Searching files in a Directory using .Net Framework

.Net framework’s Directory class of system.io namespace provides a static method GetFiles to search the files of a particular directory. Here is the static method detail

Get Files api of directory class 

Using the code snippet we can find all the files of the directory specified in path

string[] paths = Directory.GetFiles(path, stringsearchPattern, SearchOption.AllDirectories);

Here depending on the stringsearchPattern , directory mentioned in path and it sub-directories will be searched and depending on the result , one array of string containing the file paths will be returned. About searchPattern, it could contain any string. But the allowed wildcard characters are – *(zero/more character) and ?(exactly zero or more character).

For example –

1. “*.txt” returns files having .txt extension.
2. “*.?xt” returns files having extension .xt , .axt , .bxt and so on.

Be careful about one anomaly in searchPattern, if you write “*.txt” as search pattern , it gonna consider it like “*.txt*” – that is let’s consider following folders-  fileswithtxtextensions.jpg

If we search using “*.txt” – it gonna match with every one of them. We will get same kind of result for “*htm” search pattern– which will match files with extensions- *htm and *html. I don’t know the exact reason behind it and I will update about it if I get to know that.

In addition, searchPattern in GetFiles() does not support multiple filters which we may require if we want our GetFiles() functions to return ,let’s say, all the “*txt” and “.htm” files. Iteratively searching individual files could be one easy way to solve  this problem.

For more information – visit http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms143316.aspx .

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