How to check whether a string contains a substring in JavaScript?

Created 24.11.2009 13:04
Viewed 6.62M times
7419 votes

Usually I would expect a String.contains() method, but there doesn't seem to be one.

What is a reasonable way to check for this?

0
Answers 3
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14553

ECMAScript 6 introduced String.prototype.includes:

const string = "foo";
const substring = "oo";

console.log(string.includes(substring));

includes doesn’t have Internet Explorer support, though. In ECMAScript 5 or older environments, use String.prototype.indexOf, which returns -1 when a substring cannot be found:

var string = "foo";
var substring = "oo";

console.log(string.indexOf(substring) !== -1);

24.11.2009 13:05
Comments
works flawlessly! by Gaurav, 15.04.2021 13:08
2
642

There is a String.prototype.includes in ES6:

"potato".includes("to");
> true

Note that this does not work in Internet Explorer or some other old browsers with no or incomplete ES6 support. To make it work in old browsers, you may wish to use a transpiler like Babel, a shim library like es6-shim, or this polyfill from MDN:

if (!String.prototype.includes) {
  String.prototype.includes = function(search, start) {
    'use strict';
    if (typeof start !== 'number') {
      start = 0;
    }

    if (start + search.length > this.length) {
      return false;
    } else {
      return this.indexOf(search, start) !== -1;
    }
  };
}

Examples

07.01.2013 10:23
Comments
just curious, why do you need to check the length? Does IE fail in that case or something? by gman, 02.02.2021 15:29
Also the checking for number fails to perform like includes. Example: es6 includes returns false for "abc".includes("ab", "1") this polyfill will return true by gman, 02.02.2021 15:34
0
76

Another alternative is KMP (Knuth–Morris–Pratt).

The KMP algorithm searches for a length-m substring in a length-n string in worst-case O(n+m) time, compared to a worst-case of O(nm) for the naive algorithm, so using KMP may be reasonable if you care about worst-case time complexity.

Here's a JavaScript implementation by Project Nayuki, taken from https://www.nayuki.io/res/knuth-morris-pratt-string-matching/kmp-string-matcher.js:

// Searches for the given pattern string in the given text string using the Knuth-Morris-Pratt string matching algorithm.
// If the pattern is found, this returns the index of the start of the earliest match in 'text'. Otherwise -1 is returned.

function kmpSearch(pattern, text) {
  if (pattern.length == 0)
    return 0; // Immediate match

  // Compute longest suffix-prefix table
  var lsp = [0]; // Base case
  for (var i = 1; i < pattern.length; i++) {
    var j = lsp[i - 1]; // Start by assuming we're extending the previous LSP
    while (j > 0 && pattern.charAt(i) != pattern.charAt(j))
      j = lsp[j - 1];
    if (pattern.charAt(i) == pattern.charAt(j))
      j++;
    lsp.push(j);
  }

  // Walk through text string
  var j = 0; // Number of chars matched in pattern
  for (var i = 0; i < text.length; i++) {
    while (j > 0 && text.charAt(i) != pattern.charAt(j))
      j = lsp[j - 1]; // Fall back in the pattern
    if (text.charAt(i) == pattern.charAt(j)) {
      j++; // Next char matched, increment position
      if (j == pattern.length)
        return i - (j - 1);
    }
  }
  return -1; // Not found
}

console.log(kmpSearch('ays', 'haystack') != -1) // true
console.log(kmpSearch('asdf', 'haystack') != -1) // false

05.07.2017 22:26