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strtok — Fetches tokens from a string.


string strtok([string], delimiter);
string string (optional): String to tokenize
string delimiter: One or more token delimiters


String; FALSE when the end of the string is reached


strtok()() is used to iteratively parse a string into substrings.

The function should initially be called with both string and delimiter arguments, which does the following:

  • Sets the string to be used by the function for subsequent calls.

  • Returns the first token from the string. The first token is defined as the substring that extends from the first character in the string to the first instance of any of the characters in delimiter . If none of the characters in delimiter are present in the string, the entire string is returned.

Subsequent calls to strtok() returns a new substring that extends from the end of the last substring returned to the next instance of any of the characters in delimiter . If none of the characters in delimiter are present in the string, the remainder of the string is returned. If there are no characters left to return, the function returns FALSE .


The string used in delimiter can be changed with every call to strtok() .


PHP 3+, PHP 4+

See also

To break a string into an array:




Example 1234. Break a string into tokens

$string = 'This is+a+string+ that uses several delimiters';

echo $token = strtok($string, '+ ');

while (FALSE !== ($token = strtok('+ '))) {
   echo "\n", $token;




PHP Functions Essential Reference. Copyright © 2002 by New Riders Publishing (Authors: Zak Greant, Graeme Merrall, Torben Wilson, Brett Michlitsch). This material may be distributed only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, v1.0 or later (the latest version is presently available at The authors of this book have elected not to choose any options under the OPL. This online book was obtained from and is designed to provide information about the PHP programming language, focusing on PHP version 4.0.4 for the most part. The information is provided on an as-is basis, and no warranty or fitness is implied. All persons and entities shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage arising from the information contained in this book.

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