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Delete substrings within strings


newStr = erase(str,match)



newStr = erase(str,match) deletes all occurrences of match in str. The erase function returns the rest of the string as newStr.

If match is a string array or a cell array of character vectors, then erase deletes every occurrence of every element of match in str. The str and match arguments do not need to be the same size.


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Create a string array and delete substrings from it. Starting in R2017a, you can create strings using double quotes.

str = ["the quick brown fox jumps";
       "over the lazy dog"]
str = 2x1 string array
    "the quick brown fox jumps"
    "over the lazy dog"

Delete the substring "the " from str. The erase function deletes both instances.

newStr = erase(str,"the ")
newStr = 2x1 string array
    "quick brown fox jumps"
    "over lazy dog"

Delete multiple substrings from str.

match = ["the ","quick ","lazy "];
newStr = erase(str,match)
newStr = 2x1 string array
    "brown fox jumps"
    "over dog"

Create a character vector. Delete the substring, ' World', including the space character.

chr = 'Hello World'
chr = 
'Hello World'
newChr = erase(chr,' World')
newChr = 

Input Arguments

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Input text, specified as a string array, a character vector, or a cell array of character vectors.

Text to delete, specified as a string array, a character vector, or a cell array of character vectors.


  • To delete multiple occurrences of a match when the occurrences overlap, use the strrep function. erase only deletes the first occurrence when occurrences overlap.

Extended Capabilities

Introduced in R2016b