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Strings.Split Method

Returns a zero-based, one-dimensional array containing a specified number of substrings.

Namespace:  Microsoft.VisualBasic
Assembly:  Microsoft.VisualBasic (in Microsoft.VisualBasic.dll)

Public Shared Function Split ( _
	Expression As String, _
	Delimiter As String, _
	Limit As Integer, _
	Compare As CompareMethod _
) As String()


Type: System.String
Required. String expression containing substrings and delimiters.
Type: System.String
Optional. Any single character used to identify substring limits. If Delimiter is omitted, the space character (" ") is assumed to be the delimiter.
Type: System.Int32
Optional. Maximum number of substrings into which the input string should be split. The default, –1, indicates that the input string should be split at every occurrence of the Delimiter string.
Type: Microsoft.VisualBasic.CompareMethod
Optional. Numeric value indicating the comparison to use when evaluating substrings. See "Settings" for values.

Return Value

Type: System.String()
String array. If Expression is a zero-length string (""), Split returns a single-element array containing a zero-length string. If Delimiter is a zero-length string, or if it does not appear anywhere in Expression, Split returns a single-element array containing the entire Expression string.

By default, or when Limit equals -1, the Split function splits the input string at every occurrence of the delimiter string, and returns the substrings in an array. When the Limit parameter is greater than zero, the Split function splits the string at the first Limit-1 occurrences of the delimiter, and returns an array with the resulting substrings. For example, Split("a:b:c", ":") returns the array {"a", "b", "c"}, while Split("a:b:c", ":", 2) returns the array {"a", "b:c"}.

When the Split function encounters two delimiters in a row, or a delimiter at the beginning or end of the string, it interprets them as surrounding an empty string (""). For example, Split("xx", "x") returns the array containing three empty strings: one from between the beginning of the string and the first "x", one from between the two "x" strings, and one from between the last "x" and the end of the string.

This table demonstrates how the optional Delimiter, Limit, and Compare parameters can change the behavior of the Split function.

Split Call

Return Value

Split("42, 12, 19")

{"42," , "12," , "19"}

Split("42, 12, 19", ", ")

{"42", "12", "19"}

Split("42, 12, 19", ", ", 2)

{"42", "12, 19"}

Split("", ".")

{"192", "168", "0", "1"}

Split("Alice and Bob", " AND ")

{"Alice and Bob"}

Split("Alice and Bob", " AND ", ,CompareMethod.Text)

{"Alice", "Bob"}

Split("", "@",1)


Split("", "@",2)

{"someone", ""}

The Compare argument can have the following values.





Performs a binary comparison



Performs a textual comparison


The following example demonstrates how to split a string at its spaces.

Dim TestString As String = "Look at these!"
' Returns an array containing "Look", "at", and "these!".
Dim TestArray() As String = Split(TestString)

The following example demonstrates how to split strings with multiple delimiters in a row and filter out the empty strings.

Dim TestString As String = "apple    pear banana  "
Dim TestArray() As String = Split(TestString)
' TestArray holds {"apple", "", "", "", "pear", "banana", "", ""}
Dim LastNonEmpty As Integer = -1
For i As Integer = 0 To TestArray.Length - 1
    If TestArray(i) <> "" Then
        LastNonEmpty += 1
        TestArray(LastNonEmpty) = TestArray(i)
    End If
ReDim Preserve TestArray(LastNonEmpty)
' TestArray now holds {"apple", "pear", "banana"}

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.