMBC)

      ' Encode the array of chars.
      Dim bytes As Byte() = enc.GetBytes(chars, index, count)

      ' The following is an alternative way to encode the array of chars:
      ' NOTE: In VB.NET, arrays contain one extra element by default.
      '       The following line creates the array with the exact number of elements required.
      ' Dim bytes(iBC - 1) As Byte
      ' enc.GetBytes( chars, index, count, bytes, bytes.GetLowerBound(0) )

      ' Display all the encoded bytes.

   End Sub 'PrintCountsAndBytes

   Public Shared Sub PrintHexBytes(bytes() As Byte)

      If bytes Is Nothing OrElse bytes.Length = 0 Then
         Dim i As Integer
         For i = 0 To bytes.Length - 1
            Console.Write("{0:X2} ", bytes(i))
         Next i
      End If

   End Sub 'PrintHexBytes 

End Class 'SamplesEncoding

'This code produces the following output.
'System.Text.UTF7Encoding       : 10  11  :2B 41 37 4C 59 2F 39 7A 2F 2D
'System.Text.UTF8Encoding       : 6   12  :CE B2 F1 8F B3 BF
'System.Text.UnicodeEncoding    : 6   8   :B2 03 FF D8 FF DC
'System.Text.UnicodeEncoding    : 6   8   :03 B2 D8 FF DC FF
'System.Text.UTF32Encoding      : 8   16  :B2 03 00 00 FF FC 04 00

.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

Portable Class Library

Supported in: Portable Class Library

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.