PHP String Examples

PHP only supports a 256-character set, and hence does not offer native Unicode support.

Replace a word inside a string

$str = "Kotlin can be used to develop mobile app.";
$result = str_replace("mobile", "Android", $str);

Remove non-alphanumeric characters

preg_match() perform regular expression search and replace. We use it to remove non-alphanumeric characters.

$str = 'TL Templates @2020';
$str = preg_replace( '/[\W]/', '', $str);
echo $str; //output: TLTemplates2020
$str = preg_replace( '/[^a-z0-9 ]/i', '', $str);
echo $str; //output: TL Templates 2020

Remove all special characters from a string

$string = 'a|" duck!#%%*)[email protected]£^ &$8says hello';
echo preg_replace('/[^A-Za-z0-9 ]/', '', $string);
//output: a duck55 8says hello

Split a comma delimited string into an array

Both preg_split and explode can be used.

$str = "ID,Name,Age,Email,Username";  
$arr = preg_split("/\,/", $str); 
$arr = explode(',', $str);

Check if a string contains a specific word

$a = 'The most famous CMS written in PHP is Laravel.';
if (strpos($a, 'PHP') !== false) {
    echo 'It is true';

Generate a random, unique, alphanumeric string

//list all characters you want to generate
$base = 'abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ0123456789'; 
//shuffle characters in the string
$base = str_shuffle($base);
//take a number of characters out
$length = 10;
$randomized_string = substr($base,  0, $length);

Loop through all characters of a string

$chars_array = str_split($string);
foreach ($chars_array as $key => $char) {
	echo $char;

Get the first character in a string

Strings in PHP can be treated like character arrays so we can get each character by calling out its index.

Another approach is to use mb_substr() and substr(). mb_substr supports Unicode character.

$text = 'This is my text';
echo $text[0]; //output: 'T'

//use substr
echo substr($string, 0, 1); //output: 'T'
//use mb_substr
$text = 'ê123ë';
echo mb_substr($text, 0, 1, "UTF-8"); //output: 'ê'

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