UnicodeEncoding.GetBytes Method (Char[], Int32, Int32, Byte[], Int32)

Encodes a set of characters from the specified character array into the specified byte array.

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

public override int GetBytes(
	char[] chars,
	int charIndex,
	int charCount,
	byte[] bytes,
	int byteIndex


Type: System.Char[]
The character array containing the set of characters to encode.
Type: System.Int32
The zero-based index of the first character to encode.
Type: System.Int32
The number of characters to encode.
Type: System.Byte[]
The byte array to contain the resulting sequence of bytes.
Type: System.Int32
The zero-based index at which to start writing the resulting sequence of bytes.

Return Value

Type: System.Int32
The actual number of bytes written into bytes.


chars is null (Nothing).


bytes is null (Nothing).


charIndex or charCount or byteIndex is less than zero.


charIndex and charCount do not denote a valid range in chars.


byteIndex is not a valid index in bytes.


Error detection is enabled, and chars contains an invalid sequence of characters.


bytes does not have enough capacity from byteIndex to the end of the array to accommodate the resulting bytes.


A fallback occurred (see Understanding Encodings for fuller explanation).

To calculate the exact array size required by GetBytes to store the resulting bytes, call the GetByteCount method. To calculate the maximum array size, call the GetMaxByteCount method. The GetByteCount method generally allocates less memory, while the GetMaxByteCount method generally executes faster.

With error detection, an invalid sequence causes this method to throw a ArgumentException. Without error detection, invalid sequences are ignored, and no exception is thrown.

Data to be converted, such as data read from a stream, might be available only in sequential blocks. In this case, or if the amount of data is so large that it needs to be divided into smaller blocks, the application should use the Decoder or the Encoder provided by the GetDecoder method or the GetEncoder method, respectively.


To ensure that the encoded bytes are decoded properly, the application should prefix encoded bytes with a preamble.

The following code example demonstrates how to use the GetBytes method to encode a range of characters from a String and store the encoded bytes in a range of elements in a byte array.

using System;
using System.Text;

class Example
   public static void Demo(System.Windows.Controls.TextBlock outputBlock)
      Byte[] bytes;
      String chars = "Unicode Encoding Example";

      UnicodeEncoding Unicode = new UnicodeEncoding();

      int byteCount = Unicode.GetByteCount(chars.ToCharArray(), 8, 8);
      bytes = new Byte[byteCount];
      int bytesEncodedCount = Unicode.GetBytes(chars, 8, 8, bytes, 0);

      outputBlock.Text += String.Format(
          "{0} bytes used to encode string.", bytesEncodedCount
      ) + "\n";

      outputBlock.Text += "Encoded bytes: ";
      foreach (Byte b in bytes)
         outputBlock.Text += String.Format("[{0}]", b);
      outputBlock.Text += "\n";


Supported in: 5, 4, 3

Silverlight for Windows Phone

Supported in: Windows Phone OS 7.1, Windows Phone OS 7.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: Xbox 360, Windows Phone OS 7.0

For a list of the operating systems and browsers that are supported by Silverlight, see Supported Operating Systems and Browsers.