JavaScript - get first character of string

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In this short article, we would like to show you how to get the first character of a string in JavaScript.

Example 1

Below example shows the use of .substring() method which returns the part of a string between the 0 and 1 indexes.

Runnable example:

// ONLINE-RUNNER:browser;

var text = '123';
var substring = text.substring(0,1);

console.log("text: " + text);           // 123
console.log("substring: " + substring); // 1

Example 2

In the second example, we can see the result when we want to get a substring from a string in various cases (like string shorter than the number of characters we want to get or an empty string).

Runnable example:

// ONLINE-RUNNER:browser;

// true means string is empty

console.log( "".substring(0, 1) === "" ); // empty
console.log( "1".substring(0, 1) ); // 1
console.log( "12".substring(0, 1) ); // 1
console.log( "123".substring(0, 1) ); // 1

Don't use substr() because it's a non-standard method.

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JavaScript - String (popular problems)

JavaScript - get first character of string
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