Home » Java » How do I create a file and write to it in Java?

How do I create a file and write to it in Java?

Posted by: admin November 2, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

What’s the simplest way to create and write to a (text) file in Java?

Answers:

Note that each of the code samples below throw IOExcepions. Try/catch/finally blocks have been omitted for brevity. See this tutorial for information about exception handling.

Creating a text file (note that this will overwrite the file if it already exists):

PrintWriter writer = new PrintWriter("the-file-name.txt", "UTF-8");
writer.println("The first line");
writer.println("The second line");
writer.close();

Creating a binary file (will also overwrite the file):

byte data[] = ...
FileOutputStream out = new FileOutputStream("the-file-name");
out.write(data);
out.close();

Java 7+ users can use the Files class to write to files:

Creating a text file:

List<String> lines = Arrays.asList("The first line", "The second line");
Path file = Paths.get("the-file-name.txt");
Files.write(file, lines, Charset.forName("UTF-8"));
//Files.write(file, lines, Charset.forName("UTF-8"), StandardOpenOption.APPEND);

Creating a binary file:

byte data[] = ...
Path file = Paths.get("the-file-name");
Files.write(file, data);
//Files.write(file, data, StandardOpenOption.APPEND);

Questions:
Answers:

In Java 7 and up:

try (Writer writer = new BufferedWriter(new OutputStreamWriter(
              new FileOutputStream("filename.txt"), "utf-8"))) {
   writer.write("something");
}

There are useful utilities for that though:

Note also that you can use a FileWriter, but it uses the default encoding, which is often a bad idea – it’s best to specify the encoding explicitly.

Below is the original, prior-to-java-7 answer


Writer writer = null;

try {
    writer = new BufferedWriter(new OutputStreamWriter(
          new FileOutputStream("filename.txt"), "utf-8"));
    writer.write("Something");
} catch (IOException ex) {
  // report
} finally {
   try {writer.close();} catch (Exception ex) {/*ignore*/}
}

See also: Reading, Writing, and Creating Files (includes NIO2).

Questions:
Answers:

If you already have the content you want to write to the file (and not generated on the fly), the java.nio.file.Files addition in Java 7 as part of native I/O provides the simplest and most efficient way to achieve your goals.

Basically creating and writing to a file is one line only, moreover one simple method call!

The following example creates and writes to 6 different files to showcase how it can be used:

Charset utf8 = StandardCharsets.UTF_8;
List<String> lines = Arrays.asList("1st line", "2nd line");
byte[] data = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5};

try {
    Files.write(Paths.get("file1.bin"), data);
    Files.write(Paths.get("file2.bin"), data,
            StandardOpenOption.CREATE, StandardOpenOption.APPEND);
    Files.write(Paths.get("file3.txt"), "content".getBytes());
    Files.write(Paths.get("file4.txt"), "content".getBytes(utf8));
    Files.write(Paths.get("file5.txt"), lines, utf8);
    Files.write(Paths.get("file6.txt"), lines, utf8,
            StandardOpenOption.CREATE, StandardOpenOption.APPEND);
} catch (IOException e) {
    e.printStackTrace();
}

Questions:
Answers:
public class Program {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        String text = "Hello world";
        BufferedWriter output = null;
        try {
            File file = new File("example.txt");
            output = new BufferedWriter(new FileWriter(file));
            output.write(text);
        } catch ( IOException e ) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        } finally {
          if ( output != null ) {
            output.close();
          }
        }
    }
}

Questions:
Answers:

Here’s a little example program to create or overwrite a file. It’s the long version so it can be understood more easily.

import java.io.BufferedWriter;
import java.io.File;
import java.io.FileOutputStream;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.io.OutputStreamWriter;
import java.io.Writer;

public class writer {
    public void writing() {
        try {
            //Whatever the file path is.
            File statText = new File("E:/Java/Reference/bin/images/statsTest.txt");
            FileOutputStream is = new FileOutputStream(statText);
            OutputStreamWriter osw = new OutputStreamWriter(is);    
            Writer w = new BufferedWriter(osw);
            w.write("POTATO!!!");
            w.close();
        } catch (IOException e) {
            System.err.println("Problem writing to the file statsTest.txt");
        }
    }

    public static void main(String[]args) {
        writer write = new writer();
        write.writing();
    }
}

Questions:
Answers:

Use:

try (Writer writer = new BufferedWriter(new OutputStreamWriter(new FileOutputStream("myFile.txt"), StandardCharsets.UTF_8))) {
    writer.write("text to write");
} 
catch (IOException ex) {
    // Handle me
}  

Using try() will close stream automatically. This version is short, fast (buffered) and enables choosing encoding.

