java - Splitting a string at every n-th character



In JavaScript this is how we can split a string at every 3-rd character


I am trying to figure out how to do this in Java. Any pointers?

6 Answers: 

You could do it like this:

String s = "1234567890";

which produces:

[123, 456, 789, 0]

The regex (?<=\G...) matches an empty string that has the last match (\G) followed by three characters (...) before it ((?<= ))


Java does not provide very full-featured splitting utilities, so the Guava libraries do:

Iterable<String> pieces = Splitter.fixedLength(3).split(string);

Check out the Javadoc for Splitter; it's very powerful.

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.List;

public class Test {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        for (String part : getParts("foobarspam", 3)) {
    private static List<String> getParts(String string, int partitionSize) {
        List<String> parts = new ArrayList<String>();
        int len = string.length();
        for (int i=0; i<len; i+=partitionSize)
            parts.add(string.substring(i, Math.min(len, i + partitionSize)));
        return parts;

As an addition to Bart Kiers answer I want to add that it is possible instead of using the three dots ... in the regex expression which are representing three characters you can write .{3} which has the same meaning.

Then the code would look like the following:

String bitstream = "00101010001001010100101010100101010101001010100001010101010010101";

With this it would be easier to modify the string length and the creation of a function is now reasonable with a variable input string length. This could be done look like the following:

public static String[] splitAfterNChars(String input, int splitLen){
    return input.split(String.format("(?<=\\G.{%1$d})", splitLen));

An example in IdeOne:


Late Entry.

Following is a succinct implementation using Java8 streams, a one liner:

String foobarspam = "foobarspam";
AtomicInteger splitCounter = new AtomicInteger(0);
Collection<String> splittedStrings = foobarspam
                                    .mapToObj(_char -> String.valueOf((char)_char))
                                    .collect(Collectors.groupingBy(stringChar -> splitCounter.getAndIncrement() / 3


[foo, bar, spa, m]

This a late answer, but I am putting it out there anyway for any new programmers to see:

If you do not want to use regular expressions, and do not wish to rely on a third party library, you can use this method instead, which takes between 89920 and 100113 nanoseconds in a 2.80 GHz CPU (less than a millisecond). It's not as pretty as Simon Nickerson's example, but it works:

     * Divides the given string into substrings each consisting of the provided
     * length(s).
     * @param string
     *            the string to split.
     * @param defaultLength
     *            the default length used for any extra substrings. If set to
     *            <code>0</code>, the last substring will start at the sum of
     *            <code>lengths</code> and end at the end of <code>string</code>.
     * @param lengths
     *            the lengths of each substring in order. If any substring is not
     *            provided a length, it will use <code>defaultLength</code>.
     * @return the array of strings computed by splitting this string into the given
     *         substring lengths.
    public static String[] divideString(String string, int defaultLength, int... lengths) {
        java.util.ArrayList<String> parts = new java.util.ArrayList<String>();

        if (lengths.length == 0) {
            parts.add(string.substring(0, defaultLength));
            string = string.substring(defaultLength);
            while (string.length() > 0) {
                if (string.length() < defaultLength) {
                parts.add(string.substring(0, defaultLength));
                string = string.substring(defaultLength);
        } else {
            for (int i = 0, temp; i < lengths.length; i++) {
                temp = lengths[i];
                if (string.length() < temp) {
                parts.add(string.substring(0, temp));
                string = string.substring(temp);
            while (string.length() > 0) {
                if (string.length() < defaultLength || defaultLength <= 0) {
                parts.add(string.substring(0, defaultLength));
                string = string.substring(defaultLength);

        return parts.toArray(new String[parts.size()]);