file-io read to - How do I create a Java string from the contents of a file?





15 Answers

Commons FileUtils.readFileToString:

public static String readFileToString(File file)
                       throws IOException

Reads the contents of a file into a String using the default encoding for the VM. The file is always closed.

Parameters:

  • file - the file to read, must not be null

Returns: the file contents, never null

Throws: - IOException - in case of an I/O error

Since: Commons IO 1.3.1

The code used (indirectly) by that class is:

IOUtils.java under Apache Licence 2.0.

public static long copyLarge(InputStream input, OutputStream output)
       throws IOException {
   byte[] buffer = new byte[DEFAULT_BUFFER_SIZE];
   long count = 0;
   int n = 0;
   while (-1 != (n = input.read(buffer))) {
       output.write(buffer, 0, n);
       count += n;
   }
   return count;
}

It is very similar to the one used by Ritche_W.

entire into convert

I've been using the idiom below for some time now. And it seems to be the most wide-spread, at least on the sites I've visited.

Is there a better/different way to read a file into a string in Java?

private String readFile(String file) throws IOException {
    BufferedReader reader = new BufferedReader(new FileReader (file));
    String         line = null;
    StringBuilder  stringBuilder = new StringBuilder();
    String         ls = System.getProperty("line.separator");

    try {
        while((line = reader.readLine()) != null) {
            stringBuilder.append(line);
            stringBuilder.append(ls);
        }

        return stringBuilder.toString();
    } finally {
        reader.close();
    }
}



If you're looking for an alternative that doesn't involve a third-party library (e.g. Commons I/O), you can use the Scanner class:

private String readFile(String pathname) throws IOException {

    File file = new File(pathname);
    StringBuilder fileContents = new StringBuilder((int)file.length());        

    try (Scanner scanner = new Scanner(file)) {
        while(scanner.hasNextLine()) {
            fileContents.append(scanner.nextLine() + System.lineSeparator());
        }
        return fileContents.toString();
    }
}



String content = new String(Files.readAllBytes(Paths.get("readMe.txt")), "UTF-8");

since java 7 you can do it this way.




That code will normalize line breaks, which may or may not be what you really want to do.

Here's an alternative which doesn't do that, and which is (IMO) simpler to understand than the NIO code (although it still uses java.nio.charset.Charset):

public static String readFile(String file, String csName)
            throws IOException {
    Charset cs = Charset.forName(csName);
    return readFile(file, cs);
}

public static String readFile(String file, Charset cs)
            throws IOException {
    // No real need to close the BufferedReader/InputStreamReader
    // as they're only wrapping the stream
    FileInputStream stream = new FileInputStream(file);
    try {
        Reader reader = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(stream, cs));
        StringBuilder builder = new StringBuilder();
        char[] buffer = new char[8192];
        int read;
        while ((read = reader.read(buffer, 0, buffer.length)) > 0) {
            builder.append(buffer, 0, read);
        }
        return builder.toString();
    } finally {
        // Potential issue here: if this throws an IOException,
        // it will mask any others. Normally I'd use a utility
        // method which would log exceptions and swallow them
        stream.close();
    }        
}



If it's a text file why not use apache commons-io?

It has the following method

public static String readFileToString(File file) throws IOException

If you want the lines as a list use

public static List<String> readLines(File file) throws IOException



Gathered all the possible ways to read the File as String from Disk or Network.

  • Guava: Google using classes Resources, Files

    static Charset charset = com.google.common.base.Charsets.UTF_8;
    public static String guava_ServerFile( URL url ) throws IOException {
        return Resources.toString( url, charset );
    }
    public static String guava_DiskFile( File file ) throws IOException {
        return Files.toString( file, charset );
    }
    

  • APACHE - COMMONS IO using classes IOUtils, FileUtils

    static Charset encoding = org.apache.commons.io.Charsets.UTF_8;
    public static String commons_IOUtils( URL url ) throws IOException {
        java.io.InputStream in = url.openStream();
        try {
            return IOUtils.toString( in, encoding );
        } finally {
            IOUtils.closeQuietly(in);
        }
    }
    public static String commons_FileUtils( File file ) throws IOException {
        return FileUtils.readFileToString( file, encoding );
        /*List<String> lines = FileUtils.readLines( fileName, encoding );
        return lines.stream().collect( Collectors.joining("\n") );*/
    }
    