This feature was introduced in Java 7.

Questions:
Answers:

A very simple way to create and write to a file in Java:

import java.io.BufferedWriter;
import java.io.File;
import java.io.FileWriter;

public class CreateFiles {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        try{
            // Create new file
            String content = "This is the content to write into create file";
            String path="D:\a\hi.txt";
            File file = new File(path);

            // If file doesn't exists, then create it
            if (!file.exists()) {
                file.createNewFile();
            }

            FileWriter fw = new FileWriter(file.getAbsoluteFile());
            BufferedWriter bw = new BufferedWriter(fw);

            // Write in file
            bw.write(content);

            // Close connection
            bw.close();
        }
        catch(Exception e){
            System.out.println(e);
        }
    }
}

Reference: File create Example in java

Questions:
Answers:

Here we are entering a string into a text file:

String content = "This is the content to write into a file";
File file = new File("filename.txt");
FileWriter fw = new FileWriter(file.getAbsoluteFile());
BufferedWriter bw = new BufferedWriter(fw);
bw.write(content);
bw.close(); // Be sure to close BufferedWriter

We can easily create a new file and add content into it.

Questions:
Answers:

If you wish to have a relatively pain-free experience you can also have a look at the Apache Commons IO package, more specifically the FileUtils class.

Never forget to check third-party libraries. Joda-Time for date manipulation, Apache Commons Lang StringUtils for common string operations and such can make your code more readable.

Java is a great language, but the standard library is sometimes a bit low-level. Powerful, but low-level nonetheless.

Questions:
Answers:

Since the author did not specify whether they require a solution for Java versions that have been EoL’d (by both Sun and IBM, and these are technically the most widespread JVMs), and due to the fact that most people seem to have answered the author’s question before it was specified that it is a text (non-binary) file, I have decided to provide my answer.


First of all, Java 6 has generally reached end of life, and since the author did not specify he needs legacy compatibility, I guess it automatically means J7 or above (J7 is not yet EoL’d by IBM). So, we can look right at the file I/O tutorial: https://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/essential/io/legacy.html

Prior to the Java SE 7 release, the java.io.File class was the
mechanism used for file I/O, but it had several drawbacks.

  • Many methods didn’t throw exceptions when they failed, so it was
    impossible to obtain a useful error message. For example, if a file
    deletion failed, the program would receive a “delete fail” but
    wouldn’t know if it was because the file didn’t exist, the user didn’t
    have permissions, or there was some other problem.
  • The rename method
    didn’t work consistently across platforms.
  • There was no real support
    for symbolic links.
  • More support for metadata was desired, such as
    file permissions, file owner, and other security attributes. Accessing
    file metadata was inefficient.
  • Many of the File methods didn’t scale.
    Requesting a large directory listing over a server could result in a
    hang. Large directories could also cause memory resource problems,
    resulting in a denial of service.
  • It was not possible to write
    reliable code that could recursively walk a file tree and respond
    appropriately if there were circular symbolic links.

Oh well, that rules out java.io.File. If a file cannot be written/appended, you may not be able to even know why.


We can continue looking at the tutorial: https://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/essential/io/file.html#common

If you have all lines you will write (append) to the text file in advance, the recommended approach is
https://docs.oracle.com/javase/8/docs/api/java/nio/file/Files.html#write-java.nio.file.Path-java.lang.Iterable-java.nio.charset.Charset-java.nio.file.OpenOption…-

Here’s an example (simplified):

Path file = ...;
List<String> linesInMemory = ...;
Files.write(file, linesInMemory, StandardCharsets.UTF_8);

Another example (append):

Path file = ...;
List<String> linesInMemory = ...;
Files.write(file, linesInMemory, Charset.forName("desired charset"), StandardOpenOption.CREATE, StandardOpenOption.APPEND, StandardOpenOption.WRITE);

If you want to write file content as you go:
https://docs.oracle.com/javase/8/docs/api/java/nio/file/Files.html#newBufferedWriter-java.nio.file.Path-java.nio.charset.Charset-java.nio.file.OpenOption…-

Simplified example (J8 or up):

Path file = ...;
try (BufferedWriter writer = Files.newBufferedWriter(file)) {
    writer.append("Zero header: ").append('0').write("\r\n");
    [...]
}

Another example (append):

Path file = ...;
try (BufferedWriter writer = Files.newBufferedWriter(file, Charset.forName("desired charset"), StandardOpenOption.CREATE, StandardOpenOption.APPEND, StandardOpenOption.WRITE)) {
    writer.write("----------");
    [...]
}

These methods require minimal effort on the author’s part and should be preferred to all others when writing to [text] files.

