Character-Based File Input Output

Although byte-oriented file handling is quite common, it is possible to use character-based streams for this purpose. The advantage to the character streams is that they operate directly on Unicode characters. Thus, if you want to store Unicode text, the character streams are certainly your best option. In general, to perform character-based file operations, you will wrap a FileStream inside either a StreamReader or a StreamWriter. These classes automatically convert a byte stream into a character stream, and vice versa. Remember, at the operating system level, a file consists of a set of bytes. Using a StreamReader or StreamWriter does not alter this fact.
 
StreamWriter is derived from TextWriter. StreamReader is derived from TextReader. Thus, StreamWriter and StreamReader have access to the methods and properties defined by their base classes.