  • Java 8 BufferReader using Stream API

    public static String streamURL_Buffer( URL url ) throws IOException {
        java.io.InputStream source = url.openStream();
        BufferedReader reader = new BufferedReader( new InputStreamReader( source ) );
        //List<String> lines = reader.lines().collect( Collectors.toList() );
        return reader.lines().collect( Collectors.joining( System.lineSeparator() ) );
    }
    public static String streamFile_Buffer( File file ) throws IOException {
        BufferedReader reader = new BufferedReader( new FileReader( file ) );
        return reader.lines().collect(Collectors.joining(System.lineSeparator()));
    }
    

  • Scanner Class with regex \A. which matches the beginning of input.

    static String charsetName = java.nio.charset.StandardCharsets.UTF_8.toString();
    public static String streamURL_Scanner( URL url ) throws IOException {
        java.io.InputStream source = url.openStream();
        Scanner scanner = new Scanner(source, charsetName).useDelimiter("\\A");
        return scanner.hasNext() ? scanner.next() : "";
    }
    public static String streamFile_Scanner( File file ) throws IOException {
        Scanner scanner = new Scanner(file, charsetName).useDelimiter("\\A");
        return scanner.hasNext() ? scanner.next() : "";
    }
    

  • Java 7 (java.nio.file.Files.readAllBytes)

    public static String getDiskFile_Java7( File file ) throws IOException {
        byte[] readAllBytes = java.nio.file.Files.readAllBytes(Paths.get( file.getAbsolutePath() ));
        return new String( readAllBytes );
    }
    

  • BufferedReader using InputStreamReader.

    public static String getDiskFile_Lines( File file ) throws IOException {
        StringBuffer text = new StringBuffer();
        FileInputStream fileStream = new FileInputStream( file );
        BufferedReader br = new BufferedReader( new InputStreamReader( fileStream ) );
        for ( String line; (line = br.readLine()) != null; )
            text.append( line + System.lineSeparator() );
        return text.toString();
    }
    

Example with main method to access the above methods.

public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {
    String fileName = "E:/parametarisation.csv";
    File file = new File( fileName );

    String fileStream = commons_FileUtils( file );
            // guava_DiskFile( file );
            // streamFile_Buffer( file );
            // getDiskFile_Java7( file );
            // getDiskFile_Lines( file );
    System.out.println( " File Over Disk : \n"+ fileStream );


    try {
        String src = "https://code.jquery.com/jquery-3.2.1.js";
        URL url = new URL( src );

        String urlStream = commons_IOUtils( url );
                // guava_ServerFile( url );
                // streamURL_Scanner( url );
                // streamURL_Buffer( url );
        System.out.println( " File Over Network : \n"+ urlStream );
    } catch (MalformedURLException e) {
        e.printStackTrace();
    }
}

@see

  • Ways to convert an InputStream to a String



To read a File as binary and convert at the end

public static String readFileAsString(String filePath) throws IOException {
    DataInputStream dis = new DataInputStream(new FileInputStream(filePath));
    try {
        long len = new File(filePath).length();
        if (len > Integer.MAX_VALUE) throw new IOException("File "+filePath+" too large, was "+len+" bytes.");
        byte[] bytes = new byte[(int) len];
        dis.readFully(bytes);
        return new String(bytes, "UTF-8");
    } finally {
        dis.close();
    }
}



There is a variation on the same theme that uses a for loop, instead of a while loop, to limit the scope of the line variable. Whether it's "better" is a matter of personal taste.

for(String line = reader.readLine(); line != null; line = reader.readLine()) {
    stringBuilder.append(line);
    stringBuilder.append(ls);
}



public static String slurp (final File file)
throws IOException {
    StringBuilder result = new StringBuilder();

    try {
        BufferedReader reader = new BufferedReader(new FileReader(file));

        char[] buf = new char[1024];

        int r = 0;

        while ((r = reader.read(buf)) != -1) {
            result.append(buf, 0, r);
        }
    }
    finally {
        reader.close();
    }

    return result.toString();
}



A flexible solution using IOUtils from Apache commons-io in combination with StringWriter:

Reader input = new FileReader();
StringWriter output = new StringWriter();
try {
  IOUtils.copy(input, output);
} finally {
  input.close();
}
String fileContents = output.toString();

It works with any reader or input stream (not just with files), for example when reading from a URL.