Questions:
Answers:

Use:

JFileChooser c = new JFileChooser();
c.showOpenDialog(c);
File writeFile = c.getSelectedFile();
String content = "Input the data here to be written to your file";

try {
    FileWriter fw = new FileWriter(writeFile);
    BufferedWriter bw = new BufferedWriter(fw);
    bw.append(content);
    bw.append("hiiiii");
    bw.close();
    fw.close();
}
catch (Exception exc) {
   System.out.println(exc);
}

Questions:
Answers:

I think this is the shortest way:

FileWriter fr = new FileWriter("your_file_name.txt"); // After '.' write
// your file extention (".txt" in this case)
fr.write("Things you want to write into the file"); // Warning: this will REPLACE your old file content!
fr.close();

Questions:
Answers:

If you for some reason want to separate the act of creating and writing, the Java equivalent of touch is

try {
   //create a file named "testfile.txt" in the current working directory
   File myFile = new File("testfile.txt");
   if ( myFile.createNewFile() ) {
      System.out.println("Success!");
   } else {
      System.out.println("Failure!");
   }
} catch ( IOException ioe ) { ioe.printStackTrace(); }

createNewFile() does an existence check and file create atomically. This can be useful if you want to ensure you were the creator of the file before writing to it, for example.

Questions:
Answers:
import java.io.File;
import java.io.FileWriter;
import java.io.IOException;

public class FileWriterExample {
    public static void main(String [] args) {
        FileWriter fw= null;
        File file =null;
        try {
            file=new File("WriteFile.txt");
            if(!file.exists()) {
                file.createNewFile();
            }
            fw = new FileWriter(file);
            fw.write("This is an string written to a file");
            fw.flush();
            fw.close();
            System.out.println("File written Succesfully");
        } catch (IOException e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
    }
}

Questions:
Answers:
package fileoperations;
import java.io.File;
import java.io.IOException;

public class SimpleFile {
    public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {
        File file =new File("text.txt");
        file.createNewFile();
        System.out.println("File is created");
        FileWriter writer = new FileWriter(file);

        // Writes the content to the file
        writer.write("Enter the text that you want to write"); 
        writer.flush();
        writer.close();
        System.out.println("Data is entered into file");
    }
}

Questions:
Answers:

To create file without overwriting existing file:

System.out.println("Choose folder to create file");
JFileChooser c = new JFileChooser();
c.setFileSelectionMode(JFileChooser.DIRECTORIES_ONLY);
c.showOpenDialog(c);
c.getSelectedFile();
f = c.getSelectedFile(); // File f - global variable
String newfile = f + "\hi.doc";//.txt or .doc or .html
File file = new File(newfile);

try {
    //System.out.println(f);
    boolean flag = file.createNewFile();

    if(flag == true) {
        JOptionPane.showMessageDialog(rootPane, "File created successfully");
    }
    else {
        JOptionPane.showMessageDialog(rootPane, "File already exists");
    }
    /* Or use exists() function as follows:
        if(file.exists() == true) {
            JOptionPane.showMessageDialog(rootPane, "File already exists");
        }
        else {
            JOptionPane.showMessageDialog(rootPane, "File created successfully");
        }
    */
}
catch(Exception e) {
    // Any exception handling method of your choice
}

Questions:
Answers:

The simplest way I can find:

Path sampleOutputPath = Paths.get("/tmp/testfile")
try (BufferedWriter writer = Files.newBufferedWriter(sampleOutputPath)) {
    writer.write("Hello, world!");
}

It will probably only work for 1.7+.

Questions:
Answers:

One line only !
path and line are Strings

import java.nio.file.Files;
import java.nio.file.Paths;

Files.write(Paths.get(path), lines.getBytes());

Questions:
Answers:

If we are using Java 7 and above and also know the content to be added (appended) to the file we can make use of newBufferedWriter method in NIO package.

public static void main(String[] args) {
    Path FILE_PATH = Paths.get("C:/temp", "temp.txt");
    String text = "\n Welcome to Java 8";

    //Writing to the file temp.txt
    try (BufferedWriter writer = Files.newBufferedWriter(FILE_PATH, StandardCharsets.UTF_8, StandardOpenOption.APPEND)) {
        writer.write(text);
    } catch (IOException e) {
        e.printStackTrace();
    }
}

There are few points to note:

  1. It is always a good habit to specify charset encoding and for that we have constant in class StandardCharsets.
  2. The code uses try-with-resource statement in which resources are automatically closed after the try.

