Of all data types PHP supports, strings are probably the ones most often used. One of the reasons for this is that, at some point, a string representation of something is needed when sending out something to the client.
PHP offers a vast number of functions suitable for strings, almost 100. In addition, regular expressions come in handy when looking for certain patterns in strings. However, in real life only a fraction of these functions are actually used. Most of them deserve their loyal fan base; however, some underestimated functions should get more attention. The phrases in this chapter offer a good mix of both: standard applications and rather unusual, but very useful ways to work with strings.