PHP Strings and Characters

Here some simple tips to help with manipulating text, the simplest of things can be the most valuable. 🙂

First, if you only want to pull one character from a string, it’s a lot easier to use the following:

 $string = 'puppy';
 echo $string[0]; // p
 echo $string[1]; // u
 echo $string[2]; // p ...and so on

And here’s the basic concept behind the substr() function:

substr($string, start # [, length #])

– length is in brackets because it’s optional

Now let’s use this function to get a better idea of what it does.

 $string = 'categories';
 echo substr($string, 0); // 'categories' because we asked to start at the first character (which is 0 from the first example above) and goes right until end of string
 echo substr($string, 3); // 'egories' because started at the third character in the string and went to the end
 echo substr($string, -1); // 's' this is different from above because it starts at the end and goes left that number of characters
 echo substr($string, -3); // 'ies'

echo substr($string,0,-1); // 'categorie' strips last letter off
 echo substr($string,3,4); // 'egor' - starts at the fourth character (remember 0 is the first) and shows 4 characters total (length)
 echo substr($string,1,3); // 'ate' - starts at the second character and shows 3 characters total (length)
 echo substr($string,1,-2); // 'ategori' because we started at the second character and also stripped off the last two with the "-2"
 echo substr($string,-3,-2); // 'i' since we're starting from the third character from the left and then are stripping off two characters from that with the "-2"

I sometimes use this if I only want to display a preview description rather than showing the whole large description.

$text = 'Great for home, school or travel. Wonderful gift item!';
 echo substr($text,0,25).'...'; // displays "Great for home, school or..."
PHP Strings and Characters