Working with Strings

A set of examples working with strings in Rust. There are actually two type of strings in Rust: String and &str. When first starting out this will cause some confusion.

A String type is stored as a vector of valid UTF-8 characters and is growable. While a &str type is a string literal, it is a borrowed slice of a String.

There are a lot of details in there that can confuse you when you start, the best way I found learning is to pay attention to the types functions use, read the compiler messages, and just dive in and play around with them.

let str = "Hi I'm a &str type";
let string = String::from("Hi, I'm a String type");

You can use .to_string() to convert a &str to String

let s = "A string".to_string();

Concatenate Strings

String is a growable type, so you can push to it to concatenate and join strings together. Here are two examples, one adding a space char, and then joining a string.

let mut str = String::from("Hola");
str.push(' ');

You can also join strings in Rust using the + operator, but that only works with &str types:

let mut str = "Hola".to_string();
str = str + " mundo";

šŸ“Œ Note: The use of mut when defining the type makes the variable mutable, this is required if you want to change the variable after initialization, otherwise it is a constant.

Common String Methods

See the std::string::String documentation for a complete list of methods available. Here are a few common ones:

Create Empty String

let s = String::new();

Length of String

let str = "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz";
let size = str.len();

Check for Empty String

let s = String::new();
s.is_empty(); // true

s.is_empty(); // false

String to Array of Characters

Technically a string is already a vector, but of bytes and not really characters, because UTF-8 bytes and characters are not 1:1. You can use .chars() method to return an iterator.

let str = "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz";

for ch in str.chars() {
    println!("{}", ch);

As mentioned, the .chars() method returns an iterator, and not a vector on its own. You can see this trying to get the length:

let str = "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz";
let chars = str.chars();
println!("{}", str.len()); // 26
println!("{}", chars.len()); // error!

If you want a vector of characters, use .collect() which collects everything in the iterator up and creates vector.

let str = "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz";
let chars:Vec<char> = str.chars().collect();
println!("{}", chars.len());

Split Strings

let str = "A beginning is a delicate time";
let v: Vec<&str> = str.split(" ").collect();

println!("{:?}", v);

Trim Whitespace

Use .trim() to trim whitespace.

let str = "  Hola mundo  ";
str.trim(); // "Hola mundo"

String Prefix/Suffix

Use .starts_with() and .ends_with() to test or starting/ending with a specific string;

let str = "Without change something sleeps inside us";
str.starts_with("Without"); // true
str.ends_with("us");        // true

Use .strip_prefix() and .strip_suffix() to remove a prefix or suffix.

let mut str = "<b>Bold text</b>";
str = str.strip_prefix("<b>").unwrap();
str = str.strip_suffix("</b>").unwrap();
println!("{}", str);\

String Replace

Use .replace() to replace a string.

let s1 = "A wall against the wind.";
let s2 = s1.replace("wall", "feather").replace("against", "in");
println!("{}", s2);
// A feather in the wind