StringInfo.GetTextElementEnumerator Method (String)

Returns an enumerator that iterates through the text elements of the entire string.

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

static TextElementEnumerator^ GetTextElementEnumerator (
	String^ str
public static TextElementEnumerator GetTextElementEnumerator (
	String str
public static function GetTextElementEnumerator (
	str : String
) : TextElementEnumerator



The string to iterate through.

Return Value

A TextElementEnumerator for the entire string.

Exception typeCondition


str is a null reference (Nothing in Visual Basic).

The .NET Framework defines a text element as a unit of text that is displayed as a single character; that is, a grapheme. A text element can be a base character, a surrogate pair, or a combining character sequence. The Unicode Standard defines a surrogate pair as a coded character representation for a single abstract character that consists of a sequence of two code units, where the first unit of the pair is a high-surrogate and the second is a low-surrogate. The Unicode Standard defines a combining character sequence as a combination of a base character and one or more combining characters. A surrogate pair can represent a base character or a combining character. For more information on surrogate pairs and combining character sequences, see The Unicode Standard at

Text element enumerators are intended to be used only to read data in the string. Enumerators cannot be used to modify the underlying string.

The enumerator does not have exclusive access to the string.

When an enumerator is created, it takes a snapshot of the current state of the string. If changes are made to the string, such as adding, modifying, or deleting text elements, the snapshot gets out of sync and the enumerator throws an InvalidOperationException. Two enumerators created from the same string at the same time can have different snapshots of the string.

The enumerator is in an invalid state if it is positioned before the first text element in the string or after the last text element in the string. Whenever the enumerator is in an invalid state, calling Current throws an exception.

Initially, the enumerator is positioned before the first text element in the string. Reset also brings the enumerator back to this position. Therefore, after an enumerator is created or after a Reset is called, MoveNext must be called to advance the enumerator to the first text element of the string before reading the value of Current.

Current returns the same object until either MoveNext or Reset is called.

After the end of the string is passed, the enumerator is again in an invalid state and calling MoveNext returns false. Calling Current throws an exception if the last call to MoveNext returned false.

The following code example demonstrates calling the GetTextElementEnumerator method. This code example is part of a larger example provided for the StringInfo class.

using namespace System;
using namespace System::Text;
using namespace System::Globalization;

// Show how to enumerate each real character (honoring surrogates)
// in a string.

void EnumTextElements(String^ combiningChars)
    // This StringBuilder holds the output results.
    StringBuilder^ sb = gcnew StringBuilder();

    // Use the enumerator returned from GetTextElementEnumerator
    // method to examine each real character.
    TextElementEnumerator^ charEnum =
    while (charEnum->MoveNext())
        sb->AppendFormat("Character at index {0} is '{1}'{2}", 
            charEnum->ElementIndex, charEnum->GetTextElement(), 

    // Show the results.
    Console::WriteLine("Result of GetTextElementEnumerator:");

// Show how to discover the index of each real character
// (honoring surrogates) in a string.

void EnumTextElementIndexes(String^ combiningChars)
    // This StringBuilder holds the output results.
    StringBuilder^ sb = gcnew StringBuilder();

    // Use the ParseCombiningCharacters method to
    // get the index of each real character in the string.
    array <int>^ textElemIndex =

    // Iterate through each real character showing the character
    // and the index where it was found.
    for (int i = 0; i < textElemIndex->Length; i++)
        sb->AppendFormat("Character {0} starts at index {1}{2}",
            i, textElemIndex[i], Environment::NewLine);

    // Show the results.
    Console::WriteLine("Result of ParseCombiningCharacters:");

int main()

    // The string below contains combining characters.
    String^ combiningChars = L"a\u0304\u0308bc\u0327";

    // Show each 'character' in the string.

    // Show the index in the string where each 'character' starts.


// This code produces the following output.
// Result of GetTextElementEnumerator:
// Character at index 0 is 'a-"'
// Character at index 3 is 'b'
// Character at index 4 is 'c,'
// Result of ParseCombiningCharacters:
// Character 0 starts at index 0
// Character 1 starts at index 3
// Character 2 starts at index 4

Windows 98, Windows 2000 SP4, Windows CE, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Starter Edition

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see System Requirements.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 2.0, 1.0

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