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String.TrimStart Method

Removes all leading occurrences of a set of characters specified in an array from the current String object.

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

public string TrimStart(
	params char[] trimChars


Type: System.Char[]
An array of Unicode characters to remove, or null.

Return Value

Type: System.String
The string that remains after all occurrences of characters in the trimChars parameter are removed from the start of the current string. If trimChars is null or an empty array, white-space characters are removed instead.

The TrimStart method removes from the current string all leading characters that are in the trimChars parameter. The trim operation stops when a character that is not in trimChars is encountered. For example, if the current string is "123abc456xyz789" and trimChars contains the digits from "1" through "9", the TrimStart method returns "abc456xyz789".


This method does not modify the value of the current instance. Instead, it returns a new string in which all leading white space characters found in the current instance are removed.

Notes to Callers

The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 and earlier versions maintains an internal list of white-space characters that this method trims if trimChars is null or an empty array. Starting with the .NET Framework 4, if trimChars is null or an empty array, the method trims all Unicode white-space characters (that is, characters that produce a true return value when they are passed to the Char.IsWhiteSpace method). Because of this change, the Trim() method in the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 and earlier versions removes two characters, ZERO WIDTH SPACE (U+200B) and ZERO WIDTH NO-BREAK SPACE (U+FEFF), that the Trim() method in the .NET Framework 4 does not remove. In addition, the Trim() method in the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 and earlier versions does not trim three Unicode white-space characters: MONGOLIAN VOWEL SEPARATOR (U+180E), NARROW NO-BREAK SPACE (U+202F), and MEDIUM MATHEMATICAL SPACE (U+205F).

The following example uses the TrimStart method to trim white space and comment characters from lines of source code. The StripComments method wraps a call to TrimStart and passes it a character array that contains a space and the comment character, which is an apostrophe ( ' ) in Visual Basic and a slash ( / ) in C#. The TrimStart method is also called to remove leading white space when evaluating whether a string is a comment.

public static string[] StripComments(string[] lines)
   List<string> lineList = new List<string>();
   foreach (string line in lines)
      if (line.TrimStart(' ').StartsWith("//"))
         lineList.Add(line.TrimStart(' ', '/'));
   return lineList.ToArray();

The following example then illustrates a call to the StripComments method.

public static void Main()
   string[] lines= {"using System;",
                    "public class HelloWorld",
                    "   public static void Main()",
                    "   {", 
                    "      // This code displays a simple greeting", 
                    "      // to the console.", 
                    "      Console.WriteLine(\"Hello, World.\");", 
                    "   }", 
   Console.WriteLine("Before call to StripComments:");
   foreach (string line in lines)
      Console.WriteLine("   {0}", line);                         

   string[] strippedLines = StripComments(lines); 
   Console.WriteLine("After call to StripComments:");
   foreach (string line in strippedLines)
      Console.WriteLine("   {0}", line);                         
// This code produces the following output to the console:
//    Before call to StripComments:
//       using System;
//       public class HelloWorld
//       {
//           public static void Main()
//           {
//               // This code displays a simple greeting
//               // to the console.
//               Console.WriteLine("Hello, World.");
//           }
//       }  
//    After call to StripComments:
//       This code displays a simple greeting
//       to the console.

.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.

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