number - Iterating through the Alphabet-C# a-caz




php alphabet increment (7)

I have a question about iterate through the Alphabet. I would like to have a loop that begins with "a" and ends with "z". After that, the loop begins "aa" and count to "az". after that begins with "ba" up to "bz" and so on...

Anybody know some solution?

Thanks

EDIT: I forgot that I give a char "a" to the function then the function must return b. if u give "bnc" then the function must return "bnd"


Edit: Made it do exactly as the OP's latest edit wants

This is the simplest solution, and tested:

static void Main(string[] args)
{
    Console.WriteLine(GetNextBase26("a"));
    Console.WriteLine(GetNextBase26("bnc"));
}

private static string GetNextBase26(string a)
{
    return Base26Sequence().SkipWhile(x => x != a).Skip(1).First();
}

private static IEnumerable<string> Base26Sequence()
{
    long i = 0L;
    while (true)
        yield return Base26Encode(i++);
}

private static char[] base26Chars = "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz".ToCharArray();
private static string Base26Encode(Int64 value)
{
    string returnValue = null;
    do
    {
        returnValue = base26Chars[value % 26] + returnValue;
        value /= 26;
    } while (value-- != 0);
    return returnValue;
}

First effort, with just a-z then aa-zz

public static IEnumerable<string> GetExcelColumns()
{
    for (char c = 'a'; c <= 'z'; c++)
    {
        yield return c.ToString();
    }
    char[] chars = new char[2];
    for (char high = 'a'; high <= 'z'; high++)
    {
        chars[0] = high;
        for (char low = 'a'; low <= 'z'; low++)
        {
            chars[1] = low;
            yield return new string(chars);
        }
    }
}

Note that this will stop at 'zz'. Of course, there's some ugly duplication here in terms of the loops. Fortunately, that's easy to fix - and it can be even more flexible, too:

Second attempt: more flexible alphabet

private const string Alphabet = "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz";

public static IEnumerable<string> GetExcelColumns()
{
    return GetExcelColumns(Alphabet);
}

public static IEnumerable<string> GetExcelColumns(string alphabet)
{
    foreach(char c in alphabet)
    {
        yield return c.ToString();
    }
    char[] chars = new char[2];
    foreach(char high in alphabet)
    {
        chars[0] = high;
        foreach(char low in alphabet)
        {
            chars[1] = low;
            yield return new string(chars);
        }
    }
}

Now if you want to generate just a, b, c, d, aa, ab, ac, ad, ba, ... you'd call GetExcelColumns("abcd").

Third attempt (revised further) - infinite sequence

public static IEnumerable<string> GetExcelColumns(string alphabet)
{
    int length = 0;
    char[] chars = null;
    int[] indexes = null;
    while (true)
    {
        int position = length-1;
        // Try to increment the least significant
        // value.
        while (position >= 0)
        {
            indexes[position]++;
            if (indexes[position] == alphabet.Length)
            {
                for (int i=position; i < length; i++)
                {
                    indexes[i] = 0;
                    chars[i] = alphabet[0];
                }
                position--;
            }
            else
            {
                chars[position] = alphabet[indexes[position]];
                break;
            }
        }
        // If we got all the way to the start of the array,
        // we need an extra value
        if (position == -1)
        {
            length++; 
            chars = new char[length];
            indexes = new int[length];
            for (int i=0; i < length; i++)
            {
                chars[i] = alphabet[0];
            }
        }
        yield return new string(chars);
    }
}

It's possible that it would be cleaner code using recursion, but it wouldn't be as efficient.

Note that if you want to stop at a certain point, you can just use LINQ:

var query = GetExcelColumns().TakeWhile(x => x != "zzz");

"Restarting" the iterator

To restart the iterator from a given point, you could indeed use SkipWhile as suggested by thesoftwarejedi. That's fairly inefficient, of course. If you're able to keep any state between call, you can just keep the iterator (for either solution):

using (IEnumerator<string> iterator = GetExcelColumns())
{
    iterator.MoveNext();
    string firstAttempt = iterator.Current;

    if (someCondition)
    {
        iterator.MoveNext();
        string secondAttempt = iterator.Current;
        // etc
    }
}

Alternatively, you may well be able to structure your code to use a foreach anyway, just breaking out on the first value you can actually use.


