Solved: remove first character from string

Java is a versatile programming language that is object-oriented and used widely for programming across the globe. It is a complete platform, providing an enormous library of pre-coded utilities, like the ones that help with string manipulation. In this article, we will look into one such scenario, where we are required to **remove the first character from a string**. This is a common operation in text processing tasks and can be achieved in Java in several ways. Let’s explore how it can be done.

String str = "Hello World";
String newStr = str.substring(1);

We can understand this code in the following steps. First, we declare and initialise a String variable named “str” with a value “Hello World”. The String class in Java, a part of java.lang package, is used to create and manipulate the strings. After that, we are using the `substring` method of the String class to create a new string “newStr” and removing the first character of the “str”. Finally, we are printing the new string using `System.out.println()` method.

The substring method in Java

The `substring` method is a part of the **String class in Java**. Essentially, it is used to extract a sequence of characters from a string. The method is overloaded and comes in two forms, `substring(int beginIndex)` and `substring(int beginIndex, int endIndex)`.

In this scenario, we are using `substring(int beginIndex)` form, where it simply takes in an integer parameter which signifies the index from which the substring starts. Java uses zero-based indexing, which implies that the index of the first character is 0. Thus, if we wish to remove the first character, we pass 1 as the parameter to the `substring` method. This skips the first character and creates a substring from the second character till the end.

Alternate methods to remove first character

Though `substring` method is the most common and efficient way to remove the first character from a string, there are other methods available to achieve the same.

One such method is using `StringBuilder` class:

StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder(str);
String newStr = sb.toString();

In this method, we first initialize a `StringBuilder` object with the original string. `StringBuilder` is an alternative to String Class and when a string is modified using it, it doesn’t result in the creation of a new instance. We then use the `deleteCharAt` method which deletes the character at the specified index. After deleting the first character, we convert the StringBuilder back to String using `toString()` and print the result.

The method to remove the first character from a string largely depends on your program’s requirement. Understanding the underlying libraries and functions is crucial to make the best choice. In a larger perspective, it is quite interesting to observe how basic string manipulations can lead to efficient programming solutions.

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