Source

emacs / lispref / strings.texi

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@c -*-texinfo-*-
@c This is part of the GNU Emacs Lisp Reference Manual.
@c Copyright (C) 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2001,
@c   2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007  Free Software Foundation, Inc.
@c See the file elisp.texi for copying conditions.
@setfilename ../info/strings
@node Strings and Characters, Lists, Numbers, Top
@comment  node-name,  next,  previous,  up
@chapter Strings and Characters
@cindex strings
@cindex character arrays
@cindex characters
@cindex bytes

  A string in Emacs Lisp is an array that contains an ordered sequence
of characters.  Strings are used as names of symbols, buffers, and
files; to send messages to users; to hold text being copied between
buffers; and for many other purposes.  Because strings are so important,
Emacs Lisp has many functions expressly for manipulating them.  Emacs
Lisp programs use strings more often than individual characters.

  @xref{Strings of Events}, for special considerations for strings of
keyboard character events.

@menu
* Basics: String Basics.      Basic properties of strings and characters.
* Predicates for Strings::    Testing whether an object is a string or char.
* Creating Strings::          Functions to allocate new strings.
* Modifying Strings::         Altering the contents of an existing string.
* Text Comparison::           Comparing characters or strings.
* String Conversion::         Converting to and from characters and strings.
* Formatting Strings::        @code{format}: Emacs's analogue of @code{printf}.
* Case Conversion::           Case conversion functions.
* Case Tables::		      Customizing case conversion.
@end menu

@node String Basics
@section String and Character Basics

  Characters are represented in Emacs Lisp as integers;
whether an integer is a character or not is determined only by how it is
used.  Thus, strings really contain integers.

  The length of a string (like any array) is fixed, and cannot be
altered once the string exists.  Strings in Lisp are @emph{not}
terminated by a distinguished character code.  (By contrast, strings in
C are terminated by a character with @acronym{ASCII} code 0.)

  Since strings are arrays, and therefore sequences as well, you can
operate on them with the general array and sequence functions.
(@xref{Sequences Arrays Vectors}.)  For example, you can access or
change individual characters in a string using the functions @code{aref}
and @code{aset} (@pxref{Array Functions}).

  There are two text representations for non-@acronym{ASCII} characters in
Emacs strings (and in buffers): unibyte and multibyte (@pxref{Text
Representations}).  An @acronym{ASCII} character always occupies one byte in a
string; in fact, when a string is all @acronym{ASCII}, there is no real
difference between the unibyte and multibyte representations.
For most Lisp programming, you don't need to be concerned with these two
representations.

  Sometimes key sequences are represented as strings.  When a string is
a key sequence, string elements in the range 128 to 255 represent meta
characters (which are large integers) rather than character
codes in the range 128 to 255.

  Strings cannot hold characters that have the hyper, super or alt
modifiers; they can hold @acronym{ASCII} control characters, but no other
control characters.  They do not distinguish case in @acronym{ASCII} control
characters.  If you want to store such characters in a sequence, such as
a key sequence, you must use a vector instead of a string.
@xref{Character Type}, for more information about the representation of meta
and other modifiers for keyboard input characters.

  Strings are useful for holding regular expressions.  You can also
match regular expressions against strings with @code{string-match}
(@pxref{Regexp Search}).  The functions @code{match-string}
(@pxref{Simple Match Data}) and @code{replace-match} (@pxref{Replacing
Match}) are useful for decomposing and modifying strings after
matching regular expressions against them.

  Like a buffer, a string can contain text properties for the characters
in it, as well as the characters themselves.  @xref{Text Properties}.
All the Lisp primitives that copy text from strings to buffers or other
strings also copy the properties of the characters being copied.

  @xref{Text}, for information about functions that display strings or
copy them into buffers.  @xref{Character Type}, and @ref{String Type},
for information about the syntax of characters and strings.
@xref{Non-ASCII Characters}, for functions to convert between text
representations and to encode and decode character codes.

@node Predicates for Strings
@section The Predicates for Strings

For more information about general sequence and array predicates,
see @ref{Sequences Arrays Vectors}, and @ref{Arrays}.

@defun stringp object
This function returns @code{t} if @var{object} is a string, @code{nil}
otherwise.
@end defun

@defun string-or-null-p object
This function returns @code{t} if @var{object} is a string or nil,
@code{nil} otherwise.
@end defun

@defun char-or-string-p object
This function returns @code{t} if @var{object} is a string or a
character (i.e., an integer), @code{nil} otherwise.
@end defun

@node Creating Strings
@section Creating Strings

  The following functions create strings, either from scratch, or by
putting strings together, or by taking them apart.

@defun make-string count character
This function returns a string made up of @var{count} repetitions of
@var{character}.  If @var{count} is negative, an error is signaled.

