Replace Multiple Items From String Text in PHP With Array

Arie Visser • October 24, 2023


In this post I just want to show a very small trick I came across recently.

How to replace multiple items from a string in PHP at once?

You probably know the internal PHP function str_replace.

When looking at the documentation, we can see that it is also possible to pass arrays as arguments:

    array|string $search,
    array|string $replace,
    string|array $subject,
    int &$count = null
): string|array

When you give an array for $search and $replace, each nth element from the $search array that is found in the $subject string, will be replaced by the nth item from the $replace array.

You can combine this with the array_keys function to replace multiple items from a string with an associative array.

Let me show an example to make it clear:

$subject = 'PHP is dead since 10 years ago';
$replace = [
    'is dead' => 'will be alive',
    'since 10 years ago' => 'forever',
str_replace(array_keys($replace), $replace, $subject);

This will result in "PHP will be alive forever".