PHP remove first character from a string

Posted on Sep 28, 2022

Learn how you can remove the first character from a string in PHP

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To remove the first character from a string, you can use the ltrim() or substr() function.

The ltrim() function is used to strip whitespace from the beginning of a string.

To use the function, you need to pass the string and the character(s) to remove.

Consider the example below:

<?php
$str = "-Hello World!";
// πŸ‘‡ remove the dash in front of H
$new_string = ltrim($str, "-");

print $new_string; // Hello World!
?>

But keep in mind that the ltrim() function removes all occurrences of the character(s) you specified as its second parameter:

<?php
$str = "---Hello World!";
// πŸ‘‡ remove dashes in front of H
$new_string = ltrim($str, "-");

print $new_string; // Hello World!

If you explicitly want to remove only the first character, you need to use the substr() function instead.

The substr() function is used to return a portion of a string. You can use it to cut the first character as shown below:

<?php
$str = "---Hello World!";
// πŸ‘‡ remove the first dash in front of H
$new_string = substr($str, 1);

print $new_string; // --Hello World!
?>

The second parameter of the substr() function determines the offset position where the function begins to cut the string.

Because a string index starts from 0, passing 1 as the offset position will cause the function to remove the first character from the string.

And that’s how you remove the first character in PHP. Nice! πŸ‘

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