@example
(make-string 5 ?x)
     @result{} "xxxxx"
(make-string 0 ?x)
     @result{} ""
@end example

  Other functions to compare with this one include @code{char-to-string}
(@pxref{String Conversion}), @code{make-vector} (@pxref{Vectors}), and
@code{make-list} (@pxref{Building Lists}).
@end defun

@defun string &rest characters
This returns a string containing the characters @var{characters}.

@example
(string ?a ?b ?c)
     @result{} "abc"
@end example
@end defun

@defun substring string start &optional end
This function returns a new string which consists of those characters
from @var{string} in the range from (and including) the character at the
index @var{start} up to (but excluding) the character at the index
@var{end}.  The first character is at index zero.

@example
@group
(substring "abcdefg" 0 3)
     @result{} "abc"
@end group
@end example

@noindent
Here the index for @samp{a} is 0, the index for @samp{b} is 1, and the
index for @samp{c} is 2.  Thus, three letters, @samp{abc}, are copied
from the string @code{"abcdefg"}.  The index 3 marks the character
position up to which the substring is copied.  The character whose index
is 3 is actually the fourth character in the string.

A negative number counts from the end of the string, so that @minus{}1
signifies the index of the last character of the string.  For example:

@example
@group
(substring "abcdefg" -3 -1)
     @result{} "ef"
@end group
@end example

@noindent
In this example, the index for @samp{e} is @minus{}3, the index for
@samp{f} is @minus{}2, and the index for @samp{g} is @minus{}1.
Therefore, @samp{e} and @samp{f} are included, and @samp{g} is excluded.

When @code{nil} is used for @var{end}, it stands for the length of the
string.  Thus,

@example
@group
(substring "abcdefg" -3 nil)
     @result{} "efg"
@end group
@end example

Omitting the argument @var{end} is equivalent to specifying @code{nil}.
It follows that @code{(substring @var{string} 0)} returns a copy of all
of @var{string}.

@example
@group
(substring "abcdefg" 0)
     @result{} "abcdefg"
@end group
@end example

@noindent
But we recommend @code{copy-sequence} for this purpose (@pxref{Sequence
Functions}).

If the characters copied from @var{string} have text properties, the
properties are copied into the new string also.  @xref{Text Properties}.

@code{substring} also accepts a vector for the first argument.
For example:

@example
(substring [a b (c) "d"] 1 3)
     @result{} [b (c)]
@end example

A @code{wrong-type-argument} error is signaled if @var{start} is not
an integer or if @var{end} is neither an integer nor @code{nil}.  An
@code{args-out-of-range} error is signaled if @var{start} indicates a
character following @var{end}, or if either integer is out of range
for @var{string}.

Contrast this function with @code{buffer-substring} (@pxref{Buffer
Contents}), which returns a string containing a portion of the text in
the current buffer.  The beginning of a string is at index 0, but the
beginning of a buffer is at index 1.
@end defun

@defun substring-no-properties string &optional start end
This works like @code{substring} but discards all text properties from
the value.  Also, @var{start} may be omitted or @code{nil}, which is
equivalent to 0.  Thus, @w{@code{(substring-no-properties
@var{string})}} returns a copy of @var{string}, with all text
properties removed.
@end defun

@defun concat &rest sequences
@cindex copying strings
@cindex concatenating strings
This function returns a new string consisting of the characters in the
arguments passed to it (along with their text properties, if any).  The
arguments may be strings, lists of numbers, or vectors of numbers; they
are not themselves changed.  If @code{concat} receives no arguments, it
returns an empty string.

@example
(concat "abc" "-def")
     @result{} "abc-def"
(concat "abc" (list 120 121) [122])
     @result{} "abcxyz"
;; @r{@code{nil} is an empty sequence.}
(concat "abc" nil "-def")
     @result{} "abc-def"
(concat "The " "quick brown " "fox.")
     @result{} "The quick brown fox."
(concat)
     @result{} ""
@end example

@noindent
The @code{concat} function always constructs a new string that is
not @code{eq} to any existing string.

In Emacs versions before 21, when an argument was an integer (not a
sequence of integers), it was converted to a string of digits making up
the decimal printed representation of the integer.  This obsolete usage
no longer works.  The proper way to convert an integer to its decimal
printed form is with @code{format} (@pxref{Formatting Strings}) or
@code{number-to-string} (@pxref{String Conversion}).

For information about other concatenation functions, see the
description of @code{mapconcat} in @ref{Mapping Functions},
@code{vconcat} in @ref{Vector Functions}, and @code{append} in @ref{Building
Lists}.
@end defun

@defun split-string string &optional separators omit-nulls
This function splits @var{string} into substrings at matches for the
regular expression @var{separators}.  Each match for @var{separators}
defines a splitting point; the substrings between the splitting points
are made into a list, which is the value returned by
@code{split-string}.

