Looking for recommendations. Have a file in a document library with name x.txt. In a workflow code behind, I need to get the file to read its contents. What is the best/most efficient way to do this? Was thinking a linq query on the SPList.Item collection but might be off.

2 Answers 2


I'm not sure if I understand you correctly, but if you have the list, you could get your item like this

var myItem = myList.Items.Cast<SPListItem>().Where(n => n.File.Name == "x.txt").FirstOrDefault();
  • - 1. Although this satisfies the question, there could be serious performance ramifications. Using CAML is the way to go. Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 20:32
  • I agree, the other answer is better in most cases
    – tarjeieo
    Commented Jun 25, 2015 at 8:05

If you use linq to object, you always retrieve ALL records from DB. It is not good if you have got a lot of data. To reduce records you can use CAML query:

SPQuery query = new SPQuery();    
query.Query = "<Where>" +
                    "<Eq>" +
                         "<FieldRef Name=\"FileLeafRef\"/>" +
                         "<Value Type=\"Text\">" + fileName + "</Value>" +
                    "</Eq>" +
SPListItem item = list.GetItems(query).FirstOrDefault();

In this case items are selected from DB by query and then you can get first item.

  • Hi, FileLeafRef will trigger listview threshold issues.
    – Eddietec
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 12:41

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