Java: What Is Advanced String Manipulation?

By John Paul Mueller

Most Java applications make heavy use of strings because strings are a data form that humans understand easily. In addition, strings offer flexibility that other data types don’t offer. For example, when working with a string, you can mix numbers and text together. A string can contain any sort of information you like.

In addition, a string can even include escape characters to make the string’s content appear in a way that you like. In short, humans understand strings, and strings are incredibly flexible, making them a popular way to store data.

Unfortunately, the computer doesn’t understand string content nearly as well as you do. For example, if you want to perform math-related tasks in your application, you must convert numbers in string format to an actual numeric primitive or object type. Otherwise, the computer will have no idea of how to interact with the data. Fortunately, Java makes the task of converting to and from strings easy.

Strings can become quite long. When they become long enough, you may need to search them in various ways. In addition to looking for specific characters, words, and phrases, you may need to find control characters or perform other tasks that relate to just part of the string.

When working with Java, you can search for information at the beginning or end of the string. You can also compare two strings to determine which one contains the sort of information you need. Finally, you can work with substrings, which are parts of strings — a string broken into pieces.

The ability to manipulate strings is also essential. For example, you might want to replace every occurrence of Jack with Jane in a sentence. You can also extract specific characters (such as escape characters) from a sentence or split the string into smaller pieces by using a separator character (a special kind of character that separates one part of the string from another part). Manipulating strings also includes formatting them.