If @var{omit-nulls} is @code{nil}, the result contains null strings
whenever there are two consecutive matches for @var{separators}, or a
match is adjacent to the beginning or end of @var{string}.  If
@var{omit-nulls} is @code{t}, these null strings are omitted from the
result.

If @var{separators} is @code{nil} (or omitted),
the default is the value of @code{split-string-default-separators}.

As a special case, when @var{separators} is @code{nil} (or omitted),
null strings are always omitted from the result.  Thus:

@example
(split-string "  two words ")
     @result{} ("two" "words")
@end example

The result is not @code{("" "two" "words" "")}, which would rarely be
useful.  If you need such a result, use an explicit value for
@var{separators}:

@example
(split-string "  two words "
              split-string-default-separators)
     @result{} ("" "two" "words" "")
@end example

More examples:

@example
(split-string "Soup is good food" "o")
     @result{} ("S" "up is g" "" "d f" "" "d")
(split-string "Soup is good food" "o" t)
     @result{} ("S" "up is g" "d f" "d")
(split-string "Soup is good food" "o+")
     @result{} ("S" "up is g" "d f" "d")
@end example

Empty matches do count, except that @code{split-string} will not look
for a final empty match when it already reached the end of the string
using a non-empty match or when @var{string} is empty:

@example
(split-string "aooob" "o*")
     @result{} ("" "a" "" "b" "")
(split-string "ooaboo" "o*")
     @result{} ("" "" "a" "b" "")
(split-string "" "")
     @result{} ("")
@end example

However, when @var{separators} can match the empty string,
@var{omit-nulls} is usually @code{t}, so that the subtleties in the
three previous examples are rarely relevant:

@example
(split-string "Soup is good food" "o*" t)
     @result{} ("S" "u" "p" " " "i" "s" " " "g" "d" " " "f" "d")
(split-string "Nice doggy!" "" t)
     @result{} ("N" "i" "c" "e" " " "d" "o" "g" "g" "y" "!")
(split-string "" "" t)
     @result{} nil
@end example

Somewhat odd, but predictable, behavior can occur for certain
``non-greedy'' values of @var{separators} that can prefer empty
matches over non-empty matches.  Again, such values rarely occur in
practice:

@example
(split-string "ooo" "o*" t)
     @result{} nil
(split-string "ooo" "\\|o+" t)
     @result{} ("o" "o" "o")
@end example
@end defun

@defvar split-string-default-separators
The default value of @var{separators} for @code{split-string}.  Its
usual value is @w{@code{"[ \f\t\n\r\v]+"}}.
@end defvar

@node Modifying Strings
@section Modifying Strings

  The most basic way to alter the contents of an existing string is with
@code{aset} (@pxref{Array Functions}).  @code{(aset @var{string}
@var{idx} @var{char})} stores @var{char} into @var{string} at index
@var{idx}.  Each character occupies one or more bytes, and if @var{char}
needs a different number of bytes from the character already present at
that index, @code{aset} signals an error.

  A more powerful function is @code{store-substring}:

@defun store-substring string idx obj
This function alters part of the contents of the string @var{string}, by
storing @var{obj} starting at index @var{idx}.  The argument @var{obj}
may be either a character or a (smaller) string.

Since it is impossible to change the length of an existing string, it is
an error if @var{obj} doesn't fit within @var{string}'s actual length,
or if any new character requires a different number of bytes from the
character currently present at that point in @var{string}.
@end defun

  To clear out a string that contained a password, use
@code{clear-string}:

@defun clear-string string
This makes @var{string} a unibyte string and clears its contents to
zeros.  It may also change @var{string}'s length.
@end defun

@need 2000
@node Text Comparison
@section Comparison of Characters and Strings
@cindex string equality

@defun char-equal character1 character2
This function returns @code{t} if the arguments represent the same
character, @code{nil} otherwise.  This function ignores differences
in case if @code{case-fold-search} is non-@code{nil}.

@example
(char-equal ?x ?x)
     @result{} t
(let ((case-fold-search nil))
  (char-equal ?x ?X))
     @result{} nil
@end example
@end defun

@defun string= string1 string2
This function returns @code{t} if the characters of the two strings
match exactly.  Symbols are also allowed as arguments, in which case
their print names are used.
Case is always significant, regardless of @code{case-fold-search}.

@example
(string= "abc" "abc")
     @result{} t
(string= "abc" "ABC")
     @result{} nil
(string= "ab" "ABC")
     @result{} nil
@end example

The function @code{string=} ignores the text properties of the two
strings.  When @code{equal} (@pxref{Equality Predicates}) compares two
strings, it uses @code{string=}.

