How to read a local text file?

I’m trying to write a simple text file reader by creating a function that takes in the file’s path and converts each line of text into a char array, but it’s not working.

function readTextFile() {
  var rawFile = new XMLHttpRequest();
  rawFile.open("GET", "testing.txt", true);
  rawFile.onreadystatechange = function() {
    if (rawFile.readyState === 4) {
      var allText = rawFile.responseText;
      document.getElementById("textSection").innerHTML = allText;
    }
  }
  rawFile.send();
}

What is going wrong here?

This still doesn’t seem to work after changing the code a little bit from a previous revision and now it’s giving me an XMLHttpRequest exception 101.

I’ve tested this on Firefox and it works, but in Google Chrome it just won’t work and it keeps giving me an Exception 101. How can I get this to work on not just Firefox, but also on other browsers (especially Chrome)?

Answers:

Answer

You need to check for status 0 (as when loading files locally with XMLHttpRequest, you don't get a status returned because it's not from a Webserver)

function readTextFile(file)
{
    var rawFile = new XMLHttpRequest();
    rawFile.open("GET", file, false);
    rawFile.onreadystatechange = function ()
    {
        if(rawFile.readyState === 4)
        {
            if(rawFile.status === 200 || rawFile.status == 0)
            {
                var allText = rawFile.responseText;
                alert(allText);
            }
        }
    }
    rawFile.send(null);
}

And specify file:// in your filename:

readTextFile("file:///C:/your/path/to/file.txt");
Answer

Visit Javascripture ! And go the section readAsText and try the example. You will be able to know how the readAsText function of FileReader works.

    <html>
    <head>
    <script>
      var openFile = function(event) {
        var input = event.target;

        var reader = new FileReader();
        reader.onload = function(){
          var text = reader.result;
          var node = document.getElementById('output');
          node.innerText = text;
          console.log(reader.result.substring(0, 200));
        };
        reader.readAsText(input.files[0]);
      };
    </script>
    </head>
    <body>
    <input type='file' accept='text/plain' onchange='openFile(event)'><br>
    <div id='output'>
    ...
    </div>
    </body>
    </html>
Answer

After the introduction of fetch api in javascript, reading file contents could not be simpler.

reading a text file

fetch('file.txt')
  .then(response => response.text())
  .then(text => console.log(text))
  // outputs the content of the text file

reading a json file

fetch('file.json')
  .then(response => response.json())
  .then(jsonResponse => console.log(jsonResponse))     
   // outputs a javascript object from the parsed json

Update 30/07/2018 (disclaimer):

This technique works fine in Firefox, but it seems like Chrome's fetch implementation does not support file:/// URL scheme at the date of writing this update (tested in Chrome 68).

Update-2 (disclaimer):

This technique does not work with Firefox above version 68 (Jul 9, 2019) for the same (security) reason as Chrome: CORS request not HTTP. See https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/HTTP/CORS/Errors/CORSRequestNotHttp.

Answer

var input = document.getElementById("myFile");
var output = document.getElementById("output");


input.addEventListener("change", function () {
  if (this.files && this.files[0]) {
    var myFile = this.files[0];
    var reader = new FileReader();
    
    reader.addEventListener('load', function (e) {
      output.textContent = e.target.result;
    });
    
    reader.readAsBinaryString(myFile);
  }   
});
<input type="file" id="myFile">
<hr>
<textarea style="width:500px;height: 400px" id="output"></textarea>

Answer

Jon Perryman,

Yes js can read local files (see FileReader()) but not automatically: the user has to pass the file or a list of files to the script with an html <input type=file>.

Then with js it is possible to process (example view) the file or the list of files, some of their properties and the file or files content.

What js cannot do for security reasons is to access automatically (without the user input) to the filesystem of his computer.

To allow js to acccess to the local fs automatically is needed to create not an html file with js inside it but an hta document.

An hta file can contain js or vbs inside it.

But the hta executable will work on windows systems only.

This is standard browser behavior.

Also google chrome worked at the fs api, more infos here: http://www.html5rocks.com/en/tutorials/file/filesystem/

Answer

Provably you already try it, type "false" as follows:

 rawFile.open("GET", file, false);
Answer

Try creating two functions:

function getData(){       //this will read file and send information to other function
       var xmlhttp;

       if (window.XMLHttpRequest) {
           xmlhttp = new XMLHttpRequest();               
       }           
       else {               
           xmlhttp = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");               
       }

       xmlhttp.onreadystatechange = function () {               
           if (xmlhttp.readyState == 4) {                   
             var lines = xmlhttp.responseText;    //*here we get all lines from text file*

             intoArray(lines);     *//here we call function with parameter "lines*"                   
           }               
       }

       xmlhttp.open("GET", "motsim1.txt", true);
       xmlhttp.send();    
}

function intoArray (lines) {
   // splitting all text data into array "\n" is splitting data from each new line
   //and saving each new line as each element*

   var lineArr = lines.split('\n'); 

