PHP file_get_contents() | Read File into String

The PHP file_get_contents() function is used when we need to read a file into a string. For example:

<?php
   $mystr = file_get_contents("codescracker.txt");
   echo $mystr;
?>

The output of above PHP example on file_get_contents() function is:

php file_get_contents function

Following is the snapshot of the opened file codescracker.txt, along with the current directory:

php file_get_contents function example

PHP Read File into String Preserving Newline/LineBreak

As you can see the snapshot of the file codescracker.txt and the output, shown above. The file contains text spread in three lines. But the output produced by previous example, after getting the content of file into a string, ignored all newline characters. Therefore, the nl2br() comes into picture. Here is an example:

<?php
   $mystr = file_get_contents("codescracker.txt");
   $mystr = nl2br($mystr);
   echo $mystr;
?>

Or

<?php
   $mystr = file_get_contents("codescracker.txt");
   echo nl2br($mystr);
?>

Both the above example will produce same output, that should be:

php file get contents read file into string

PHP file_get_contents() Syntax

The syntax of file_get_contents() function in PHP, is:

file_get_contents(path, include_path, context, start, length)

The first parameter (path) is required, whereas all the three parameters are optional.

Note - The include_path parameter is used when we need to search the file in the include_path (in php.ini). To do this, we need to specify this parameter with 1.

Note - The context parameter is used to specify the context to handle the file.

Note - The start parameter is used when we need to read a file into a string, from any particular position. Negative values will be used to read from specified position, from the end.

Note - The length parameter is used when we need to read a file into string upto the specified maximum length of characters.

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