3.4 Strings (Unicode)

A string is a fixed-length array of characters. It prints using doublequotes, where doublequote and backslash characters within the string are escaped with backslashes. Other common string escapes are supported, including \n for a linefeed, \r for a carriage return, octal escapes using \ followed by up to three octal digits, and hexadecimal escapes with \u (up to four digits). Unprintable characters in a string are normally shown with \u when the string is printed.

+Reading Strings in The Racket Reference documents the fine points of the syntax of strings.

The display procedure directly writes the characters of a string to the current output port (see Input and Output), in contrast to the string-constant syntax used to print a string result.

> "Apple"


> "\u03BB"


> (display "Apple")


> (display "a \"quoted\" thing")

a "quoted" thing

> (display "two\nlines")



> (display "\u03BB")


A string can be mutable or immutable; strings written directly as expressions are immutable, but most other strings are mutable. The make-string procedure creates a mutable string given a length and optional fill character. The string-ref procedure accesses a character from a string (with 0-based indexing); the string-set! procedure changes a character in a mutable string.

> (string-ref "Apple" 0)


> (define s (make-string 5 #\.))
> s


> (string-set! s 2 #\λ)
> s


String ordering and case operations are generally locale-independent; that is, they work the same for all users. A few locale-dependent operations are provided that allow the way that strings are case-folded and sorted to depend on the end-user’s locale. If you’re sorting strings, for example, use string<? or string-ci<? if the sort result should be consistent across machines and users, but use string-locale<? or string-locale-ci<? if the sort is purely to order strings for an end user.

> (string<? "apple" "Banana")


> (string-ci<? "apple" "Banana")


> (string-upcase "Straße")


> (parameterize ([current-locale "C"])
    (string-locale-upcase "Straße"))


For working with plain ASCII, working with raw bytes, or encoding/decoding Unicode strings as bytes, use byte strings.

+Strings in The Racket Reference provides more on strings and string procedures.