This one uses the method RandomAccessFile.readFully, it seems to be available from JDK 1.0 !

public static String readFileContent(String filename, Charset charset) throws IOException {
    RandomAccessFile raf = null;
    try {
        raf = new RandomAccessFile(filename, "r");
        byte[] buffer = new byte[(int)raf.length()];
        raf.readFully(buffer);
        return new String(buffer, charset);
    } finally {
        closeStream(raf);
    }
} 


private static void closeStream(Closeable c) {
    if (c != null) {
        try {
            c.close();
        } catch (IOException ex) {
            // do nothing
        }
    }
}



After Ctrl+F'ing after Scanner, I think that the Scanner solution should be listed too. In the easiest to read fashion it goes like this:

public String fileToString(File file, Charset charset) {
  Scanner fileReader = new Scanner(file, charset);
  fileReader.useDelimiter("\\Z"); // \Z means EOF.
  String out = fileReader.next();
  fileReader.close();
  return out;
}

If you use Java 7 or newer (and you really should) consider using try-with-resources to make the code easier to read. No more dot-close stuff littering everything. But that's mostly a stylistic choice methinks.

I'm posting this mostly for completionism, since if you need to do this a lot, there should be things in java.nio.file.Files that should do the job better.

My suggestion would be to use Files#readAllBytes(Path) to grab all the bytes, and feed it to new String(byte[] Charset) to get a String out of it that you can trust. Charsets will be mean to you during your lifetime, so beware of this stuff now.

Others have given code and stuff, and I don't want to steal their glory. ;)




Also if your file happens to be inside a jar, you can also use this:

public String fromFileInJar(String path) {
    try ( Scanner scanner 
            = new Scanner(getClass().getResourceAsStream(path))) {
        return scanner.useDelimiter("\\A").next();
    }
}

The path should start with / for instance if your jar is

my.jar/com/some/thing/a.txt

Then you want to invoke it like this:

String myTxt = fromFileInJar("/com/com/thing/a.txt");



Based on @erickson`s answer, you can use:

public String readAll(String fileName) throws IOException {
    List<String> lines = Files.readAllLines(new File(fileName).toPath());
    return String.join("\n", lines.toArray(new String[lines.size()]));
}



I cannot comment other entries yet, so I'll just leave it here.

One of best answers here (https://.com/a/326448/1521167):

private String readFile(String pathname) throws IOException {

File file = new File(pathname);
StringBuilder fileContents = new StringBuilder((int)file.length());
Scanner scanner = new Scanner(file);
String lineSeparator = System.getProperty("line.separator");

try {
    while(scanner.hasNextLine()) {        
        fileContents.append(scanner.nextLine() + lineSeparator);
    }
    return fileContents.toString();
} finally {
    scanner.close();
}
}

still has one flaw. It always puts new line char in the end of string, which may cause some weirds bugs. My suggestion is to change it to:

    private String readFile(String pathname) throws IOException {
    File file = new File(pathname);
    StringBuilder fileContents = new StringBuilder((int) file.length());
    Scanner scanner = new Scanner(new BufferedReader(new FileReader(file)));
    String lineSeparator = System.getProperty("line.separator");

    try {
        if (scanner.hasNextLine()) {
            fileContents.append(scanner.nextLine());
        }
        while (scanner.hasNextLine()) {
            fileContents.append(lineSeparator + scanner.nextLine());
        }
        return fileContents.toString();
    } finally {
        scanner.close();
    }
}



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