Repeat Character N Times

Repeat Character N Times

In Perl I can repeat a character multiple times using the syntax:
$a = “a” x 10; // results in “aaaaaaaaaa”

Is there a simple way to accomplish this in Javascript? I can obviously use a function, but I was wondering if there was any built in approach, or some other clever technique.

Solutions/Answers:

Solution 1:

These days, the repeat string method is implemented almost everywhere. (It is not in Internet Explorer.) So unless you need to support older browsers, you can simply write:

"a".repeat(10)

Before repeat, we used this hack:

Array(11).join("a") // create string with 10 a's: "aaaaaaaaaa"

(Note that an array of length 11 gets you only 10 “a”s, since Array.join puts the argument between the array elements.)

Simon also points out that according to this jsperf, it appears that it’s faster in Safari and Chrome (but not Firefox) to repeat a character multiple times by simply appending using a for loop (although a bit less concise).

Solution 2:

In a new ES6 harmony, you will have native way for doing this with repeat. Also ES6 right now only experimental, this feature is already available in Edge, FF, Chrome and Safari

"abc".repeat(3) // "abcabcabc"

And surely if repeat function is not available you can use old-good Array(n + 1).join("abc")

Solution 3:

Convenient if you repeat yourself a lot:

String.prototype.repeat = String.prototype.repeat || function(n){
  n= n || 1;
  return Array(n+1).join(this);
}

alert(  'Are we there yet?\nNo.\n'.repeat(10)  )

Solution 4:

The most performance-wice way is https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Reference/Global_Objects/String/repeat

Short version is below.

  String.prototype.repeat = function(count) {
    if (count < 1) return '';
    var result = '', pattern = this.valueOf();
    while (count > 1) {
      if (count & 1) result += pattern;
      count >>>= 1, pattern += pattern;
    }
    return result + pattern;
  };
  var a = "a";
  console.debug(a.repeat(10));

Polyfill from Mozilla:

if (!String.prototype.repeat) {
  String.prototype.repeat = function(count) {
    'use strict';
    if (this == null) {
      throw new TypeError('can\'t convert ' + this + ' to object');
    }
    var str = '' + this;
    count = +count;
    if (count != count) {
      count = 0;
    }
    if (count < 0) {
      throw new RangeError('repeat count must be non-negative');
    }
    if (count == Infinity) {
      throw new RangeError('repeat count must be less than infinity');
    }
    count = Math.floor(count);
    if (str.length == 0 || count == 0) {
      return '';
    }
    // Ensuring count is a 31-bit integer allows us to heavily optimize the
    // main part. But anyway, most current (August 2014) browsers can't handle
    // strings 1 << 28 chars or longer, so:
    if (str.length * count >= 1 << 28) {
      throw new RangeError('repeat count must not overflow maximum string size');
    }
    var rpt = '';
    for (;;) {
      if ((count & 1) == 1) {
        rpt += str;
      }
      count >>>= 1;
      if (count == 0) {
        break;
      }
      str += str;
    }
    // Could we try:
    // return Array(count + 1).join(this);
    return rpt;
  }
}

Solution 5:

An alternative is:

for(var word = ''; word.length < 10; word += 'a'){}

If you need to repeat multiple chars, multiply your conditional:

for(var word = ''; word.length < 10 * 3; word += 'foo'){}

NOTE: You do not have to overshoot by 1 as with word = Array(11).join('a')

Solution 6:

If you’re not opposed to including a library in your project, lodash has a repeat function.

_.repeat('*', 3);
// → '***

https://lodash.com/docs#repeat