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String.Split Method (Char[])

Returns a string array that contains the substrings in this instance that are delimited by elements of a specified Unicode character array.

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

public string[] Split(
	params char[] separator


Type: System.Char[]
An array of Unicode characters that delimit the substrings in this instance, an empty array that contains no delimiters, or null.

Return Value

Type: System.String[]
An array whose elements contain the substrings in this instance that are delimited by one or more characters in separator. For more information, see the Remarks section.

Delimiter characters are not included in the elements of the returned array.

If this instance does not contain any of the characters in separator, the returned array consists of a single element that contains this instance.

If the separator parameter is null or contains no characters, white-space characters are assumed to be the delimiters. White-space characters are defined by the Unicode standard and return true if they are passed to the Char.IsWhiteSpace method.

Each element of separator defines a separate delimiter character. If two delimiters are adjacent, or a delimiter is found at the beginning or end of this instance, the corresponding array element contains Empty. The following table provides examples.

String value


Returned array

"42, 12, 19"

new Char[] {',', ' '} (C#)

Char() = {","c, " "c}) (Visual Basic)

{"42", "", "12", "", "19"}


new Char[] {'.'} (C#)

Char() = {"."c} (Visual Basic)

{"42", "", "12", "", "19"}


new Char[] {'.'} (C#)

Char() = {"."c} (Visual Basic)


"Darb\nSmarba" (C#)

"Darb" & vbLf & "Smarba" (Visual Basic)

new Char[] {} (C#)

Char() = {} (Visual Basic)

{"Darb", "Smarba"}

"Darb\nSmarba" (C#)

"Darb" & vbLf & "Smarba" (Visual Basic)

null (C#)

Nothing (Visual Basic)

{"Darb", "Smarba"}

Performance Considerations

The Split methods allocate memory for the returned array object and a String object for each array element. If your application requires optimal performance or if managing memory allocation is critical in your application, consider using the IndexOf or IndexOfAny method, and optionally the Compare method, to locate a substring within a string.

If you are splitting a string at a separator character, use the IndexOf or IndexOfAny method to locate a separator character in the string. If you are splitting a string at a separator string, use the IndexOf or IndexOfAny method to locate the first character of the separator string. Then use the Compare method to determine whether the characters after that first character are equal to the remaining characters of the separator string.

In addition, if the same set of characters is used to split strings in multiple Split method calls, consider creating a single array and referencing it in each method call. This significantly reduces the additional overhead of each method call.

Notes to Callers

In the .NET Framework 3.5 and earlier versions, if the Split method is passed a separator that is null or contains no characters, the method uses a slightly different set of characters to split the string than the Trim method does to trim the string. In the .NET Framework 4, both methods use an identical set of Unicode white-space characters.

The following example demonstrates how to extract individual words from a block of text by treating white space and punctuation marks as delimiters. The character array passed to the separator parameter of the String.Split(Char[]) method consists of a space character and a tab character, together with some common punctuation symbols.

using System;

public class SplitTest {
    public static void Main() {

        string words = "This is a list of words, with: a bit of punctuation" +
                       "\tand a tab character.";

        string [] split = words.Split(new Char [] {' ', ',', '.', ':', '\t' });

        foreach (string s in split) {

            if (s.Trim() != "")
// The example displays the following output to the console:
//       This
//       is
//       a
//       list
//       of
//       words
//       with
//       a
//       bit
//       of
//       punctuation
//       and
//       a
//       tab
//       character

.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.