For technical reasons, a unibyte and a multibyte string are
@code{equal} if and only if they contain the same sequence of
character codes and all these codes are either in the range 0 through
127 (@acronym{ASCII}) or 160 through 255 (@code{eight-bit-graphic}).
However, when a unibyte string gets converted to a multibyte string,
all characters with codes in the range 160 through 255 get converted
to characters with higher codes, whereas @acronym{ASCII} characters
remain unchanged.  Thus, a unibyte string and its conversion to
multibyte are only @code{equal} if the string is all @acronym{ASCII}.
Character codes 160 through 255 are not entirely proper in multibyte
text, even though they can occur.  As a consequence, the situation
where a unibyte and a multibyte string are @code{equal} without both
being all @acronym{ASCII} is a technical oddity that very few Emacs
Lisp programmers ever get confronted with.  @xref{Text
Representations}.
@end defun

@defun string-equal string1 string2
@code{string-equal} is another name for @code{string=}.
@end defun

@cindex lexical comparison
@defun string< string1 string2
@c (findex string< causes problems for permuted index!!)
This function compares two strings a character at a time.  It
scans both the strings at the same time to find the first pair of corresponding
characters that do not match.  If the lesser character of these two is
the character from @var{string1}, then @var{string1} is less, and this
function returns @code{t}.  If the lesser character is the one from
@var{string2}, then @var{string1} is greater, and this function returns
@code{nil}.  If the two strings match entirely, the value is @code{nil}.

Pairs of characters are compared according to their character codes.
Keep in mind that lower case letters have higher numeric values in the
@acronym{ASCII} character set than their upper case counterparts; digits and
many punctuation characters have a lower numeric value than upper case
letters.  An @acronym{ASCII} character is less than any non-@acronym{ASCII}
character; a unibyte non-@acronym{ASCII} character is always less than any
multibyte non-@acronym{ASCII} character (@pxref{Text Representations}).

@example
@group
(string< "abc" "abd")
     @result{} t
(string< "abd" "abc")
     @result{} nil
(string< "123" "abc")
     @result{} t
@end group
@end example

When the strings have different lengths, and they match up to the
length of @var{string1}, then the result is @code{t}.  If they match up
to the length of @var{string2}, the result is @code{nil}.  A string of
no characters is less than any other string.

@example
@group
(string< "" "abc")
     @result{} t
(string< "ab" "abc")
     @result{} t
(string< "abc" "")
     @result{} nil
(string< "abc" "ab")
     @result{} nil
(string< "" "")
     @result{} nil
@end group
@end example

Symbols are also allowed as arguments, in which case their print names
are used.
@end defun

@defun string-lessp string1 string2
@code{string-lessp} is another name for @code{string<}.
@end defun

@defun compare-strings string1 start1 end1 string2 start2 end2 &optional ignore-case
This function compares the specified part of @var{string1} with the
specified part of @var{string2}.  The specified part of @var{string1}
runs from index @var{start1} up to index @var{end1} (@code{nil} means
the end of the string).  The specified part of @var{string2} runs from
index @var{start2} up to index @var{end2} (@code{nil} means the end of
the string).

The strings are both converted to multibyte for the comparison
(@pxref{Text Representations}) so that a unibyte string and its
conversion to multibyte are always regarded as equal.  If
@var{ignore-case} is non-@code{nil}, then case is ignored, so that
upper case letters can be equal to lower case letters.

If the specified portions of the two strings match, the value is
@code{t}.  Otherwise, the value is an integer which indicates how many
leading characters agree, and which string is less.  Its absolute value
is one plus the number of characters that agree at the beginning of the
two strings.  The sign is negative if @var{string1} (or its specified
portion) is less.
@end defun

@defun assoc-string key alist &optional case-fold
This function works like @code{assoc}, except that @var{key} must be a
string or symbol, and comparison is done using @code{compare-strings}.
Symbols are converted to strings before testing.
If @var{case-fold} is non-@code{nil}, it ignores case differences.
Unlike @code{assoc}, this function can also match elements of the alist
that are strings or symbols rather than conses.  In particular, @var{alist} can
be a list of strings or symbols rather than an actual alist.
@xref{Association Lists}.
@end defun

  See also the @code{compare-buffer-substrings} function in
@ref{Comparing Text}, for a way to compare text in buffers.  The
function @code{string-match}, which matches a regular expression
against a string, can be used for a kind of string comparison; see
@ref{Regexp Search}.

@node String Conversion
@comment  node-name,  next,  previous,  up
@section Conversion of Characters and Strings
@cindex conversion of strings

  This section describes functions for conversions between characters,
strings and integers.  @code{format} (@pxref{Formatting Strings})
and @code{prin1-to-string}
(@pxref{Output Functions}) can also convert Lisp objects into strings.
@code{read-from-string} (@pxref{Input Functions}) can ``convert'' a
string representation of a Lisp object into an object.  The functions
@code{string-make-multibyte} and @code{string-make-unibyte} convert the
text representation of a string (@pxref{Converting Representations}).

