Wildcard string comparison in Javascript


Let's say I have an array with many Strings Called "birdBlue", "birdRed" and some other animals like "pig1", "pig2").

Now I run a for loop that goes through the array and should return all birds. What comparison would make sense here?

Animals == "bird*" was my first idea but doesn't work. Is there a way to use the operator * (or is there something similar to use?

This question is tagged with javascript string comparison

~ Asked on 2014-10-07 22:55:09

The Best Answer is


I think you meant something like "*" (star) as a wildcard for example:

  • "a*b" => everything that starts with "a" and ends with "b"
  • "a*" => everything that starts with "a"
  • "*b" => everything that ends with "b"
  • "*a*" => everything that has an "a" in it
  • "*a*b*"=> everything that has an "a" in it, followed by anything, followed by a "b", followed by anything

or in your example: "bird*" => everything that starts with bird

I had a similar problem and wrote a function with RegExp:

//Short code_x000D_
function matchRuleShort(str, rule) {_x000D_
  var escapeRegex = (str) => str.replace(/([.*+?^=!:${}()|\[\]\/\\])/g, "\\$1");_x000D_
  return new RegExp("^" + rule.split("*").map(escapeRegex).join(".*") + "$").test(str);_x000D_
//Explanation code_x000D_
function matchRuleExpl(str, rule) {_x000D_
  // for this solution to work on any string, no matter what characters it has_x000D_
  var escapeRegex = (str) => str.replace(/([.*+?^=!:${}()|\[\]\/\\])/g, "\\$1");_x000D_
  // "."  => Find a single character, except newline or line terminator_x000D_
  // ".*" => Matches any string that contains zero or more characters_x000D_
  rule = rule.split("*").map(escapeRegex).join(".*");_x000D_
  // "^"  => Matches any string with the following at the beginning of it_x000D_
  // "$"  => Matches any string with that in front at the end of it_x000D_
  rule = "^" + rule + "$"_x000D_
  //Create a regular expression object for matching string_x000D_
  var regex = new RegExp(rule);_x000D_
  //Returns true if it finds a match, otherwise it returns false_x000D_
  return regex.test(str);_x000D_
    "1. " + matchRuleShort("bird123", "bird*") + "\n" +_x000D_
    "2. " + matchRuleShort("123bird", "*bird") + "\n" +_x000D_
    "3. " + matchRuleShort("123bird123", "*bird*") + "\n" +_x000D_
    "4. " + matchRuleShort("bird123bird", "bird*bird") + "\n" +_x000D_
    "5. " + matchRuleShort("123bird123bird123", "*bird*bird*") + "\n" +_x000D_
    "6. " + matchRuleShort("s[pe]c 3 re$ex 6 cha^rs", "s[pe]c*re$ex*cha^rs") + "\n" +_x000D_
    "7. " + matchRuleShort("should not match", "should noo*oot match") + "\n"_x000D_

If you want to read more about the used functions:

~ Answered on 2015-09-04 16:14:52


You should use RegExp (they are awesome) an easy solution is:

if( /^bird/.test(animals[i]) ){
    // a bird :D

~ Answered on 2014-10-07 23:01:20

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