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How to: Read Text from a File

The following examples show how to read text synchronously and asynchronously from a text file using .NET for desktop apps. In both examples, when you create the instance of the StreamReader class, you provide the relative or absolute path to the file. The following examples assume that the file named TestFile.txt is in the same folder as the application.

These code examples do not apply developing for Windows Store Apps because the Windows Runtime provides different streams types reading and writing to files. For an example that shows how to read text from a file within the context of a Windows Store app, see Quickstart: Reading and writing files. For examples that show how to convert between .NET Framework streams and Windows runtime streams see How to: Convert Between .NET Framework Streams and Windows Runtime Streams.

The first example shows a synchronous read operation within a console application.

Imports System
Imports System.IO

Class Test
    Public Shared Sub Main()
            Using sr As New StreamReader("TestFile.txt")
                Dim line As String
                line = sr.ReadToEnd()
            End Using 
        Catch e As Exception
            Console.WriteLine("The file could not be read:")
        End Try 
    End Sub 
End Class

The second example shows an asynchronous read operation within a Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) application.

Imports System.IO

Class MainWindow
    Private Async Sub ReadFileButton_Click(sender As Object, e As RoutedEventArgs)
            Using sr As StreamReader = New StreamReader("TestFile.txt")
                Dim line = Await sr.ReadToEndAsync()
                ResultBlock.Text = line
            End Using 
            ResultBlock.Text = "Could not read the file" 
        End Try 
    End Sub 
End Class
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