  @xref{Documentation}, for functions that produce textual descriptions
of text characters and general input events
(@code{single-key-description} and @code{text-char-description}).  These
are used primarily for making help messages.

@defun char-to-string character
@cindex character to string
This function returns a new string containing one character,
@var{character}.  This function is semi-obsolete because the function
@code{string} is more general.  @xref{Creating Strings}.
@end defun

@defun string-to-char string
@cindex string to character
  This function returns the first character in @var{string}.  If the
string is empty, the function returns 0.  The value is also 0 when the
first character of @var{string} is the null character, @acronym{ASCII} code
0.

@example
(string-to-char "ABC")
     @result{} 65

(string-to-char "xyz")
     @result{} 120
(string-to-char "")
     @result{} 0
@group
(string-to-char "\000")
     @result{} 0
@end group
@end example

This function may be eliminated in the future if it does not seem useful
enough to retain.
@end defun

@defun number-to-string number
@cindex integer to string
@cindex integer to decimal
This function returns a string consisting of the printed base-ten
representation of @var{number}, which may be an integer or a floating
point number.  The returned value starts with a minus sign if the argument is
negative.

@example
(number-to-string 256)
     @result{} "256"
@group
(number-to-string -23)
     @result{} "-23"
@end group
(number-to-string -23.5)
     @result{} "-23.5"
@end example

@cindex int-to-string
@code{int-to-string} is a semi-obsolete alias for this function.

See also the function @code{format} in @ref{Formatting Strings}.
@end defun

@defun string-to-number string &optional base
@cindex string to number
This function returns the numeric value of the characters in
@var{string}.  If @var{base} is non-@code{nil}, it must be an integer
between 2 and 16 (inclusive), and integers are converted in that base.
If @var{base} is @code{nil}, then base ten is used.  Floating point
conversion only works in base ten; we have not implemented other
radices for floating point numbers, because that would be much more
work and does not seem useful.  If @var{string} looks like an integer
but its value is too large to fit into a Lisp integer,
@code{string-to-number} returns a floating point result.

The parsing skips spaces and tabs at the beginning of @var{string},
then reads as much of @var{string} as it can interpret as a number in
the given base.  (On some systems it ignores other whitespace at the
beginning, not just spaces and tabs.)  If the first character after
the ignored whitespace is neither a digit in the given base, nor a
plus or minus sign, nor the leading dot of a floating point number,
this function returns 0.

@example
(string-to-number "256")
     @result{} 256
(string-to-number "25 is a perfect square.")
     @result{} 25
(string-to-number "X256")
     @result{} 0
(string-to-number "-4.5")
     @result{} -4.5
(string-to-number "1e5")
     @result{} 100000.0
@end example

@findex string-to-int
@code{string-to-int} is an obsolete alias for this function.
@end defun

  Here are some other functions that can convert to or from a string:

@table @code
@item concat
@code{concat} can convert a vector or a list into a string.
@xref{Creating Strings}.

@item vconcat
@code{vconcat} can convert a string into a vector.  @xref{Vector
Functions}.

@item append
@code{append} can convert a string into a list.  @xref{Building Lists}.
@end table

@node Formatting Strings
@comment  node-name,  next,  previous,  up
@section Formatting Strings
@cindex formatting strings
@cindex strings, formatting them

  @dfn{Formatting} means constructing a string by substitution of
computed values at various places in a constant string.  This constant string
controls how the other values are printed, as well as where they appear;
it is called a @dfn{format string}.

  Formatting is often useful for computing messages to be displayed.  In
fact, the functions @code{message} and @code{error} provide the same
formatting feature described here; they differ from @code{format} only
in how they use the result of formatting.

@defun format string &rest objects
This function returns a new string that is made by copying
@var{string} and then replacing any format specification
in the copy with encodings of the corresponding @var{objects}.  The
arguments @var{objects} are the computed values to be formatted.

