Understanding and handling text files is a crucial task in any form of development. Thus, reading a text file into a list of strings is a commonly encountered scenario in C# programming. This operation can be useful in countless situations, such as managing user data, parsing configuration files, or even handling simple database operations. Throughout our discussion, we will utilize some fundamental C# libraries, namely the System.IO library, for carrying out file handling operations.
C# offers a host of methods to handle text file operations. However, in this case, we will majorly focus on utilizing the StreamReader class and the File class for the purpose.
StreamReader Class and ReadToEnd Method
The StreamReader class is a part of the System.IO library in C#. It allows an application to read characters from a byte stream in a particular encoding. Combining this functionality with the ReadToEnd method, we can read from a text file line by line until the end of the file has been reached.
using (StreamReader sr = new StreamReader(“filename.txt”))
while ((line = sr.ReadLine()) != null)
List and its utility in C#
While dealing with multiple data items of the same type, or in our case, multiple lines of a text file, List is an extremely efficient and versatile data structure. It represents a strongly-typed list of objects that can be accessed by index.
The List offers several methods that makes it easy to perform common operations such as adding items, removing items, or finding items, as showcased in the code snippet above.
Another straightforward way to load a text file into a list of strings is by using the ReadAllLines method from the File class in System.IO. The method reads all lines of a file and returns the entire text content of the file as an array of strings. We can easily convert this array to a list of strings if required.
Through the above discussion, we explored different ways of loading a text file into a list of strings using built-in functionality in C#. From using the robust StreamReader class to the handy File class, we saw how harnessing the power of the System.IO library can streamline and simplify common file operation tasks in C# programming.