   //just to check if it works output lineArr[index] as below
   document.write(lineArr[2]);         
   document.write(lineArr[3]);
}
Answer

other example - my reader with FileReader class

<html>
    <head>
        <link rel="stylesheet" href="http://code.jquery.com/ui/1.11.3/themes/smoothness/jquery-ui.css">
        <script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-1.10.2.js"></script>
        <script src="http://code.jquery.com/ui/1.11.3/jquery-ui.js"></script>
    </head>
    <body>
        <script>
            function PreviewText() {
            var oFReader = new FileReader();
            oFReader.readAsDataURL(document.getElementById("uploadText").files[0]);
            oFReader.onload = function (oFREvent) {
                document.getElementById("uploadTextValue").value = oFREvent.target.result; 
                document.getElementById("obj").data = oFREvent.target.result;
            };
        };
        jQuery(document).ready(function(){
            $('#viewSource').click(function ()
            {
                var text = $('#uploadTextValue').val();
                alert(text);
                //here ajax
            });
        });
        </script>
        <object width="100%" height="400" data="" id="obj"></object>
        <div>
            <input type="hidden" id="uploadTextValue" name="uploadTextValue" value="" />
            <input id="uploadText" style="width:120px" type="file" size="10"  onchange="PreviewText();" />
        </div>
        <a href="#" id="viewSource">Source file</a>
    </body>
</html>
Answer

This might help,

    var xmlhttp = window.XMLHttpRequest ? new XMLHttpRequest() : new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");

    xmlhttp.onreadystatechange = function () {
        if (xmlhttp.readyState == 4 && xmlhttp.status == 200) {
            alert(xmlhttp.responseText);
        }
    }

    xmlhttp.open("GET", "sample.txt", true);
    xmlhttp.send();
Answer

Using Fetch and async function

const logFileText = async file => {
    const response = await fetch(file)
    const text = await response.text()
    console.log(text)
}

logFileText('file.txt')
Answer

Adding to some the above answers, this modified solution worked for me.

<input id="file-upload-input" type="file" class="form-control" accept="*" />

....

let fileInput  = document.getElementById('file-upload-input');
let files = fileInput.files;

//Use createObjectURL, this should address any CORS issues.
let filePath = URL.createObjectURL(files[0]);

....

function readTextFile(filePath){
    var rawFile = new XMLHttpRequest();
    rawFile.open("GET", filePath , true);
    rawFile.send(null);

    rawFile.onreadystatechange = function (){
        if(rawFile.readyState === 4){
            if(rawFile.status === 200 || rawFile.status == 0){
                var allText = rawFile.responseText;
                console.log(allText);
            }
        }
    }     
}
Answer

Modern solution:

<input type="file" onchange="this.files[0].text().then(t => console.log(t))">

When user uploads a text file via that input, it will be logged to the console. Here's a working jsbin demo.

Here's a more verbose version:

<input type="file" onchange="loadFile(this.files[0])">
<script>
  async function loadFile(file) {
    let text = await file.text();
    console.log(text);
  }
</script>

Currently (January 2020) this only works in Chrome and Firefox, check here for compatibility if you're reading this in the future: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Blob/text

On older browsers, this should work:

<input type="file" onchange="loadFile(this.files[0])">
<script>
  async function loadFile(file) {
    let text = await (new Response(file)).text();
    console.log(text);
  }
</script>
Answer
<html>
<head>
    <title></title>
    <meta charset="utf-8" />
    <script src="https://code.jquery.com/jquery-1.10.2.js"></script>
    <script type="text/javascript">
        $(document).ready(function () {            
                $.ajax({`enter code here`
                    url: "TextFile.txt",
                    dataType: "text",
                    success: function (data) {                 
                            var text = $('#newCheckText').val();
                            var str = data;
                            var str_array = str.split('\n');
                            for (var i = 0; i < str_array.length; i++) {
                                // Trim the excess whitespace.
                                str_array[i] = str_array[i].replace(/^\s*/, "").replace(/\s*$/, "");
                                // Add additional code here, such as:
                                alert(str_array[i]);
                                $('#checkboxes').append('<input type="checkbox"  class="checkBoxClass" /> ' + str_array[i] + '<br />');
                            }
                    }                   
                });
                $("#ckbCheckAll").click(function () {
                    $(".checkBoxClass").prop('checked', $(this).prop('checked'));
                });
        });
    </script>
</head>
<body>
    <div id="checkboxes">
        <input type="checkbox" id="ckbCheckAll" class="checkBoxClass"/> Select All<br />        
    </div>
</body>
</html>
Answer
function readTextFile(file) {
    var rawFile = new XMLHttpRequest(); // XMLHttpRequest (often abbreviated as XHR) is a browser object accessible in JavaScript that provides data in XML, JSON, but also HTML format, or even a simple text using HTTP requests.
    rawFile.open("GET", file, false); // open with method GET the file with the link file ,  false (synchronous)
    rawFile.onreadystatechange = function ()
    {
        if(rawFile.readyState === 4) // readyState = 4: request finished and response is ready
        {
            if(rawFile.status === 200) // status 200: "OK"
            {
                var allText = rawFile.responseText; //  Returns the response data as a string
                console.log(allText); // display text on the console
            }
        }
    }
    rawFile.send(null); //Sends the request to the server Used for GET requests with param null
}

