Creating multiline strings in JavaScript

Creating multiline strings in JavaScript

I have the following code in Ruby. I want to convert this code into JavaScript. what’s the equivalent code in JS?
text = <<"HERE" This Is A Multiline String HERE

Solutions/Answers:

Solution 1:

Update:

ECMAScript 6 (ES6) introduces a new type of literal, namely template literals. They have many features, variable interpolation among others, but most importantly for this question, they can be multiline.

A template literal is delimited by backticks:

var html = `
  <div>
    <span>Some HTML here</span>
  </div>
`;

(Note: I’m not advocating to use HTML in strings)

Browser support is OK, but you can use transpilers to be more compatible.


Original ES5 answer:

Javascript doesn’t have a here-document syntax. You can escape the literal newline, however, which comes close:

"foo \
bar"

Solution 2:

ES6 Update:

As the first answer mentions, with ES6/Babel, you can now create multi-line strings simply by using backticks:

const htmlString = `Say hello to 
multi-line
strings!`;

Interpolating variables is a popular new feature that comes with back-tick delimited strings:

const htmlString = `${user.name} liked your post about strings`;

This just transpiles down to concatenation:

user.name + ' liked your post about strings'

Original ES5 answer:

Google’s JavaScript style guide recommends to use string concatenation instead of escaping newlines:

Do not do this:

var myString = 'A rather long string of English text, an error message \
                actually that just keeps going and going -- an error \
                message to make the Energizer bunny blush (right through \
                those Schwarzenegger shades)! Where was I? Oh yes, \
                you\'ve got an error and all the extraneous whitespace is \
                just gravy.  Have a nice day.';

The whitespace at the beginning of each line can’t be safely stripped at compile time; whitespace after the slash will result in tricky errors; and while most script engines support this, it is not part of ECMAScript.

Use string concatenation instead:

var myString = 'A rather long string of English text, an error message ' +
               'actually that just keeps going and going -- an error ' +
               'message to make the Energizer bunny blush (right through ' +
               'those Schwarzenegger shades)! Where was I? Oh yes, ' +
               'you\'ve got an error and all the extraneous whitespace is ' +
               'just gravy.  Have a nice day.';

Solution 3:

the pattern text = <<"HERE" This Is A Multiline String HERE is not available in js (I remember using it much in my good old Perl days).

To keep oversight with complex or long multiline strings I sometimes use an array pattern:

var myString = 
   ['<div id="someId">',
    'some content<br />',
    '<a href="#someRef">someRefTxt</a>',
    '</div>'
   ].join('\n');

or the pattern anonymous already showed (escape newline), which can be an ugly block in your code:

    var myString = 
       '<div id="someId"> \
some content<br /> \
<a href="#someRef">someRefTxt</a> \
</div>';

Here’s another weird but working ‘trick’1:

var myString = (function () {/*
   <div id="someId">
     some content<br />
     <a href="#someRef">someRefTxt</a>
    </div>        
*/}).toString().match(/[^]*\/\*([^]*)\*\/\}$/)[1];

external edit: jsfiddle

ES20xx supports spanning strings over multiple lines using template strings:

let str = `This is a text
    with multiple lines.
    Escapes are interpreted,
    \n is a newline.`;
let str = String.raw`This is a text
    with multiple lines.
    Escapes are not interpreted,
    \n is not a newline.`;

1 Note: this will be lost after minifying/obfuscating your code

Solution 4:

You can have multiline strings in pure JavaScript.

This method is based on the serialization of functions, which is defined to be implementation-dependent. It does work in the most browsers (see below), but there’s no guarantee that it will still work in the future, so do not rely on it.

Using the following function:

function hereDoc(f) {
  return f.toString().
      replace(/^[^\/]+\/\*!?/, '').
      replace(/\*\/[^\/]+$/, '');
}

You can have here-documents like this:

var tennysonQuote = hereDoc(function() {/*!
  Theirs not to make reply,
  Theirs not to reason why,
  Theirs but to do and die
*/});

The method has successfully been tested in the following browsers (not mentioned = not tested):

  • IE 4 – 10
  • Opera 9.50 – 12 (not in 9-)
  • Safari 4 – 6 (not in 3-)
  • Chrome 1 – 45
  • Firefox 17 – 21 (not in 16-)
  • Rekonq 0.7.0 – 0.8.0
  • Not supported in Konqueror 4.7.4

Be careful with your minifier, though. It tends to remove comments. For the YUI compressor, a comment starting with /*! (like the one I used) will be preserved.

I think a real solution would be to use CoffeeScript.

Solution 5:

You can do this…

var string = 'This is\n' +
'a multiline\n' + 
'string';

Solution 6:

I came up with this very jimmy rigged method of a multi lined string. Since converting a function into a string also returns any comments inside the function you can use the comments as your string using a multilined comment /**/. You just have to trim off the ends and you have your string.

var myString = function(){/*
    This is some
    awesome multi-lined
    string using a comment 
    inside a function 
    returned as a string.
    Enjoy the jimmy rigged code.
*/}.toString().slice(14,-3)

alert(myString)