Trim the Last N Characters from a String in JavaScript

Trim the Last N Characters from a String in JavaScript

Introduction

JavaScript has quite a few methods to manipulate strings. One of those methods involves trimming the last N characters from a string. This Byte will show you two ways to achieve this: using the String.substring() method and conditionally removing the last N characters.

Using String.substring() to Trim Characters

The String.substring() method returns a new string that starts from a specified index and ends before a second specified index. We can use this method to trim the last N characters from a string. Let's see how this works with a simple example:

let str = "Hello, World!";
let trimmedStr = str.substring(0, str.length - 5);
console.log(trimmedStr);

In this code, str.length - 5 is used to calculate the ending index for the substring. This will output:

Hello, Wo

As you can see, the last 5 characters of the string have been removed.

Conditional Removal of Last N Characters

Sometimes, you might want to conditionally remove the last N characters from a string. This could be useful when you want to trim characters only when certain conditions are met. For instance, you might want to remove the last character from a string only if it is a comma.

One way to do this is with an if statement:

let str = "Hello, World!,";
if (str.endsWith(",")) {
    str = str.substring(0, str.length - 1);
}
console.log(str);
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In the above code, we used the String.endsWith() method to check if the string ends with a comma. If it does, we remove the last character. This isn't much different than our first example, except that it's surrounded by a conditional.

This will output:

Hello, World!

Note: Remember that String.substring() does not modify the original string. Instead, it returns a new string. This is because strings in JavaScript are immutable.

Another way to do it conditionally is with a regex string and the replace() method:

let str = "Hello, World!,";
let regex = /,$/g;
str = str.replace(regex, '');

console.log(str); // Hello, World!

This will only remove the comma at the end of the string if it is present.

Conclusion

In this Byte, we explored two ways to remove the last N characters from a string in JavaScript. We learned how to use the String.substring() method, and we also looked at how to conditionally remove characters.

Last Updated: August 21st, 2023
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