One of LiveCode’s strongest features is how it lets you work with and manipulate text.

When working with text you will usually first place it inside a container (also known as assigning a value to a variable) and then work with / manipulate the container.

You can assign text to a variable in a number of ways, such as:

  • Manually
  • Loading a text file or a url
  • Working with an api
  • Input from a form
  • Retrieving data frim a database


LiveCode also has a number of constants (think of them as variables with a preset value, that you cannot alter. Constants make it easier to refer to certain characteres and values. LiveCodes constants include:


A literal is that has the value of itself. E.g. anything enclosed in double quotes in LiveCode is treated as a literal.


One of the terms you will see frequently used with LiveCode is “Chunks”. Chunks are definitly one of LiveCodes more interesting features. Put simply a chunk can be any character, line, word paragraph, or any part of a string / variable you choose.

Retrieving a chunk is done via chunk expressions such as:

put "The quick brown fox" into myText
put word 2 of myText // outputs: quick
put char 5 of myText // outputs: q
put char 1 of word 3 of myText // outputs: b
-- if myVar consisted of a number of lines (e.g. text from a text file, you can access different lines aswell
put line 1 of myText //

You can use chunks to edit a text

put "The quick brown fox" into myText
put "slow" into word 2 of myText
put myText // outputs: The slow brown fox


Think of items as a list. Each element of the list is called and item. By default items are delimited by commas ( , ) e.g:

put "Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday" into myList
put item 5 of myList // outputs: Friday

You can change the delimiter by setting the itemDelimeter:

set the itemDelimiter to "/"
put "Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday/Friday/Saturday/Sunday" into myList
put item 3 of myList // outputs: Wednesday

Working with Strings

In LiveCode a string is a group of characters. A string can be a single character, a paragraph of copy, a number etc. LiveCode does not differentiate between strings and integers. It will treat a string (or even part of string as integer when you request it.

Strings are asigned to a variable like so:

put "The cat in the hat" into myString
put "456" into myNumber

You can also use before or after to assign place the string at the beginning or the end of a variable:

put "He" into myVar
put "llo" after myVar
put myVar // outputs Hello
put "llo" into myVar
put "He" before myVar
put myVar // outputs Hello

Concatenating Strings

You can join chuncks of text by using the ampersand.

  • & joins them together
  • && joins 2 chunks together with a space seperating the 2 chunks
    put "hello" & "world" // outputs: helloworld
    put "hello" && "world" // outputs: hello world
  • You can also join chunks using a comma ( , ) – usefull when wanting to create a comma seperated list.
    put "cats" , "dogs" , "birds" // outputs: cats,dogs,birds

Find and Replace

One of the most common operations performed on text is finding and replacing parts of a string.

put replaceText("monday","mon","thurs") // outputs: thursday

Find substring

put "The quick brown fox" into haystack
put "brown" into needle
if haystack contains needle then put "Found" // outputs: found

Reverse a string

put "!dlroW olleH" into myString
repeat with i = length(myString) down to 1
 put char i of myString after reversedString
end repeat
put reversedString //outputs Hello World!
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