Module string

string operations like searching and matching.

Functions

byte (s, i, j) Returns the internal numerical codes of the characters s[i], s[i+1], ..., s[j].
char (...) Receives zero or more integers.
dump (function) Returns a string containing a binary representation of the given function, so that a later loadstring on this string returns a copy of the function.
find (s, pattern, init, plain) Looks for the first match of pattern in the string s.
format (formatstring, ...) Returns a formatted version of its variable number of arguments following the description given in its first argument (which must be a string).
gmatch (s, pattern) Returns an iterator function that, each time it is called, returns the next captures from pattern over string s.
gsub (s, pattern, repl, n) Returns a copy of s in which all (or the first n, if given) occurrences of the pattern have been replaced by a replacement string specified by repl, which can be a string, a table, or a function.
len (s) Receives a string and returns its length.
lower (s) Receives a string and returns a copy of this string with all uppercase letters changed to lowercase.
match (s, pattern, init) Looks for the first match of pattern in the string s.
rep (s, n) Returns a string that is the concatenation of n copies of the string s.
reverse (s) Returns a string that is the string s reversed.
sub (s, i, j) Returns the substring of s that starts at i and continues until j; i and j can be negative.
upper (s) Receives a string and returns a copy of this string with all lowercase letters changed to uppercase.


Functions

byte (s, i, j)
Returns the internal numerical codes of the characters s[i], s[i+1], ..., s[j]. The default value for i is 1; the default value for j is i. Note that numerical codes are not necessarily portable across platforms.

Parameters:

  • s
  • i
  • j
char (...)
Receives zero or more integers. Returns a string with length equal to the number of arguments, in which each character has the internal numerical code equal to its corresponding argument. Note that numerical codes are not necessarily portable across platforms.

Parameters:

  • ...
dump (function)
Returns a string containing a binary representation of the given function, so that a later loadstring on this string returns a copy of the function. function must be a Lua function without upvalues.

Parameters:

  • function
find (s, pattern, init, plain)
Looks for the first match of pattern in the string s. If it finds a match, then find returns the indices of s where this occurrence starts and ends; otherwise, it returns nil. A third, optional numerical argument init specifies where to start the search; its default value is 1 and can be negative. A value of true as a fourth, optional argument plain turns off the pattern matching facilities, so the function does a plain "find substring" operation, with no characters in pattern being considered "magic". Note that if plain is given, then init must be given as well. If the pattern has captures, then in a successful match the captured values are also returned, after the two indices.

Parameters:

  • s
  • pattern
  • init
  • plain
format (formatstring, ...)
Returns a formatted version of its variable number of arguments following the description given in its first argument (which must be a string). The format string follows the same rules as the printf family of standard C functions. The only differences are that the options/modifiers *, l, L, n, p, and h are not supported and that there is an extra option, q. The q option formats a string in a form suitable to be safely read back by the Lua interpreter: the string is written between double quotes, and all double quotes, newlines, embedded zeros, and backslashes in the string are correctly escaped when written. For instance, the call

 string.format('%q', 'a string with "quotes" and \n new line')

will produce the string:

 "a string with \"quotes\" and \
     new line"

The options c, d, E, e, f, g, G, i, o, u, X, and x all expect a number as argument, whereas q and s expect a string. This function does not accept string values containing embedded zeros, except as arguments to the q option.

Parameters:

  • formatstring
  • ...
gmatch (s, pattern)
Returns an iterator function that, each time it is called, returns the next captures from pattern over string s. If pattern specifies no captures, then the whole match is produced in each call. As an example, the following loop

 s = "hello world from Lua"
 for w in string.gmatch(s, "%a+") do
   print(w)
 end

will iterate over all the words from string s, printing one per line. The next example collects all pairs key=value from the given string into a table:

 t = {}
 s = "from=world, to=Lua"
 for k, v in string.gmatch(s, "(%w+)=(%w+)") do
   t[k] = v
 end

For this function, a '^' at the start of a pattern does not work as an anchor, as this would prevent the iteration.

Parameters:

  • s
  • pattern
gsub (s, pattern, repl, n)

Returns a copy of s in which all (or the first n, if given) occurrences of the pattern have been replaced by a replacement string specified by repl, which can be a string, a table, or a function. gsub also returns, as its second value, the total number of matches that occurred.

If repl is a string, then its value is used for replacement. The character % works as an escape character: any sequence in repl of the form %n, with n between 1 and 9, stands for the value of the n-th captured substring (see below). The sequence %0 stands for the whole match. The sequence %% stands for a single %.

If repl is a table, then the table is queried for every match, using the first capture as the key; if the pattern specifies no captures, then the whole match is used as the key.

If repl is a function, then this function is called every time a match occurs, with all captured substrings passed as arguments, in order; if the pattern specifies no captures, then the whole match is passed as a sole argument.

If the value returned by the table query or by the function call is a string or a number, then it is used as the replacement string; otherwise, if it is false or nil, then there is no replacement (that is, the original match is kept in the string).

Here are some examples:

 x = string.gsub("hello world", "(%w+)", "%1 %1")
 --> x="hello hello world world"
 x = string.gsub("hello world", "%w+", "%0 %0", 1)
 --> x="hello hello world"
 x = string.gsub("hello world from Lua", "(%w+)%s*(%w+)", "%2 %1")
 --> x="world hello Lua from"
 x = string.gsub("home = $HOME, user = $USER", "%$(%w+)", os.getenv)
 --> x="home = /home/roberto, user = roberto"
 x = string.gsub("4+5 = $return 4+5$", "%$(.-)%$", function (s)
       return loadstring(s)()
     end)
 --> x="4+5 = 9"
 local t = {name="lua", version="5.1"}
 x = string.gsub("$name-$version.tar.gz", "%$(%w+)", t)
 --> x="lua-5.1.tar.gz"

Parameters:

  • s
  • pattern
  • repl
  • n
len (s)
Receives a string and returns its length. The empty string "" has length 0. Embedded zeros are counted, so "a\000bc\000" has length 5.

Parameters:

  • s
lower (s)
Receives a string and returns a copy of this string with all uppercase letters changed to lowercase. All other characters are left unchanged. The definition of what an uppercase letter is depends on the current locale.

Parameters:

  • s
match (s, pattern, init)
Looks for the first match of pattern in the string s. If it finds one, then match returns the captures from the pattern; otherwise it returns nil. If pattern specifies no captures, then the whole match is returned. A third, optional numerical argument init specifies where to start the search; its default value is 1 and can be negative.

Parameters:

  • s
  • pattern
  • init
rep (s, n)
Returns a string that is the concatenation of n copies of the string s.

Parameters:

  • s
  • n
reverse (s)
Returns a string that is the string s reversed.

Parameters:

  • s
sub (s, i, j)
Returns the substring of s that starts at i and continues until j; i and j can be negative. If j is absent, then it is assumed to be equal to -1 (which is the same as the string length). In particular, the call string.sub(s,1,j) returns a prefix of s with length j, and string.sub(s, -i) returns a suffix of s with length i.

Parameters:

  • s
  • i
  • j
upper (s)
Receives a string and returns a copy of this string with all lowercase letters changed to uppercase. All other characters are left unchanged. The definition of what a lowercase letter is depends on the current locale.

Parameters:

  • s
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