Alex Alex - 1 year ago 84
PHP Question

Get first n characters of a string

How can I get the first n characters of a string in PHP? What's the fastest way to trim a string to a specific number of characters, and append '...' if needed?

Answer Source
//The simple version for 10 Characters from the beginning of the string
$string = substr($string,0,10).'...';


Based on suggestion for checking length (and also ensuring similar lengths on trimmed and untrimmed strings):

$string = (strlen($string) > 13) ? substr($string,0,10).'...' : $string;

So you will get a string of max 13 characters; either 13 (or less) normal characters or 10 characters followed by '...'

Update 2:

Or as function:

function truncate($string, $length, $dots = "...") {
    return (strlen($string) > $length) ? substr($string, 0, $length - strlen($dots)) . $dots : $string;

Update 3:

It's been a while since I wrote this answer and I don't actually use this code any more. I prefer this function which prevents breaking the string in the middle of a word using the wordwrap function:

function truncate($string,$length=100,$append="…") {
  $string = trim($string);

  if(strlen($string) > $length) {
    $string = wordwrap($string, $length);
    $string = explode("\n", $string, 2);
    $string = $string[0] . $append;

  return $string;
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