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Actionscript Cookbook by Joey Lott

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6.6. Converting a String to an Array

Problem

You have a list of values as a string and you want to parse it into an array of separate elements.

Solution

Use the String.split( ) method.

Discussion

You can split any list of values (a string) into an array using the split( ) method of the String class. The list must be delimited by a uniform substring. For example, the list “Susan,Robert,Paula” is one in which the elements of the list are delimited by commas.

The split( ) method takes up to two parameters:

delimiter

The substring that is used to delimit the elements of the list. If undefined, the entire list is placed into the first element of the new array.

limit

The maximum number of elements to place into the new array. If undefined, all the elements of the list are placed into the new array.

You can use a space as the delimiter to split a string into an array of words:

myList = "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers";

// Split the string using the space as the delimiter. This puts 
// each word into an element of the new array, myArray.
myArray = myList.split(" ");

The split( ) method can be extremely useful when values are loaded into Flash using loadVariables( ) or a LoadVars object. For example, a list of names might be retrieved from the server as a string:

names=Michael,Peter,Linda,Gerome,Catherine

You can make it easier to use the names by parsing them into an array using the split( ) method:

namesArray = names.split(",");

See Also

Recipe 6.7

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