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UnicodeEncoding.GetBytes Method (Char*, Int32, Byte*, Int32)

Encodes a set of characters starting at the specified character pointer into a sequence of bytes that are stored starting at the specified byte pointer.

This method is not CLS-compliant.  

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

public override int GetBytes (
	char* chars,
	int charCount,
	byte* bytes,
	int byteCount
Not applicable.



A pointer to the first character to encode.


The number of characters to encode.


A pointer to the location at which to start writing the resulting sequence of bytes.


The maximum number of bytes to write.

Return Value

The actual number of bytes written at the location indicated by the bytes parameter.

Exception typeCondition


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


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


charCount or byteCount is less than zero.


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


byteCount is less than the resulting number of bytes.


A fallback occurred (see Understanding Encodings for fuller explanation)


EncoderFallback is set to EncoderExceptionFallback.

To calculate the exact array size that GetBytes requires to store the resulting bytes, the application uses 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.

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 object provided by the GetDecoder or the GetEncoder method, respectively.


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

Windows 98, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Starter Edition

The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 is supported on Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP SP2, and Windows Server 2003 SP1.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0