Java.lang.Character.toChars() Method



The java.lang.Character.toChars(int codePoint, char[] dst, int dstIndex) converts the specified character (Unicode code point) to its UTF-16 representation.

If the specified code point is a BMP (Basic Multilingual Plane or Plane 0) value, the same value is stored in dst[dstIndex], and 1 is returned.

If the specified code point is a supplementary character, its surrogate values are stored in dst[dstIndex] (high-surrogate) and dst[dstIndex+1] (low-surrogate), and 2 is returned.


Following is the declaration for java.lang.Character.toChars() method

public static int toChars(int codePoint, char[] dst, int dstIndex)


  • codePoint - a Unicode code point

  • dst - an array of char in which the codePoint's UTF-16 value is stored

  • dstIndex - the start index into the dst array where the converted value is stored

Return Value

This method returns 1 if the code point is a BMP code point, 2 if the code point is a supplementary code point.


  • IllegalArgumentException - if the specified codePoint is not a valid Unicode code point

  • NullPointerException - if the specified dst is null

  • IllegalArgumentException - if dstIndex is negative or not less than dst.length, or if dst at dstIndex doesn't have enough array element(s) to store the resulting char value(s). (If dstIndex is equal to dst.length-1 and the specified codePoint is a supplementary character, the high-surrogate value is not stored in dst[dstIndex].)


The following example shows the usage of lang.Character.toChars() method.

package com.tutorialspoint;

import java.lang.*;

public class CharacterDemo {

   public static void main(String[] args) {

      // create an int primitive cp and assign value
      int cp = 0x0036;

      // create an int primitive res
      int res;

       *  create a char array dst and assign UTF-16 value of cp
       *  to it using toChars method
      char dst[] = Character.toChars(cp);

      // check if cp is BMP or supplementary code point using toChars
      res = Character.toChars(cp, dst, 0);

      String str1 = "It is a BMP code point";
      String str2 = "It is a is a supplementary code point";

      // print res value
      if ( res == 1 ){
         System.out.println( str1 );
      else if ( res == 2 ){
         System.out.println( str2 );

Let us compile and run the above program, this will produce the following result:

It is a BMP code point