The characters in @var{string}, other than the format specifications,
are copied directly into the output, including their text properties,
if any.
@end defun

@cindex @samp{%} in format
@cindex format specification
  A format specification is a sequence of characters beginning with a
@samp{%}.  Thus, if there is a @samp{%d} in @var{string}, the
@code{format} function replaces it with the printed representation of
one of the values to be formatted (one of the arguments @var{objects}).
For example:

@example
@group
(format "The value of fill-column is %d." fill-column)
     @result{} "The value of fill-column is 72."
@end group
@end example

  Since @code{format} interprets @samp{%} characters as format
specifications, you should @emph{never} pass an arbitrary string as
the first argument.  This is particularly true when the string is
generated by some Lisp code.  Unless the string is @emph{known} to
never include any @samp{%} characters, pass @code{"%s"}, described
below, as the first argument, and the string as the second, like this:

@example
  (format "%s" @var{arbitrary-string})
@end example

  If @var{string} contains more than one format specification, the
format specifications correspond to successive values from
@var{objects}.  Thus, the first format specification in @var{string}
uses the first such value, the second format specification uses the
second such value, and so on.  Any extra format specifications (those
for which there are no corresponding values) cause an error.  Any
extra values to be formatted are ignored.

  Certain format specifications require values of particular types.  If
you supply a value that doesn't fit the requirements, an error is
signaled.

  Here is a table of valid format specifications:

@table @samp
@item %s
Replace the specification with the printed representation of the object,
made without quoting (that is, using @code{princ}, not
@code{prin1}---@pxref{Output Functions}).  Thus, strings are represented
by their contents alone, with no @samp{"} characters, and symbols appear
without @samp{\} characters.

If the object is a string, its text properties are
copied into the output.  The text properties of the @samp{%s} itself
are also copied, but those of the object take priority.

@item %S
Replace the specification with the printed representation of the object,
made with quoting (that is, using @code{prin1}---@pxref{Output
Functions}).  Thus, strings are enclosed in @samp{"} characters, and
@samp{\} characters appear where necessary before special characters.

@item %o
@cindex integer to octal
Replace the specification with the base-eight representation of an
integer.

@item %d
Replace the specification with the base-ten representation of an
integer.

@item %x
@itemx %X
@cindex integer to hexadecimal
Replace the specification with the base-sixteen representation of an
integer.  @samp{%x} uses lower case and @samp{%X} uses upper case.

@item %c
Replace the specification with the character which is the value given.

@item %e
Replace the specification with the exponential notation for a floating
point number.

@item %f
Replace the specification with the decimal-point notation for a floating
point number.

@item %g
Replace the specification with notation for a floating point number,
using either exponential notation or decimal-point notation, whichever
is shorter.

@item %%
Replace the specification with a single @samp{%}.  This format
specification is unusual in that it does not use a value.  For example,
@code{(format "%% %d" 30)} returns @code{"% 30"}.
@end table

  Any other format character results in an @samp{Invalid format
operation} error.

  Here are several examples:

@example
@group
(format "The name of this buffer is %s." (buffer-name))
     @result{} "The name of this buffer is strings.texi."

(format "The buffer object prints as %s." (current-buffer))
     @result{} "The buffer object prints as strings.texi."

(format "The octal value of %d is %o,
         and the hex value is %x." 18 18 18)
     @result{} "The octal value of 18 is 22,
         and the hex value is 12."
@end group
@end example

@cindex field width
@cindex padding
  A specification can have a @dfn{width}, which is a signed decimal
number between the @samp{%} and the specification character.  If the
printed representation of the object contains fewer characters than
this width, @code{format} extends it with padding.  The padding goes
on the left if the width is positive (or starts with zero) and on the
right if the width is negative.  The padding character is normally a
space, but it's @samp{0} if the width starts with a zero.

  Some of these conventions are ignored for specification characters
for which they do not make sense.  That is, @samp{%s}, @samp{%S} and
@samp{%c} accept a width starting with 0, but still pad with
@emph{spaces} on the left.  Also, @samp{%%} accepts a width, but
ignores it.  Here are some examples of padding:

@example
(format "%06d is padded on the left with zeros" 123)
     @result{} "000123 is padded on the left with zeros"

(format "%-6d is padded on the right" 123)
     @result{} "123    is padded on the right"
@end example

@noindent
If the width is too small, @code{format} does not truncate the
object's printed representation.  Thus, you can use a width to specify
a minimum spacing between columns with no risk of losing information.

  In the following three examples, @samp{%7s} specifies a minimum
width of 7.  In the first case, the string inserted in place of
@samp{%7s} has only 3 letters, it needs 4 blank spaces as padding.  In
the second case, the string @code{"specification"} is 13 letters wide
but is not truncated.  In the third case, the padding is on the right.

@smallexample
@group
(format "The word `%7s' actually has %d letters in it."
        "foo" (length "foo"))
     @result{} "The word `    foo' actually has 3 letters in it."
@end group

@group
(format "The word `%7s' actually has %d letters in it."
        "specification" (length "specification"))
     @result{} "The word `specification' actually has 13 letters in it."
@end group

@group
(format "The word `%-7s' actually has %d letters in it."
        "foo" (length "foo"))
     @result{} "The word `foo    ' actually has 3 letters in it."
@end group
@end smallexample

@cindex precision in format specifications
  All the specification characters allow an optional @dfn{precision}
before the character (after the width, if present).  The precision is
a decimal-point @samp{.} followed by a digit-string.  For the
floating-point specifications (@samp{%e}, @samp{%f}, @samp{%g}), the
precision specifies how many decimal places to show; if zero, the
decimal-point itself is also omitted.  For @samp{%s} and @samp{%S},
the precision truncates the string to the given width, so @samp{%.3s}
shows only the first three characters of the representation for
@var{object}.  Precision has no effect for other specification
characters.

