How to Split Strings in Rust

Alex Garella

7th November 2023

Splitting a string in Rust is a straightforward task, thanks to the language's robust standard library. The str type in Rust provides several methods to split a string in various ways. Let's explore some common methods with code examples.

Splitting by a Character

The simplest way to split a string is by a specific character using the split method. It returns an iterator over the substrings.

fn main() { let text = "apple,banana,cherry"; let fruits: Vec<&str> = text.split(',').collect(); println!("{:?}", fruits); // Output: ["apple", "banana", "cherry"] }

Splitting by a String

To split by a string pattern rather than a single character, you can use the split method just as easily.

let text = "apple>>banana>>cherry"; let fruits: Vec<&str> = text.split(">>").collect(); println!("{:?}", fruits); // Output: ["apple", "banana", "cherry"]

Splitting with a Closure

For more complex splitting logic, you can pass a closure to split that determines the split logic.

fn main() { let text = "apple1banana2cherry"; let fruits: Vec<&str> = text.split(|c: char| c.is_numeric()).collect(); println!("{:?}", fruits); // Output: ["apple", "banana", "cherry"] }

Splitting at Whitespace

The split_whitespace method is a convenient way to split a string by whitespace.

fn main() { let text = "apple banana cherry"; let fruits: Vec<&str> = text.split_whitespace().collect(); println!("{:?}", fruits); // Output: ["apple", "banana", "cherry"] }

Splitting Once

Sometimes you might want to split a string into two parts at the first occurrence of a pattern. The split_once method is perfect for this.

fn main() { let text = "apple,banana,cherry"; if let Some((first, rest)) = text.split_once(',') { println!("First fruit: {}", first); // Output: "First fruit: apple" println!("The rest: {}", rest); // Output: "The rest: banana,cherry" } }

Splitting and Keeping the Pattern in the Result

Rust also allows splitting without omitting the pattern in the resulting substrings. The split_inclusive method includes the pattern in the substrings after splitting.

fn main() { let text = "apple,banana,cherry"; let fruits: Vec<&str> = text.split_inclusive(',').collect(); println!("{:?}", fruits); // Output: ["apple,", "banana,", "cherry"] }

Handling Empty Substrings

Be aware that split methods will include empty substrings if there are consecutive split patterns.

fn main() { let text = "apple,,banana,,,cherry"; let fruits: Vec<&str> = text.split(',').collect(); println!("{:?}", fruits); // Output: ["apple", "", "banana", "", "", "cherry"] }

To avoid empty strings, you can use filter to exclude them.

fn main() { let text = "apple,,banana,,,cherry"; let fruits: Vec<&str> = text.split(',').filter(|&s| !s.is_empty()).collect(); println!("{:?}", fruits); // Output: ["apple", "banana", "cherry"] }


Rust provides a variety of ways to split strings, accommodating both simple and complex scenarios. By leveraging these methods, you can manipulate and process strings effectively in your Rust applications. Remember to convert the resulting iterator into a collection type like a Vec if you need to work with the results directly.

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