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    Remove Everything Except Numbers & Letters from a String

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    This post will show you how to strip everything from a string except alphanumeric characters to create a post-slug.

    First, I’ll demonstrate it is what the code will accomplish. Consider the following string of text:

    What we’re doing in this post is essentially creating a post-slug that looks something like this: h3-110-w-0rld or, using a second function, this: h3110-w0rld.

    The Method

    Using PHP’s preg_replace() function:

    The output is as follows:

    Note the three white spaces between h3110 and w0RlD? We can remove them with another regular expression search and replace. This expression will replace multiple white spaces with a single space:

    The last thing we do is make the string lower case and replace the single white spaces with a hyphen.

    PHP Functions

    If we create a function from the above, it’ll look like this:

    Example

    Output is:

    You’ll note that there’s an awful lot of hyphens separating text. A more effective means of creating a slug might be to:

    • Make string lower case.
    • Strip the string of anything other than letters, numbers, multiple spaces and multiple hyphens.
    • Replace multiple white spaces and multiple hyphens with a single hyphen.

    That function looks like this:

    Example

    $text = "h3&&`#$110 ----w*&^%0RlD";
    createPostSlug($text);

    Output is h3110-w0rld

    See also: Create Post Slugs.

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