How to check if a string “StartsWith” another string?

How to check if a string “StartsWith” another string?

How would I write the equivalent of C#’s String.StartsWith in JavaScript?
var haystack = ‘hello world’;
var needle = ‘he’;

haystack.startsWith(needle) == true

Note: This is an old question, and as pointed out in the comments ECMAScript 2015 (ES6) introduced the .startsWith method. However, at the time of writing this update (2015) browser support is far from complete.

Solutions/Answers:

Solution 1:

You can use ECMAScript 6’s String.prototype.startsWith() method, but it’s not yet supported in all browsers. You’ll want to use a shim/polyfill to add it on browsers that don’t support it. Creating an implementation that complies with all the details laid out in the spec is a little complicated. If you want a faithful shim, use either:

Once you’ve shimmed the method (or if you’re only supporting browsers and JavaScript engines that already have it), you can use it like this:

"Hello World!".startsWith("He"); // true

var haystack = "Hello world";
var prefix = 'orl';
haystack.startsWith(prefix); // false

Solution 2:

Another alternative with .lastIndexOf:

haystack.lastIndexOf(needle, 0) === 0

This looks backwards through haystack for an occurrence of needle starting from index 0 of haystack. In other words, it only checks if haystack starts with needle.

In principle, this should have performance advantages over some other approaches:

  • It doesn’t search the entire haystack.
  • It doesn’t create a new temporary string and then immediately discard it.

Solution 3:

data.substring(0, input.length) === input

Solution 4:

Without a helper function, just using regex’s .test method:

/^He/.test('Hello world')

To do this with a dynamic string rather than a hardcoded one (assuming that the string will not contain any regexp control characters):

new RegExp('^' + needle).test(haystack)

You should check out Is there a RegExp.escape function in Javascript? if the possibility exists that regexp control characters appear in the string.

Solution 5:

Best solution:

function startsWith(str, word) {
    return str.lastIndexOf(word, 0) === 0;
}

startsWith("aaa", "a")
true
startsWith("aaa", "ab")
false
startsWith("abc", "abc")
true
startsWith("abc", "c")
false
startsWith("abc", "a")
true
startsWith("abc", "ba")
false
startsWith("abc", "ab")
true

And here is endsWith if you need that too:

function endsWith(str, word) {
    return str.indexOf(word, str.length - word.length) !== -1;
}

For those that prefer to prototype it into String:

String.prototype.startsWith || (String.prototype.startsWith = function(word) {
    return this.lastIndexOf(word, 0) === 0;
});

String.prototype.endsWith   || (String.prototype.endsWith = function(word) {
    return this.indexOf(word, this.length - word.length) !== -1;
});

Usage:

"abc".startsWith("ab")
true
"c".ensdWith("c") 
true

Solution 6:

I just wanted to add my opinion about this.

I think we can just use like this:

var haystack = 'hello world';
var needle = 'he';

if (haystack.indexOf(needle) == 0) {
  // Code if string starts with this substring
}