@cindex flags in format specifications
  Immediately after the @samp{%} and before the optional width and
precision, you can put certain ``flag'' characters.

  @samp{+} as a flag inserts a plus sign before a positive number, so
that it always has a sign.  A space character as flag inserts a space
before a positive number.  (Otherwise, positive numbers start with the
first digit.)  Either of these two flags ensures that positive numbers
and negative numbers use the same number of columns.  These flags are
ignored except for @samp{%d}, @samp{%e}, @samp{%f}, @samp{%g}, and if
both flags are used, the @samp{+} takes precedence.

  The flag @samp{#} specifies an ``alternate form'' which depends on
the format in use.  For @samp{%o} it ensures that the result begins
with a @samp{0}.  For @samp{%x} and @samp{%X}, it prefixes the result
with @samp{0x} or @samp{0X}.  For @samp{%e}, @samp{%f}, and @samp{%g},
the @samp{#} flag means include a decimal point even if the precision
is zero.

@node Case Conversion
@comment node-name, next, previous, up
@section Case Conversion in Lisp
@cindex upper case
@cindex lower case
@cindex character case
@cindex case conversion in Lisp

  The character case functions change the case of single characters or
of the contents of strings.  The functions normally convert only
alphabetic characters (the letters @samp{A} through @samp{Z} and
@samp{a} through @samp{z}, as well as non-@acronym{ASCII} letters); other
characters are not altered.  You can specify a different case
conversion mapping by specifying a case table (@pxref{Case Tables}).

  These functions do not modify the strings that are passed to them as
arguments.

  The examples below use the characters @samp{X} and @samp{x} which have
@acronym{ASCII} codes 88 and 120 respectively.

@defun downcase string-or-char
This function converts a character or a string to lower case.

When the argument to @code{downcase} is a string, the function creates
and returns a new string in which each letter in the argument that is
upper case is converted to lower case.  When the argument to
@code{downcase} is a character, @code{downcase} returns the
corresponding lower case character.  This value is an integer.  If the
original character is lower case, or is not a letter, then the value
equals the original character.

@example
(downcase "The cat in the hat")
     @result{} "the cat in the hat"

(downcase ?X)
     @result{} 120
@end example
@end defun

@defun upcase string-or-char
This function converts a character or a string to upper case.

When the argument to @code{upcase} is a string, the function creates
and returns a new string in which each letter in the argument that is
lower case is converted to upper case.

When the argument to @code{upcase} is a character, @code{upcase}
returns the corresponding upper case character.  This value is an integer.
If the original character is upper case, or is not a letter, then the
value returned equals the original character.

@example
(upcase "The cat in the hat")
     @result{} "THE CAT IN THE HAT"

(upcase ?x)
     @result{} 88
@end example
@end defun

@defun capitalize string-or-char
@cindex capitalization
This function capitalizes strings or characters.  If
@var{string-or-char} is a string, the function creates and returns a new
string, whose contents are a copy of @var{string-or-char} in which each
word has been capitalized.  This means that the first character of each
word is converted to upper case, and the rest are converted to lower
case.

The definition of a word is any sequence of consecutive characters that
are assigned to the word constituent syntax class in the current syntax
table (@pxref{Syntax Class Table}).

When the argument to @code{capitalize} is a character, @code{capitalize}
has the same result as @code{upcase}.

@example
@group
(capitalize "The cat in the hat")
     @result{} "The Cat In The Hat"
@end group

@group
(capitalize "THE 77TH-HATTED CAT")
     @result{} "The 77th-Hatted Cat"
@end group

@group
(capitalize ?x)
     @result{} 88
@end group
@end example
@end defun

@defun upcase-initials string-or-char
If @var{string-or-char} is a string, this function capitalizes the
initials of the words in @var{string-or-char}, without altering any
letters other than the initials.  It returns a new string whose
contents are a copy of @var{string-or-char}, in which each word has
had its initial letter converted to upper case.

The definition of a word is any sequence of consecutive characters that
are assigned to the word constituent syntax class in the current syntax
table (@pxref{Syntax Class Table}).

When the argument to @code{upcase-initials} is a character,
@code{upcase-initials} has the same result as @code{upcase}.

