PHP: Return First Character of a String

In this quick post, I will tell you how to return the first character of a string in PHP.

I work with string manipulation in PHP quite a bit and remembering the little nuances can be a challenge. And, often the returned searches in Google are absolutely incorrect or outdated. For example, I just Googled “PHP return first character of string” and received non-answers and, even worse, extremely long pontifications from people at stackoverflow.com that were patently wrong or way too complex than needed to be.

So, I write these quick little posts for both of us so that we can quickly remember. Here is how to quick truncate a PHP string to the first character.

Return First Character of a String in PHP

The PHP code to return the first character uses the PHP substr syntax. The syntax is explained in the sample below:

<?

// this file shows how to remove the first character of a string
// you can upload it to your server to see exactly how it works

$fname = "Richard";
$fname1=substr($fname,0,1);  // return the first character (0) of the string and only return 1 character
echo "The first character of the string is <b>$fname1</b>."

?>

I hope this helps someone out there trying to achieve the same. Want another little tidbit of wisdom on the first character of a string? Check out this post entitled PHP Delete First Character In String where I also offer some string challenges :)

Richard CummingsPHP: Return First Character of a String

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