PHP Basics

Remove Characters At Start And End Of A String In PHP

In a previous article about how you can remove whitesapce from a string I spoke about using the functions ltrim() and rtrim(). These work by passing in a string and they will remove the whitespace. Using the ltrim() function it will remove the whitespace from the start of the string, using the rtrim() function will remove the whitespace from the end of the string.

But you can also use these functions to remove characters from string. These functions take a second parameter that allows you to specify what characters to remove.

// This will search for the word start at the beginning of the string and remove it
ltrim($string, 'start');  

// This will search for the word end at the end of the string and remove it
rtrim($string, 'end');

Remove Trailing Slashes From String

A common use for this functionality is to remove the trailing slash from a URL. Below is a code snippet that allows you to easily do this using the rtrim() function.

function remove_trailing_slashes( $url )
     return rtrim($url, '/');

A common use for the ltrim() function is to use it to remove leading zeros from a string.

function remove_leading_zeros( $number )
    return ltrim($number, '0');
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