Java String

Introduction

In this lesson of our Java course, we will learn about the Java string . The Java String class is a built-in class that represents a sequence of characters. It is one of the most commonly used classes in Java, as it provides a way to store and manipulate text-based data. Here is an overview of the Java String class.

Java String

1. Creating a String Object

There are several ways to create a String object in Java, including:

  • String Literals.
  • Using new keyword.
  • The valueOf() method.
  • String concatenation.
  • StringBuilder.
  • StringBuffer
Strings in Java are not primitive types (like intchar, etc). Instead, all strings are objects of a predefined class named String.

Let’s take a look at the following example to create Java string

class Main {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    
    // create strings
    String first = "Java";
    String second = "devjournal";

    // print strings
    System.out.println(first);   // print Java
    System.out.println(second);  // print devjournal
  }
}

1.1. Using String Literals

We can create a String object using a string literal, which is simply a sequence of characters enclosed in double quotes:

String myString = "Hello, World!";

1.2. Using the new keyword

We can create a String object using the new keyword and passing a sequence of characters as an argument to the String constructor:

String myString = new String("Hello, World!");

Note that this method is less common and less efficient than using string literals, as it creates a new object on the heap every time it is called.

1.3. Using the valueOf() method

We can create a String object by converting a non-string object to a string using the valueOf() method. This method is often used to convert primitive data types to their string representations:

int myInt = 42;
String myString = String.valueOf(myInt);

1.4. Using string concatenation

We can concatenate two or more strings using the + operator to create a new String object:

String greeting = "Hello";
String name = "John";
String message = greeting + ", " + name + "!";
Do you know that StringBuilder is not thread-safe, while StringBuffer is thread-safe but slower

2. String Operations

The Java String class provides many useful methods for manipulating strings, including methods for getting the length of a string, finding characters or sub-strings within a string, replacing characters or sub-strings within a string, converting a string to uppercase or lowercase, and more.

String str = "Hello, World!";

// length
int len = str.length();

// indexOf
int index = str.indexOf("World");

// substring
String substr = str.substring(0, 5);

// replace
String replacedStr = str.replace("World", "Java");

// toUpperCase
String upperCaseStr = str.toUpperCase();

// toLowerCase
String lowerCaseStr = str.toLowerCase();

2.1. Getting String Length

Finding length of String is a common use case, we can use the length() method of String class to get the length. Let’s see this example for better understanding:

public class LengthExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
       
        //create string
        String str = "Welcome To Javadevjournal!";

        //get length
        int length = str.length();
        System.out.println("The length of the string is: " + length);
    }
}

Here is the output:

The length of the string is: 27

2.2. CharAt() Method

The charAt() method is used to get the character at a specific index in a string.

public class CharAtExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        String str = "Welcome To Javadevjournal!";
        char ch = str.charAt(1);
        System.out.println("The character at index 1 is: " + ch);
    }
}
//output : The character at index 1 is: e

2.3. Substring Method

The substring() method is used to extract a portion of a string. We can specify the starting index and the ending index, and the method will return the substring that starts from the starting index and goes up to, but not including, the ending index.

public class SubstringExample {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        String str = "Welcome To Javadevjournal!";
        String subStr = str.substring(11, 24);
        System.out.println("The substring is: " + subStr);
    }
}

Here is the output.

The substring is: Javadevjournal

2.4. IndexOf Method

The indexOf() method is used to find the index of the first occurrence of a character or a substring in a string. If the character or sub string is not found, the method returns -1.

String str = "Welcome to Javadevjournal";
int index = str.indexOf("o");
System.out.println("The index of the first 'o' is: " + index);

Here is the output:

The index of the first 'o' is: 4

2.5. Compare two Strings

In case we want to compare 2 string, we can use the equals() method to compare.

class StringCompare {
  public static void main(String[] args) {

    // create 3 strings
    String s1 = "java development";
    String s2 = "java development";
    String s3 = "java dev journal";

    // compare first and second strings
    boolean result1 = s1.equals(s2);
    System.out.println("Strings first and second are equal: " + result1);

    // compare first and third strings
    boolean result2 = s1.equals(s3);
    System.out.println("Strings first and third are equal: " + result2);
  }
}

Output

Strings first and second are equal: true
Strings first and third are equal: false

3. Java Strings are Immutable

Strings in Java are immutable, which means that once a String object is created, its contents cannot be changed. However, we can create new String objects that are based on the original string by using various methods provided by the String class.

String str = "Hello, World!";

// create a new string based on the original string
String newStr = str.replace("World", "Java");

// the original string is still unchanged
System.out.println(str); // "Hello, World!"

4. String Pool

In Java, there is a concept of a “string pool,” which is a cache of String objects that are stored in memory for reuse. This can help to improve performance and reduce memory usage when working with large numbers of String objects.

String str1 = "Hello, World!";
String str2 = "Hello, World!"; // this string is taken from the string pool

// both strings refer to the same object in memory
System.out.println(str1 == str2); // true

5. String vs StringBuilder vs StringBuffer

In addition to the String class, Java also provides the StringBuilder and StringBuffer classes for manipulating strings. While all three classes provide similar functionality, there are some key differences between them, including their mutability, thread-safety, and performance characteristics.

// using StringBuilder
StringBuilder builder = new StringBuilder();
builder.append("Hello");
builder.append(", ");
builder.append("Java!");
String result = builder.toString();

// using StringBuffer
StringBuffer buffer = new StringBuffer();
buffer.append("Hello");
buffer.append(", ");
buffer.append("Java!");
String result2 = buffer.toString();

6. Java String Method

We have only covered few important method on the Java string. There are various String methods available in String class. Here is the list of important methods.

MethodDescription
join()join string using the delimiter
contains()check if given string contains substring
indexOf()returns the position of the specified character in the string
substring()return substring of a given string
replace()replace a character with a given new character
replaceAll()replaces all substrings matching the regex pattern
charAt()return character at a specific position
compareTo()Compare 2 strings
trim()removes any leading and trailing white spaces
split()Split string in arrays of String based on pattern
toLowerCase()Convert String to lower case
toUpperCase()Convert String to upper case
valueOf()returns the string representation of the specified argument
matches()Check if String matches a regular expression
startsWith()Check if string start with a given String
endsWith()check if String ends with a given string.
isEmpty()If a given string is empty.
compareToIgnoreCase()compare 2 string ignoring case sensitivity.
intern()canonical representation of String
toCharArray()Convert given String to char array
format()format a given String
hashCode()return the hashCode for a given String

Summary

Overall, the String class provides a powerful and flexible way to work with strings in Java. By understanding its methods and properties, we can create efficient and effective code for working with text-based data.While the String class is immutable and may require additional memory allocations for each operation that modifies the string, it is often the best choice for most use cases due to its ease of use, readability, and performance.

As always, the source code of this course is available on our GitHub repository.

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