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Data Types
Strings

But what if we want to work with data that isn’t a number? We can represent other forms of data as a string.

Strings are any sequence of characters (letters, spaces, numbers, or symbols). While almost anything can be a string, they are typically used to represent text or speech. Similar to how we represent speech in writing, we surround strings with single ('...') or double quotes ("...").

But why the name strings? Strings are a sequence of symbols, so we can think of each characters being strung together, like beads in a necklace.

So, what can we use strings for?

  • To display data that uses text or symbols, like printing our name to the screen.
  • To add or remove text. Since strings are a linear sequence of characters, we can break strings into even smaller strings, or combine strings to make longer ones.
  • To modify characters. For example, we could capitalize the first letter of every word in a string if wanted to turn it into a title.
  • To let the computer communicate with us in a “human-readable” way, like displaying the rules of an online game.

Strings may sometimes look similar to other data types. But it’s important to remember that even if a number looks like a number, or a boolean looks like a boolean, it’s good to check that it’s not a string — or else you won’t be able to use it correctly!

Take the following string: '20'. The string '20' is different from the numerical value of 20. While they appear to be the same, a computer would see the first as two characters: '2' and '0', while the second contains the numerical value of 20.

Instructions

While we can think of strings as chunks of text, it’s also useful to remember that they’re just a collection of individual characters, like letters in a banner.

Type a word into the box and see the result. Notice how each character is separate from the ones around it, but they come together to make a word!

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