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Oct 29 2019, 11:25 AM PST 5 min

​Strings are an important component of scripting, as they are used to represent sequences of letters, numbers, and symbols.

Declaring a String

The most common method of declaring strings is to put double quotes (") around the characters. The following declaration will cause the variable str to contain the string Hello world!:

local str = "Hello world!"

Strings can also be declared using single quotes (') which is helpful if the string itself contains double quotes:

Finally, strings can be declared within double brackets, a useful technique for storing multi-line strings:

Combining Strings

Strings can be combined through a method called concatenation. The Lua concatenation syntax is two dots (..) between the strings, for instance:

Converting Strings

You can easily convert a string to a number by using the tonumber() function. This function takes one argument (the string) and returns it as a number. If the string doesn’t resemble a number, for example "Hello", the tonumber() function will return nil.

Conversely, numbers can be converted to strings with the tostring() function as demonstrated here:

Math and Strings

When you perform math using a string value, Lua will automatically try to convert the string into a number, so you don’t need to wrap the string in tonumber() beforehand. However, if the string cannot be converted to a number, your script will produce an error.

String Escapes

In double-quoted or single-quoted string declarations (but not bracket declarations), you can use a backslash (\) to embed almost any character. This is another useful way to include quotes inside a string:

When using string escapes, note that certain characters following a backslash have special meanings. For instance, \n will produce a newline, not the escaped character n.

Tags:
  • lua
  • coding
  • string