Jul
18
2011

Exploding a String using Multiple Delimiters Using PHP

Updated February 12th, 2013 to reflect Dave’s comment function below- A++ for simplicity!

function explodeX( $delimiters, $string )
{
    return explode( chr( 1 ), str_replace( $delimiters, chr( 1 ), $string ) );
}

$list = 'Thing 1&Thing 2,Thing 3|Thing 4';

$exploded = explodeX( array('&', ',', '|' ), $list );

echo '<pre>';
print_r($exploded);
echo '</pre>';

Earlier today, I was looking for a simple function to explode text that was contained in string format to be output in array form, however I prefer to avoid Regex whenever possible.  Problem?

Not at all thanks to someone named TcM who was nice enough to post this handy code snippet:

function explodeX($delimiters,$string)

{

$return_array = Array($string); // The array to return

$d_count = 0;

while (isset($delimiters[$d_count])) // Loop to loop through all delimiters

{

$new_return_array = Array();

foreach($return_array as $el_to_split) // Explode all returned elements by the next delimiter

{

$put_in_new_return_array = explode($delimiters[$d_count],$el_to_split);

foreach($put_in_new_return_array as $substr) // Put all the exploded elements in array to return

{

$new_return_array[] = $substr;

}

}

$return_array = $new_return_array; // Replace the previous return array by the next version

$d_count++;

}

return $return_array; // Return the exploded elements

}

And to use the function, we are able to either simply output the newly created array using this code…

print_r(explodeX(Array(".","-",",","?"),"Isn't.TcM-The,Best?Member"));

Or, we can utilize a simple foreach (which was my usage), and output into a handy multiple line output such as…

$input = "Author 1., Author 2 & Author 3 And Author 4, Author 5"; //The string to be split

$output = explodeX(Array(".,",",","&","And"), $input); //Calling the function using the split parameters

foreach ($output as $o)

{

echo $o . "
";

}

Which outputs:

Author 1
Author 2
Author 3
Author 4
Author 5

Source: http://www.webmastertalkforums.com/php-functions/17184-php-explode-string-multiple-delimiters.html

7 Comments + Add Comment

  • thanks, it helps a lot, but I need to put the result into a table..

    exactly these data:

    ” [[“A1″,”B1″,”C1″,”D1″,”E1”],[“A2″,”B2″,”C2″,”D2″,”E2”],[“A3″,”B3″,”C3″,”D3″,”E3”],[“A4″,”B4″,”C4″,”D4″,”E4”],[“A5″,”B5″,”C5″,”D5″,”E5″]] ”

    if you have any idea, please let me know, thanks in advance

    • Sure, keep in mind that the example below is for a single sequence of your desired output, but uses the same code provided in the article:

      $input = "A1., A2 & A3 And A4, A5"; //The string to be split
      $output = explodeX(Array(".,",",","&","And"), $input);

      //Start a new array to contain the formatted output
      $new_output = array();
      foreach ($output as $o)
      {
      $o = trim( $o );
      $new_output[] = "[\"$o\"]";
      }
      //Output the new array as a string separated by a comma
      echo implode( ', ', $new_output );

    • Sure, keep in mind that the following only represents one of the blocks of your example above, but uses the same code from this page:

      $input = “A1., A2 & A3 And A4, A5”; //The string to be split
      $output = explodeX(Array(“.,”,”,”,”&”,”And”), $input);

      //Start a new array to contain the formatted output
      $new_output = array();
      foreach ($output as $o)
      {
      $o = trim( $o );
      $new_output[] = “[“$o”]”;
      }

      //Output the new array as a string separated by a comma
      echo implode( ‘, ‘, $new_output );

  • function explodeX($delimiters,$string) {
    return explode(chr(1),str_replace($delimiters,chr(1),$string));
    }

    • Now THAT is beautiful. I’ll be amending my post to reflect that short and sweet masterpiece!

      • You can reduce the call a bit too:

        $exploded = explodeX([ ‘&’, ‘,’, ‘|’ ], $list );

  • superb…awesome…:)

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