objective-c - strings - stringbyappendingstring

Shortcuts in Objective-C to concatenate NSStrings (20)

An option:

[NSString stringWithFormat:@"%@/%@/%@", one, two, three];

Another option:

I'm guessing you're not happy with multiple appends (a+b+c+d), in which case you could do:

NSLog(@"%@", [Util append:one, @" ", two, nil]); // "one two"
NSLog(@"%@", [Util append:three, @"/", two, @"/", one, nil]); // three/two/one

using something like

+ (NSString *) append:(id) first, ...
    NSString * result = @"";
    id eachArg;
    va_list alist;
        result = [result stringByAppendingString:first];
        va_start(alist, first);
        while (eachArg = va_arg(alist, id)) 
        result = [result stringByAppendingString:eachArg];
    return result;

Are there any shortcuts to (stringByAppendingString:) string concatenation in Objective-C, or shortcuts for working with NSString in general?

For example, I'd like to make:

NSString *myString = @"This";
NSString *test = [myString stringByAppendingString:@" is just a test"];

something more like:

string myString = "This";
string test = myString + " is just a test";


// stringConcat(...)
//     A shortcut for concatenating strings (or objects' string representations).
//     Input: Any number of non-nil NSObjects.
//     Output: All arguments concatenated together into a single NSString.

#define stringConcat(...) \
    [@[__VA_ARGS__] componentsJoinedByString:@""]

Test Cases:

- (void)testStringConcat {
    NSString *actual;

    actual = stringConcat(); //might not make sense, but it's still a valid expression.
    STAssertEqualObjects(@"", actual, @"stringConcat");

    actual = stringConcat(@"A");
    STAssertEqualObjects(@"A", actual, @"stringConcat");

    actual = stringConcat(@"A", @"B");
    STAssertEqualObjects(@"AB", actual, @"stringConcat");

    actual = stringConcat(@"A", @"B", @"C");
    STAssertEqualObjects(@"ABC", actual, @"stringConcat");

    // works on all NSObjects (not just strings):
    actual = stringConcat(@1, @" ", @2, @" ", @3);
    STAssertEqualObjects(@"1 2 3", actual, @"stringConcat");

Alternate macro: (if you wanted to enforce a minimum number of arguments)

// stringConcat(...)
//     A shortcut for concatenating strings (or objects' string representations).
//     Input: Two or more non-nil NSObjects.
//     Output: All arguments concatenated together into a single NSString.

#define stringConcat(str1, str2, ...) \
    [@[ str1, str2, ##__VA_ARGS__] componentsJoinedByString:@""];

For all Objective C lovers that need this in a UI-Test:

-(void) clearTextField:(XCUIElement*) textField{

    NSString* currentInput = (NSString*) textField.value;
    NSMutableString* deleteString = [NSMutableString new];

    for(int i = 0; i < currentInput.length; ++i) {
        [deleteString appendString: [NSString stringWithFormat:@"%c", 8]];
    [textField typeText:deleteString];

Here's a simple way, using the new array literal syntax:

NSString * s = [@[@"one ", @"two ", @"three"] componentsJoinedByString:@""];
                  ^^^^^^^ create array ^^^^^
                                               ^^^^^^^ concatenate ^^^^^

I keep returning to this post and always end up sorting through the answers to find this simple solution that works with as many variables as needed:

[NSString stringWithFormat:@"%@/%@/%@", three, two, one];

For example:

NSString *urlForHttpGet = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"http://example.com/login/username/%@/userid/%i", userName, userId];

I tried this code. it's worked for me.

NSMutableString * myString=[[NSMutableString alloc]init];
myString=[myString stringByAppendingString:@"first value"];
myString=[myString stringByAppendingString:@"second string"];

In Swift

let str1 = "This"
let str2 = "is just a test"

var appendStr1 = "\(str1) \(str2)" // appendStr1 would be "This is just a test"
var appendStr2 = str1 + str2 // // appendStr2 would be "This is just a test"

Also, you can use += operator for the same as below...

var str3 = "Some String" 
str3 += str2            // str3 would be "Some String is just a test"

Let's imagine that u don't know how many strings there.

NSMutableArray *arrForStrings = [[NSMutableArray alloc] init];
for (int i=0; i<[allMyStrings count]; i++) {
    NSString *str = [allMyStrings objectAtIndex:i];
    [arrForStrings addObject:str];
NSString *readyString = [[arrForStrings mutableCopy] componentsJoinedByString:@", "];

Shortcut by creating AppendString (AS) macro ...

#define AS(A,B)    [(A) stringByAppendingString:(B)]
NSString *myString = @"This"; NSString *test = AS(myString,@" is just a test");


If using a macro, of course just do it with variadic arguments, see EthanB's answer.

The only way to make c = [a stringByAppendingString: b] any shorter is to use autocomplete at around the st point. The + operator is part of C, which doesn't know about Objective-C objects.

Try stringWithFormat:

NSString *myString = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"%@ %@ %@ %d", "The", "Answer", "Is", 42];

Two answers I can think of... neither is particularly as pleasant as just having a concatenation operator.