Though OP has not asked but just in case we want to search for lines having some specific keyword e.g. confidential we can make use of stream APIs in Java:

//Reading from the file the first line which contains word "confidential"
try {
    Stream<String> lines = Files.lines(FILE_PATH);
    Optional<String> containsJava = lines.filter(l->l.contains("confidential")).findFirst();
    if(containsJava.isPresent()){
        System.out.println(containsJava.get());
    }
} catch (IOException e) {
    e.printStackTrace();
}

Questions:
Answers:

File reading and writing using input and outputstream:

//Coded By Anurag Goel
//Reading And Writing Files
import java.io.FileInputStream;
import java.io.FileOutputStream;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.io.InputStream;
import java.io.OutputStream;


public class WriteAFile {
    public static void main(String args[]) {
        try {
            byte array [] = {'1','a','2','b','5'};
            OutputStream os = new FileOutputStream("test.txt");
            for(int x=0; x < array.length ; x++) {
                os.write( array[x] ); // Writes the bytes
            }
            os.close();

            InputStream is = new FileInputStream("test.txt");
            int size = is.available();

            for(int i=0; i< size; i++) {
                System.out.print((char)is.read() + " ");
            }
            is.close();
        } catch(IOException e) {
            System.out.print("Exception");
        }
    }
}

Questions:
Answers:

Just include this package:

java.nio.file

And then you can use this code to write the file:

Path file = ...;
byte[] buf = ...;
Files.write(file, buf);

Questions:
Answers:

There are some simple ways, like:

File file = new File("filename.txt");
PrintWriter pw = new PrintWriter(file);

pw.write("The world I'm coming");
pw.close();

String write = "Hello World!";

FileWriter fw = new FileWriter(file);
BufferedWriter bw = new BufferedWriter(fw);

fw.write(write);

fw.close();

Questions:
Answers:

It’s worth a try for Java 7+:

 Files.write(Paths.get("./output.txt"), "Information string herer".getBytes());

It looks promising…

Questions:
Answers:

Using Google’s Guava library, we can create and write to a file very
easily.

package com.zetcode.writetofileex;

import com.google.common.io.Files;
import java.io.File;
import java.io.IOException;

public class WriteToFileEx {

    public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException {

        String fileName = "fruits.txt";
        File file = new File(fileName);

        String content = "banana, orange, lemon, apple, plum";

        Files.write(content.getBytes(), file);
    }
}

The example creates a new fruits.txt file in the project root directory.

Questions:
Answers:

You can even create a temporary file using a system property, which will be independent of which OS you are using.

File file = new File(System.*getProperty*("java.io.tmpdir") +
                     System.*getProperty*("file.separator") +
                     "YourFileName.txt");

Questions:
Answers:

For multiple files you can use:

static void out(String[] name, String[] content) {

    File path = new File(System.getProperty("user.dir") + File.separator + "OUT");

    for (File file : path.listFiles())
        if (!file.isDirectory())
            file.delete();
    path.mkdirs();

    File c;

    for (int i = 0; i != name.length; i++) {
        c = new File(path + File.separator + name[i] + ".txt");
        try {
            c.createNewFile();
            FileWriter fiWi = new FileWriter(c.getAbsoluteFile());
            BufferedWriter buWi = new BufferedWriter(fiWi);
            buWi.write(content[i]);
            buWi.close();
        }
        catch (IOException e) {
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
    }
}

It’s working great.

Questions:
Answers:

Reading collection with customers and saving to file, with JFilechooser.

private void writeFile(){

    JFileChooser fileChooser = new JFileChooser(this.PATH);
    int retValue = fileChooser.showDialog(this, "Save File");

    if (retValue == JFileChooser.APPROVE_OPTION){

        try (Writer fileWrite = new BufferedWriter(new OutputStreamWriter(new FileOutputStream(fileChooser.getSelectedFile())))){

            this.customers.forEach((c) ->{
                try{
                    fileWrite.append(c.toString()).append("\n");
                }
                catch (IOException ex){
                    ex.printStackTrace();
                }
            });
        }
        catch (IOException e){
            e.printStackTrace();
        }
    }
}

Questions:
Answers:

Creating a sample file:

try {
    File file = new File ("c:/new-file.txt");
    if(file.createNewFile()) {
        System.out.println("Successful created!");
    }
    else {
        System.out.println("Failed to create!");
    }
}
catch (IOException e) {
    e.printStackTrace();
}