Php multiple delimiters in explode

I have a problem, I have a string array, and I want to explode in different delimiter. For Example

$example = 'Appel @ Ratte';
$example2 = 'apple vs ratte'

and I need an array which is explode in @ or vs.

I already wrote a solution, but If everybody have a better solution please post here.

private function multiExplode($delimiters,$string) {
    $ary = explode($delimiters[0],$string);
    if($delimiters != NULL) {
        if(count($ary) <2)                      
            $ary = $this->multiExplode($delimiters, $string);
    return  $ary;


what about using

$output = preg_split( "/ (@|vs) /", $input );

You can take the first string, replace all the @ with vs using str_replace, then explode on vs or vice versa.

function multiexplode ($delimiters,$string) {

    $ready = str_replace($delimiters, $delimiters[0], $string);
    $launch = explode($delimiters[0], $ready);
    return  $launch;

$text = "here is a sample: this text, and this will be exploded. this also | this one too :)";

$exploded = multiexplode(array(",",".","|",":"),$text);


//And output will be like this:
// Array
// (
//    [0] => here is a sample
//    [1] =>  this text
//    [2] =>  and this will be exploded
//    [3] =>  this also 
//    [4] =>  this one too 
//    [5] => )
// )

Source: php@metehanarslan at

How about using strtr() to substitute all of your other delimiters with the first one?

private function multiExplode($delimiters,$string) {
    return explode($delimiters[0],strtr($string,array_combine(array_slice($delimiters,1),array_fill(0,count($delimiters)-1,array_shift($delimiters))))));

It's sort of unreadable, I guess, but I tested it as working over here.

One-liners ftw!

Wouldn't strtok() work for you?

Simply you can use the following code:


You can try this solution.... It works great

function explodeX( $delimiters, $string )
    return explode( chr( 1 ), str_replace( $delimiters, chr( 1 ), $string ) );
$list = 'Thing 1&Thing 2,Thing 3|Thing 4';

$exploded = explodeX( array('&', ',', '|' ), $list );

echo '<pre>';
echo '</pre>';

Source :

I do it this way...

public static function multiExplode($delims, $string, $special = '|||') {

    if (is_array($delims) == false) {
        $delims = array($delims);

    if (empty($delims) == false) {
        foreach ($delims as $d) {
            $string = str_replace($d, $special, $string);

    return explode($special, $string);

You are going to have some problems (what if you have this string: "vs @ apples" for instance) using this method of sepparating, but if we start by stating that you have thought about that and have fixed all of those possible collisions, you could just replace all occurences of $delimiter[1] to $delimiter[n] with $delimiter[0], and then split on that first one?

If your delimiter is only characters, you can use strtok, which seems to be more fit here. Note that you must use it with a while loop to achieve the effects.

How about this?

 * Like explode with multiple delimiters. 
 * Default delimiters are: \ | / and ,
 * @param string $string String that thould be converted to an array.
 * @param mixed $delimiters Every single char will be interpreted as an delimiter. If a delimiter with multiple chars is needed, use an Array.
 * @return array. If $string is empty OR not a string, return false
public static function multiExplode($string, $delimiters = '\\|/,') 
  $delimiterArray = is_array($delimiters)?$delimiters:str_split($delimiters);
  $newRegex = implode('|', array_map (function($delimiter) {return preg_quote($delimiter, '/');}, $delimiterArray));
  return is_string($string) && !empty($string) ? array_map('trim', preg_split('/('.$newRegex.')/', $string, -1, PREG_SPLIT_NO_EMPTY)) : false;

In your case you should use an Array for the $delimiters param. Then it is possible to use multiple chars as one delimiter.

If you don't care about trailing spaces in your results, you can remove the array_map('trim', [...] ) part in the return row. (But don't be a quibbler in this case. Keep the preg_split in it.)

Required PHP Version: 5.3.0 or higher.

You can test it here

This will work:

$stringToSplit = 'This is my String!' ."\n\r". 'Second Line';
$split = explode (
  ' ', implode (
    ' ', explode (
      "\n\r", $stringToSplit

As you can see, it first glues the by \n\r exploded parts together with a space, to then cut it apart again, this time taking the spaces with him.

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