The TextDecoder interface represents a decoder for a specific text encoding, such as UTF-8, ISO-8859-2, KOI8-R, GBK, etc. A decoder takes a stream of bytes as input and emits a stream of code points.

Note: This feature is available in Web Workers.


Representing text with typed arrays

This example shows how to decode a Chinese/Japanese character , as represented by five different typed arrays: Uint8Array, Int8Array, Uint16Array, Int16Array, and Int32Array.

let utf8decoder = new TextDecoder(); // default 'utf-8' or 'utf8'

let u8arr = new Uint8Array([240, 160, 174, 183]);
let i8arr = new Int8Array([-16, -96, -82, -73]);
let u16arr = new Uint16Array([41200, 47022]);
let i16arr = new Int16Array([-24336, -18514]);
let i32arr = new Int32Array([-1213292304]);


Handling non-UTF8 text

In this example, we decode the Russian text "Привет, мир!", which means "Hello, world." In our TextDecoder() constructor, we specify the Windows-1251 character encoding, which is appropriate for Cyrillic script.

let win1251decoder = new TextDecoder('windows-1251');
let bytes = new Uint8Array([207, 240, 232, 226, 229, 242, 44, 32, 236, 232, 240, 33]);
console.log(win1251decoder.decode(bytes)); // Привет, мир!


Returns a newly constructed TextDecoder that will generate a code point stream with the decoding method specified in parameters.


The TextDecoder interface doesn't inherit any properties.

TextDecoder.prototype.encodingRead only
Is a DOMString containing the name of the decoder, that is a string describing the method the TextDecoder will use.
TextDecoder.prototype.fatalRead only
Is a Boolean indicating whether the error mode is fatal.
TextDecoder.prototype.ignoreBOMRead only
Is a Boolean indicating whether the byte order marker is ignored.


The TextDecoder interface doesn't inherit any method.

Returns a DOMString containing the text decoded with the method of the specific TextDecoder object.


Specification Status Comment
The definition of 'TextDecoder' in that specification.
Living Standard Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

BCD tables only load in the browser

See also