readTextFile("text.txt"); //<= Call function ===== don't need "file:///..." just the path 

- read file text from javascript
- Console log text from file using javascript
- Google chrome and mozilla firefox

in my case i have this structure of files : enter image description here

the console.log result :
enter image description here

Answer

Local AJAX calls in Chrome are not supported due to same-origin-policy.

If you check console logs you will find "Cross origin requests are not supported for protocol schemes: http, data, chrome, chrome-extension, https."

What this signifies is that the Chrome creates a sort of virtual disk for every domain, files served by the domain via above listed protocols are stored into this disk, access to files outside it on your local disk are restricted under same origin policy. AJAX requests and responses happen on http/https, therefore wont work for local files.

Firefox does not put such restriction, therefore your code will work happily on the Firefox. However there are workarounds for chrome too : see here.

Answer

Get local file data in js(data.js) load:

function loadMyFile(){
    console.log("ut:"+unixTimeSec());
    loadScript("data.js?"+unixTimeSec(), loadParse);
}
function loadParse(){
    var mA_=mSdata.split("\n");
    console.log(mA_.length);
}
function loadScript(url, callback){

    var script = document.createElement("script")
    script.type = "text/javascript";

    if (script.readyState){  //IE
        script.onreadystatechange = function(){
            if (script.readyState == "loaded" ||
                    script.readyState == "complete"){
                script.onreadystatechange = null;
                callback();
            }
        };
    } else {  //Others
        script.onload = function(){
            callback();
        };
    }

    script.src = url;
    document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0].appendChild(script);
}
function hereDoc(f) {
  return f.toString().
      replace(/^[^\/]+\/\*![^\r\n]*[\r\n]*/, "").
      replace(/[\r\n][^\r\n]*\*\/[^\/]+$/, "");
}
function unixTimeSec(){
    return Math.round( (new Date()).getTime()/1000);
}

file of data.js like:

var mSdata = hereDoc(function() {/*!
17,399
1237,399
BLAHBLAH
BLAHBLAH
155,82
194,376
*/});

dynamic unixTime queryString prevents cached.

AJ works in web http://.

Answer

In order to read a local file text through JavaScript using chrome, the chrome browser should run with the argument --allow-file-access-from-files to allow JavaScript to access local file, then you can read it using XmlHttpRequest like the following:

var xmlhttp = new XMLHttpRequest();
xmlhttp.onreadystatechange = function () {
   if (xmlhttp.readyState == 4) {
       var allText = xmlhttp.responseText;          
            }
        };
xmlhttp.open("GET", file, false);
xmlhttp.send(null);
Answer

How to read a local file?

By using this you will load a file by loadText() then JS will asynchronously wait until the file is read and loaded after that it will execture readText() function allowing you to continue with your normal JS logic (you can also write a try catch block on the loadText() function in the case any error arises) but for this example I keep it at minimal.

async function loadText(url) {
    text = await fetch(url);
    //awaits for text.text() prop 
    //and then sends it to readText()
    readText(await text.text());
}

function readText(text){
    //here you can continue with your JS normal logic
    console.log(text);
}

loadText('test.txt');
Answer

You can import my library:

<script src="https://www.editeyusercontent.com/preview/1c_hhRGD3bhwOtWwfBD8QofW9rD3T1kbe/[email protected]"></script>

then, the function fetchfile(path) will return the uploaded file

<script src="https://www.editeyusercontent.com/preview/1c_hhRGD3bhwOtWwfBD8QofW9rD3T1kbe/code.js"></script>
<script>console.log(fetchfile("file.txt"))</script>

Please note: on Google Chrome if the HTML code is local, errors will appear, but saving the HTML code and the files online then running the online HTML file works.

Answer

I know, I am late at this party. Let me show you what I have got.

This is a simple reading of text file

var path = C:\\established-titles\\orders\\shopify-orders.txt
var file = new File('C:\\established-titles\\orders\\shopify-orders.txt')

if(file.exists){
 file.open('r')
 var content = file.read()
}

I hope this helps.

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