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How to load application resource into a stream?

Posted on: 2011-10-17

Sometime it can be useful to get a file that is a resource into the application. For example, using an XML file as resource for testing purpose instead of having them outside the application.

File Property

The first step is to get the file into the project and mark the Build In Action to resource in the property of the file.

Application.GetResourceStream Methods

After, the only code required will be to read this resource from your C# code. To extract the content of this resource you need to use the GetResourceStream method of the System.Windows.Application. Don't worry if you are a Silverlight user, you still have access to this namespace. This method take a URI as parameter. This is where it can be tricky. First, you need to use a syntax that will define the namespace and then a relative path to the file.

Let say that my project name is Project1 and the file is in Folder1/Folder2. The file name is Test.xml. You have a URI that would look like this.

 ... = new Uri("Project1;component/Folder1/Folder2/Test.xml", UriKind.Relative) 

Has you can see, the path needs to have the "component" before all directories.

Example of using XML with file resource

So, if you want to load a text file you will need to write:

StreamResourceInfo sr1 = Application.GetResourceStream(new Uri("Project1;component/Folder1/Folder2/Test.xml", UriKind.Relative)); 
var file = new StreamReader(sr1.Stream); 
return file.ReadToEnd();