In the previous FAQ, we discussed that the general purpose of the FileSystemObject (FSO)
is to allow access to the host computer's file system. One common function when dealing with a computer's
file system, is reading the contents of a file. FSO provides a
TextStream object that is
useful for reading and writing the contents of a text file. In this FAQ, we will discuss how to use
TextStream object to read the contents of a file.
When using the
TextStream object or other FSO objects, you need to first declare an instance
FileSystemObject. For our script, let's start by creating an instance of the
Before we open a file, we should always test to make sure it exists. The
provides a useful function to determine whether or not a file exists, aptly named
The syntax for
So, in this example, we want to output the contents of the text file
Before we open our file, we will make sure that it exists.
Earlier I mentioned that the
TextStream object is responsible for reading and writing to
the contents of a text file. A
TextStream object instance is used to iterate through the
contents of a particular text file. So, before we can use a
TextStream, we must inform the
TextStream object instance what text file we are interested in. This is accomplished using
OpenTextFile method. The
has the following syntax:
Note: there are two more parameters, but we are only interested in these first two for the time being. If you are interested in the full specifications, read this.
iomode parameter decides what IO mode the file is opened with. The following
values can be used:
These constants are not defined in a text file like the ADO constants are defined in
ADOVBS.inc. Therefore, you should define
the constant you wish to use. For example, if I use the
ForReading constant, you
will see ASP code like:
OpenTextFile method returns a
TextStream object instance. So, to set a
variable to a
TextStream object instance for reading the contents of a particular file, you
would use the following syntax:
TextStream object has the following important methods for reading text files:
Read(characters)- Reads a specified number of characters from the text file, returning a resulting string.
ReadLine- Reads an entire line up to, but not including, the new line character. The results are returned as a string.
ReadAll- Reads the entire contents of the file, returning the results as a string.
TextStream object has a
Close method, which should be used when
you have finished reading from the file.
Now, let's look at how we could read the entire contents of a text file,
We will use the
FileExists method first, to make sure that the file does indeed exist. If it
does, we'll output the contents of the file; if it doesn't, we'll display an appropriate message.
Well, there you have it, reading the contents of a text file using the
TextStream objects. A closing note: whenever you use objects, you should
Set Object = Nothing when you are done using them.
In our next FAQ, we will discuss how to write to text files using the