First, use an NSMutableString, which has an appendString method, removing some of the need for extra temp strings.

Second, use an NSArray to concatenate via the componentsJoinedByString method.

Was trying the following in the lldb pane

[NSString stringWithFormat:@"%@/%@/%@", three, two, one];

which errors.

instead use alloc and initWithFormat method:

[[NSString alloc] initWithFormat:@"%@/%@/%@", @"three", @"two", @"one"];

Well, as colon is kind of special symbol, but is part of method signature, it is possible to exted the NSString with category to add this non-idiomatic style of string concatenation:

[@"This " : @"feels " : @"almost like " : @"concatenation with operators"];

You can define as many colon separated arguments as you find useful... ;-)

For a good measure, I've also added concat: with variable arguments that takes nil terminated list of strings.

//  NSString+Concatenation.h

#import <Foundation/Foundation.h>

@interface NSString (Concatenation)

- (NSString *):(NSString *)a;
- (NSString *):(NSString *)a :(NSString *)b;
- (NSString *):(NSString *)a :(NSString *)b :(NSString *)c;
- (NSString *):(NSString *)a :(NSString *)b :(NSString *)c :(NSString *)d;

- (NSString *)concat:(NSString *)strings, ...;


//  NSString+Concatenation.m

#import "NSString+Concatenation.h"

@implementation NSString (Concatenation)

- (NSString *):(NSString *)a { return [self stringByAppendingString:a];}
- (NSString *):(NSString *)a :(NSString *)b { return [[self:a]:b];}
- (NSString *):(NSString *)a :(NSString *)b :(NSString *)c
    { return [[[self:a]:b]:c]; }
- (NSString *):(NSString *)a :(NSString *)b :(NSString *)c :(NSString *)d
    { return [[[[self:a]:b]:c]:d];}

- (NSString *)concat:(NSString *)strings, ...
    va_list args;
    va_start(args, strings);

    NSString *s;    
    NSString *con = [self stringByAppendingString:strings];

    while((s = va_arg(args, NSString *))) 
        con = [con stringByAppendingString:s];

    return con;

//  NSString+ConcatenationTest.h

#import <SenTestingKit/SenTestingKit.h>
#import "NSString+Concatenation.h"

@interface NSString_ConcatenationTest : SenTestCase


//  NSString+ConcatenationTest.m

#import "NSString+ConcatenationTest.h"

@implementation NSString_ConcatenationTest

- (void)testSimpleConcatenation 
    STAssertEqualObjects([@"a":@"b"], @"ab", nil);
    STAssertEqualObjects([@"a":@"b":@"c"], @"abc", nil);
    STAssertEqualObjects([@"a":@"b":@"c":@"d"], @"abcd", nil);
    STAssertEqualObjects([@"a":@"b":@"c":@"d":@"e"], @"abcde", nil);
    STAssertEqualObjects([@"this " : @"is " : @"string " : @"concatenation"],
     @"this is string concatenation", nil);

- (void)testVarArgConcatenation 
    NSString *concatenation = [@"a" concat:@"b", nil];
    STAssertEqualObjects(concatenation, @"ab", nil);

    concatenation = [concatenation concat:@"c", @"d", concatenation, nil];
    STAssertEqualObjects(concatenation, @"abcdab", nil);

When dealing with strings often I find it easier to make the source file ObjC++, then I can concatenate std::strings using the second method shown in the question.

std::string stdstr = [nsstr UTF8String];

//easier to read and more portable string manipulation goes here...

NSString* nsstr = [NSString stringWithUTF8String:stdstr.c_str()];

You can use NSArray as

NSString *[email protected]"This"

NSString *[email protected]"is just"

NSString *[email protected]"a test"  

NSArray *myStrings = [[NSArray alloc] initWithObjects:string1, string2, string3,nil];

NSString *fullLengthString = [myStrings componentsJoinedByString:@" "];


you can use

NSString *imageFullName=[NSString stringWithFormat:@"%@ %@ %@.", string1,string2,string3];

NSNumber *lat = [NSNumber numberWithDouble:destinationMapView.camera.target.latitude];
NSNumber *lon = [NSNumber numberWithDouble:destinationMapView.camera.target.longitude];
NSString *DesconCatenated = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"%@|%@",lat,lon];

NSString *label1 = @"Process Name: ";
NSString *label2 = @"Process Id: ";
NSString *processName = [[NSProcessInfo processInfo] processName];
NSString *processID = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"%d", [[NSProcessInfo processInfo] processIdentifier]];
NSString *testConcat = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"%@ %@ %@ %@", label1, processName, label2, processID];

NSString *myString = @"This";
NSString *test = [myString stringByAppendingString:@" is just a test"];

After a couple of years now with Objective C I think this is the best way to work with Objective C to achieve what you are trying to achieve.

Start keying in "N" in your Xcode application and it autocompletes to "NSString". key in "str" and it autocompletes to "stringByAppendingString". So the keystrokes are quite limited.

Once you get the hang of hitting the "@" key and tabbing the process of writing readable code no longer becomes a problem. It is just a matter of adapting.

NSString *result=[NSString stringWithFormat:@"%@ %@", @"Hello", @"World"];