# How to: Read From a Text File (C# Programming Guide)

This example reads the contents of a text file by using the static methods ReadAllText and ReadAllLines from the System.IO.File class.

For an example that uses StreamReader, see How to: Read a Text File One Line at a Time.

Note

The files that are used in this example are created in the topic How to: Write to a Text File.

## Example

class ReadFromFile
{
static void Main()
{
// The files used in this example are created in the topic
// How to: Write to a Text File. You can change the path and
// file name to substitute text files of your own.

// Example #1
// Read the file as one string.

// Display the file contents to the console. Variable text is a string.
System.Console.WriteLine("Contents of WriteText.txt = {0}", text);

// Example #2
// Read each line of the file into a string array. Each element
// of the array is one line of the file.

// Display the file contents by using a foreach loop.
System.Console.WriteLine("Contents of WriteLines2.txt = ");
foreach (string line in lines)
{
// Use a tab to indent each line of the file.
Console.WriteLine("\t" + line);
}

// Keep the console window open in debug mode.
Console.WriteLine("Press any key to exit.");
}
}


## Compiling the Code

Copy the code and paste it into a C# console application.

If you are not using the text files from How to: Write to a Text File, replace the argument to ReadAllText and ReadAllLines with the appropriate path and file name on your computer.

## Robust Programming

The following conditions may cause an exception:

• The file doesn't exist or doesn't exist at the specified location. Check the path and the spelling of the file name.

## .NET Framework Security

Do not rely on the name of a file to determine the contents of the file. For example, the file myFile.cs might not be a C# source file.