@example
@group
(upcase-initials "The CAT in the hAt")
     @result{} "The CAT In The HAt"
@end group
@end example
@end defun

  @xref{Text Comparison}, for functions that compare strings; some of
them ignore case differences, or can optionally ignore case differences.

@node Case Tables
@section The Case Table

  You can customize case conversion by installing a special @dfn{case
table}.  A case table specifies the mapping between upper case and lower
case letters.  It affects both the case conversion functions for Lisp
objects (see the previous section) and those that apply to text in the
buffer (@pxref{Case Changes}).  Each buffer has a case table; there is
also a standard case table which is used to initialize the case table
of new buffers.

  A case table is a char-table (@pxref{Char-Tables}) whose subtype is
@code{case-table}.  This char-table maps each character into the
corresponding lower case character.  It has three extra slots, which
hold related tables:

@table @var
@item upcase
The upcase table maps each character into the corresponding upper
case character.
@item canonicalize
The canonicalize table maps all of a set of case-related characters
into a particular member of that set.
@item equivalences
The equivalences table maps each one of a set of case-related characters
into the next character in that set.
@end table

  In simple cases, all you need to specify is the mapping to lower-case;
the three related tables will be calculated automatically from that one.

  For some languages, upper and lower case letters are not in one-to-one
correspondence.  There may be two different lower case letters with the
same upper case equivalent.  In these cases, you need to specify the
maps for both lower case and upper case.

  The extra table @var{canonicalize} maps each character to a canonical
equivalent; any two characters that are related by case-conversion have
the same canonical equivalent character.  For example, since @samp{a}
and @samp{A} are related by case-conversion, they should have the same
canonical equivalent character (which should be either @samp{a} for both
of them, or @samp{A} for both of them).

  The extra table @var{equivalences} is a map that cyclically permutes
each equivalence class (of characters with the same canonical
equivalent).  (For ordinary @acronym{ASCII}, this would map @samp{a} into
@samp{A} and @samp{A} into @samp{a}, and likewise for each set of
equivalent characters.)

  When you construct a case table, you can provide @code{nil} for
@var{canonicalize}; then Emacs fills in this slot from the lower case
and upper case mappings.  You can also provide @code{nil} for
@var{equivalences}; then Emacs fills in this slot from
@var{canonicalize}.  In a case table that is actually in use, those
components are non-@code{nil}.  Do not try to specify @var{equivalences}
without also specifying @var{canonicalize}.

  Here are the functions for working with case tables:

@defun case-table-p object
This predicate returns non-@code{nil} if @var{object} is a valid case
table.
@end defun

@defun set-standard-case-table table
This function makes @var{table} the standard case table, so that it will
be used in any buffers created subsequently.
@end defun

@defun standard-case-table
This returns the standard case table.
@end defun

@defun current-case-table
This function returns the current buffer's case table.
@end defun

@defun set-case-table table
This sets the current buffer's case table to @var{table}.
@end defun

@defmac with-case-table table body@dots{}
The @code{with-case-table} macro saves the current case table, makes
@var{table} the current case table, evaluates the @var{body} forms,
and finally restores the case table.  The return value is the value of
the last form in @var{body}.  The case table is restored even in case
of an abnormal exit via @code{throw} or error (@pxref{Nonlocal
Exits}).
@end defmac

  Some language environments may modify the case conversions of
@acronym{ASCII} characters; for example, in the Turkish language
environment, the @acronym{ASCII} character @samp{I} is downcased into
a Turkish ``dotless i''.  This can interfere with code that requires
ordinary ASCII case conversion, such as implementations of
@acronym{ASCII}-based network protocols.  In that case, use the
@code{with-case-table} macro with the variable @var{ascii-case-table},
which stores the unmodified case table for the @acronym{ASCII}
character set.

@defvar ascii-case-table
The case table for the @acronym{ASCII} character set.  This should not be
modified by any language environment settings.
@end defvar

  The following three functions are convenient subroutines for packages
that define non-@acronym{ASCII} character sets.  They modify the specified
case table @var{case-table}; they also modify the standard syntax table.
@xref{Syntax Tables}.  Normally you would use these functions to change
the standard case table.

@defun set-case-syntax-pair uc lc case-table
This function specifies a pair of corresponding letters, one upper case
and one lower case.
@end defun

@defun set-case-syntax-delims l r case-table
This function makes characters @var{l} and @var{r} a matching pair of
case-invariant delimiters.
@end defun

@defun set-case-syntax char syntax case-table
This function makes @var{char} case-invariant, with syntax
@var{syntax}.
@end defun

@deffn Command describe-buffer-case-table
This command displays a description of the contents of the current
buffer's case table.
@end deffn

@ignore
   arch-tag: 700b8e95-7aa5-4b52-9eb3-8f2e1ea152b4
@end ignore
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