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Robert GranlundFlag for United States of America

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PHP string Replace

PHP $filename = str_replace(' ', '_', $filename);

This will replace the space but I also need to replace a : and ".  I want to replace them with an underscore. (colon and double quote)
Or, is there a way also to escape the Colon also?
Avatar of Chris Stanyon
Chris Stanyon
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You can pass an array into the str_replace() function with all the characters you want to replace:

$filename = str_replace([' ', ':', '"'], '_', $filename);

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Avatar of Norie

You could try this for replacing the characters.
$search = str_split(" :\"");
$replace ="_";

$filename = str_replace($search, $replace, $filename);

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Not sure what you mean about escaping the colon, especially when you are replacing it with an underscore.
If you want to santize file names here are some examples

$fname = str_replace(array('\\','/',':','*','?','"','<','>','|'),' ',$filename);

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This helper class available here []

class Helper
     * Returns a safe filename, for a given platform (OS), by
     * replacing all dangerous characters with an underscore.
     * @param string $dangerousFilename The source filename
     * to be "sanitized"
     * @param string $platform The target OS
     * @return string A safe version of the input
     * filename
    public static function sanitizeFileName($dangerousFilename, $platform = 'Unix')
        if (in_array(strtolower($platform), array('unix', 'linux'))) {
            // our list of "dangerous characters", add/remove
            // characters if necessary
            $dangerousCharacters = array(" ", '"', "'", "&", "/", "\\", "?", "#");
        } else {
            // no OS matched? return the original filename then...
            return $dangerousFilename;

        // every forbidden character is replace by an underscore
        return str_replace($dangerousCharacters, '_', $dangerousFilename);

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$safeFilename = Helper::sanitizeFileName('#my  unsaf&/file\name?"');

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Using regular expressions
// Remove anything which isn't a word, whitespace, number
// or any of the following caracters -_~,;[]().
// If you don't need to handle multi-byte characters
// you can use preg_replace rather than mb_ereg_replace
// Thanks @Łukasz Rysiak!
$file = mb_ereg_replace("([^\w\s\d\-_~,;\[\]\(\).])", '', $file);
// Remove any runs of periods (thanks falstro!)
$file = mb_ereg_replace("([\.]{2,})", '', $file);

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Avatar of Robert Granlund


@chris, do the brackets indicate an array?
Avatar of Julian Hansen
Julian Hansen
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Yes - in PHP you can do arrays like so:

$array = array(' ', ':', '"');


$array = [' ', ':', '"'];