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The FileReader object asynchronously reads the content of a file.

It exposes those 4 reading methods we can use to start a reading process:

  • readAsText()
  • readAsDataURL()
  • readAsArrayBuffer()
  • readAsBinaryString()

and an abort() method to halt any reading operation.

Reading the file is asynchronous, and the object exposes several events we can hook into to follow the progress of the operation:

  • onload triggered when the reading successfully ends
  • onloadstart triggered when the reading starts
  • onprogress triggered when the reading is on progress
  • onloadend triggered when the reading ends, successfully or not successfully
  • onerror triggered when an error occurs
  • onabort triggered when the reading is aborted

Once a reading operation is completed, the result property of FileReader contains the file content.

The error property contains the error message, if an error occurred, and readyState contains the state of the operations - 0 if no data is loaded, 1 if data loading is in progress, and 2 if the loading has finished.

readAsText()

Loads the content of a blob in a text string.

In this example we use that text and put it into the #content element’s inner HTML:

//..file is available as a blob

const reader = new FileReader()

reader.onload = event => {
	const text = reader.result
  document.getElementById('content').innerHTML = text
}

reader.onerror = (e) => {
  console.error(e)
}

reader.readAsText(file)

Here’s an example that reads the content of a text file when it’s uploaded using an input element, and prints its content to the console:

<input type="file" allow="text/*" />
const input = document.querySelector('input')

input.addEventListener('change', e => {
	const reader = new FileReader()

	reader.onload = event => {
	  const text = reader.result
	  console.log(text)
	}

	reader.onerror = (e) => {
	  console.error(e)
	}

	reader.readAsText(input.files[0])
})

readAsDataURL()

Loads the content of a blob into a Data URL.

//..file is available as a blob

const reader = new FileReader()

reader.onload = event => {
	const dataURL = event.target.result
  document.getElementById('image').src = dataURL
}

reader.readAsDataURL(file)

readAsArrayBuffer()

Loads the content of a blob into an ArrayBuffer.

//..file is available as a blob

const reader = new FileReader()

reader.onload = event => {
	const buffer = reader.result
	const data = new Int32Array(buffer)
	//...
}

reader.onerror = (e) => {
  console.error(e)
}

reader.readAsArrayBuffer(file)

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