Main Content

PHP Find Variable in String

Since I always try to remember what this code is, and I can never remember, I thought I’d add it to my blog so I never forget. 🙂

This searches a string of text and finds a user defined variable. Very handy.

$string = "PHP";
$container = "I love writing PHP code.";

if(strstr($container,$string)) {
echo "found it.";
} else {
echo "not found.";

26 Responses

  1. collideous says:

    Here’s another way to get the same result:

    $string = “PHP”;
    $container = “I love writing PHP code.”;

    echo (strstr($container,$string)?”found it.”:”not found.”);

  2. Anurag Tarar says:


    I have used the original method since it allows me to execute certain code based upon found or not found criteria. This article was very helpfull to me.


  3. Vinit says:

    Thanks !
    This is exactly what i am looking for 🙂

  4. Jason says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  5. me says:

    yeah, I don’t know why PHP net always has the complicated jibba jabba when dummies like myself use that site as well. I searched high and low for about ten minutes just now until you solved my problem in laymens terms. Thanks!

  6. douche says:

    damn cant belive i always forget this one!

  7. Thomas says:

    douche – That’s exactly why I posted it. 🙂

  8. ontengen says:

    … and for insensitive search like Jane, jaNE, or JANE

  9. ontengen says:

    $haystack=”Hi jane, you look great.”;

    if (stristr($haystack,$needle)){
    print “Yup! i found it.”;
    print “Nope, i don’t see it.”;

  10. sumsumin says:

    THANKS! I really needed this! YOU ROCK!

  11. Greg says:

    Thank you, I searched all over for this

  12. Paul says:

    You, are, Legend.

    Exactly the last piece to my puzzle!

    Was struggling to write a “if is in string then..” statement.

  13. darklord says:

    it’s cool but it can result only one.
    what can i do to get all find results.
    for example in
    “hello. i am a php developer. i am darklord”
    when i serach
    “i am”
    there are 2 in this paragraph.

  14. Ben Althauser says:

    nice. 🙂 Thanx.

  15. Pat says:

    Looks like I’m going to have to buy this guy a beer.

  16. Arnoud says:

    thanks, very helpfull!

    now i can continue making my own hitcounter!

  17. thanks thanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanksthanks

  18. AJay says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for posting this. I always forget the easiest way to do this and have come across your site every time I look for the solution. You’ve helped me many times.


  19. shailesh says:


  20. 7 says:

    Thank a lot.

  21. Daniel says:

    Thanks a lot!

  22. Thanks for this very helpful peice of code

    For some reason i always forget this one. they should call it search_str or something

  23. Frank says:

    ok, is there a way to search in string for several item previously collected in a array

    for example


  24. Polin says:

    How to implement with regular expreccion?, example error:

    $page = //This is te html content with url to $string
    $string = “/^http:\/\/\/(.{4})/”;

    if(strstr($page,$string)) {
    echo “found it.”;
    } else {
    echo “not found.”;


  25. Johannes says:

    You should note that your code returns 0 (ie. the equivalent to false) if the needle is found in the very beginning of the haystack (position 0). To prevent this, use strict comparison:

    if(strstr($container,$string) === false) {
    echo “found it.”;
    } else {
    echo “not found.”;

  26. Smail says:

    Thanks for sharing this piece of code, this helped me out a lot!

Leave a Reply