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C# Strings


C# Strings

Strings are used for storing text.

A string variable contains a collection of characters surrounded by double quotes:

Example

Create a variable of type string and assign it a value:

string greeting = "Hello";

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String Length

A string in C# is actually an object, which contain properties and methods that can perform certain operations on strings. For example, the length of a string can be found with the Length property:

Example

string txt = "ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ";
Console.WriteLine("The length of the txt string is: " + txt.Length);

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Other Methods

There are many string methods available, for example ToUpper() and ToLower(), which returns a copy of the string converted to uppercase or lowercase:

Example

string txt = "Hello World";
Console.WriteLine(txt.ToUpper());   // Outputs "HELLO WORLD"
Console.WriteLine(txt.ToLower());   // Outputs "hello world"

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String Concatenation

The + operator can be used between strings to combine them. This is called concatenation:

Example

string firstName = "John ";
string lastName = "Doe";
string name = firstName + lastName;
Console.WriteLine(name);

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Note that we have added a space after "John" to create a space between firstName and lastName on print.

You can also use the string.Concat() method to concatenate two strings:

Example

string firstName = "John ";
string lastName = "Doe";
string name = string.Concat(firstName, lastName);
Console.WriteLine(name);

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String Interpolation

Another option of string concatenation, is string interpolation, which substitutes values of variables into placeholders in a string. Note that you do not have to worry about spaces, like with concatenation:

Example

string firstName = "John";
string lastName = "Doe";
string name = $"My full name is: {firstName} {lastName}";
Console.WriteLine(name);

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Also note that you have to use the dollar sign ($) when using the string interpolation method.

String interpolation was introduced in C# version 6.


Access Strings

You can access the characters in a string by referring to its index number inside square brackets [].

This example prints the first character in myString:

Example

string myString = "Hello";
Console.WriteLine(myString[0]);  // Outputs "H"

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Note: String indexes start with 0: [0] is the first character. [1] is the second character, etc.

This example prints the second character (1) in myString:

Example

string myString = "Hello";
Console.WriteLine(myString[1]);  // Outputs "e"

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You can also find the index position of a specific character in a string, by using the IndexOf() method:

Example

string myString = "Hello";
Console.WriteLine(myString.IndexOf("e"));  // Outputs "1"

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Another useful method is Substring(), which extracts the characters from a string, starting from the specified character position/index, and returns a new string. This method is often used together with IndexOf() to get the specific character position:

Example

// Full name
string name = "John Doe";

// Location of the letter D
int charPos = name.IndexOf("D");

// Get last name
string lastName = name.Substring(charPos);

// Print the result
Console.WriteLine(lastName);

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Special Characters

Because strings must be written within quotes, C# will misunderstand this string, and generate an error:

string txt = "We are the so-called "Vikings" from the north.";

The solution to avoid this problem, is to use the backslash escape character.

The backslash (\) escape character turns special characters into string characters:

Escape character Result Description
\' ' Single quote
\" " Double quote
\\ \ Backslash

The sequence \"  inserts a double quote in a string:

Example

string txt = "We are the so-called \"Vikings\" from the north.";

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The sequence \'  inserts a single quote in a string:

Example

string txt = "It\'s alright.";

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The sequence \\  inserts a single backslash in a string:

Example

string txt = "The character \\ is called backslash.";

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Other useful escape characters in C# are:

Code Result Try it
\n New Line Try it »
\t Tab Try it »
\b Backspace Try it »

Adding Numbers and Strings

WARNING!

C# uses the + operator for both addition and concatenation.

Remember: Numbers are added. Strings are concatenated.

If you add two numbers, the result will be a number:

Example

int x = 10;
int y = 20;
int z = x + y;  // z will be 30 (an integer/number)

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If you add two strings, the result will be a string concatenation:

Example

string x = "10";
string y = "20";
string z = x + y;  // z will be 1020 (a string)

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