Here’s what I came up with.

/// <summary>
/// Return an incremented alphabtical string
/// </summary>
/// <param name="letter">The string to be incremented</param>
/// <returns>the incremented string</returns>
public static string NextLetter(string letter)
{
  const string alphabet = "ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ";
  if (!string.IsNullOrEmpty(letter))
  {
    char lastLetterInString = letter[letter.Length - 1];

    // if the last letter in the string is the last letter of the alphabet
    if (alphabet.IndexOf(lastLetterInString) == alphabet.Length - 1) 
    {
        //replace the last letter in the string with the first leter of the alphbat and get the next letter for the rest of the string
        return NextLetter(letter.Substring(0, letter.Length - 1)) + alphabet[0];
    }
    else 
    {
      // replace the last letter in the string with the proceeding letter of the alphabet
      return letter.Remove(letter.Length-1).Insert(letter.Length-1, (alphabet[alphabet.IndexOf(letter[letter.Length-1])+1]).ToString() );
    }
  }
  //return the first letter of the alphabet
  return alphabet[0].ToString();
}

Here's my attempt using recursion:

public static void PrintAlphabet(string alphabet, string prefix)
{
    for (int i = 0; i < alphabet.Length; i++) {
        Console.WriteLine(prefix + alphabet[i].ToString());
    }

    if (prefix.Length < alphabet.Length - 1) {
        for (int i = 0; i < alphabet.Length; i++) {
            PrintAlphabet(alphabet, prefix + alphabet[i]);
        }
    }
}

Then simply call PrintAlphabet("abcd", "");


I know there are plenty of answers here, and one's been accepted, but IMO they all make it harder than it needs to be. I think the following is simpler and cleaner:

static string NextColumn(string column){
    char[] c = column.ToCharArray();
    for(int i = c.Length - 1; i >= 0; i--){
        if(char.ToUpper(c[i]++) < 'Z')
            break;
        c[i] -= (char)26;
        if(i == 0)
            return "A" + new string(c);
    }
    return new string(c);
}

Note that this doesn't do any input validation. If you don't trust your callers, you should add an IsNullOrEmpty check at the beginning, and a c[i] >= 'A' && c[i] <= 'Z' || c[i] >= 'a' && c[i] <= 'z' check at the top of the loop. Or just leave it be and let it be GIGO.

You may also find use for these companion functions:

static string GetColumnName(int index){
    StringBuilder txt = new StringBuilder();
    txt.Append((char)('A' + index % 26));
    //txt.Append((char)('A' + --index % 26));
    while((index /= 26) > 0)
        txt.Insert(0, (char)('A' + --index % 26));
    return txt.ToString();
}
static int GetColumnIndex(string name){
    int rtn = 0;
    foreach(char c in name)
        rtn = rtn * 26 + (char.ToUpper(c) - '@');
    return rtn - 1;
    //return rtn;
}

These two functions are zero-based. That is, "A" = 0, "Z" = 25, "AA" = 26, etc. To make them one-based (like Excel's COM interface), remove the line above the commented line in each function, and uncomment those lines.

As with the NextColumn function, these functions don't validate their inputs. Both with give you garbage if that's what they get.


The following populates a list with the required strings:

List<string> result = new List<string>();
for (char ch = 'a'; ch <= 'z'; ch++){
    result.Add (ch.ToString());
}

for (char i = 'a'; i <= 'z'; i++)
{
    for (char j = 'a'; j <= 'z'; j++)
    {
        result.Add (i.ToString() + j.ToString());
    }
}

just curious , why not just

    private string alphRecursive(int c) {
         var alphabet = "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz".ToCharArray();
         if (c >= alphabet.Length) {
             return alphRecursive(c/alphabet.Length) + alphabet[c%alphabet.Length];
         } else {
             return "" + alphabet[c%alphabet.Length];
         }
    }




alphabet