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1.3. Replacing Substrings

1.3.3. Discussion

Without the $length argument, substr_replace( ) replaces everything from $start to the end of the string. If $length is specified, only that many characters are replaced:

print substr_replace('My pet is a blue dog.','fish.',12);
print substr_replace('My pet is a blue dog.','green',12,4);
$credit_card = '4111 1111 1111 1111';
print substr_replace($credit_card,'xxxx ',0,strlen($credit_card)-4);
My pet is a fish.
My pet is a green dog.
xxxx 1111

If $start is negative, the new substring is placed at $start characters counting from the end of $old_string, not from the beginning:

print substr_replace('My pet is a blue dog.','fish.',-9);
print substr_replace('My pet is a blue dog.','green',-9,4);
My pet is a fish.
My pet is a green dog.

If $start and $length are 0, the new substring is inserted at the start of $old_string:

print substr_replace('My pet is a blue dog.','Title: ',0,0);
Title: My pet is a blue dog.

The function substr_replace( ) is useful when you've got text that's too big to display all at once, and you want to display some of the text with a link to the rest. For example, this displays the first 25 characters of a message with an ellipsis after it as a link to a page that displays more text:

$r = mysql_query("SELECT id,message FROM messages WHERE id = $id") or die( );
$ob = mysql_fetch_object($r);
printf('<a href="more-text.php?id=%d">%s</a>',
       $ob->id, substr_replace($ob->message,' ...',25));

The more-text.php page can use the message ID passed in the query string to retrieve the full message and display it.



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