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JavaScript Reverse String 4 different ways to reverse a string with JavaScript

Reversing a string is perhaps one of the most common interview questions one of those which inevitably we, as Software Developers, encounter during our journeys.

When it comes to JavaScript and its many quirkinesses, one might feel overwhelmed by the many possible ways to go about tackling this particular problem, and here I would like to show you a few viable approaches.

1. The quick & dirty way using built-in methods

This is probably the most common and dirty way to approach this problem with JavaScript…but it does the job!

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Let’s briefly recap how this approach actually works.

  • The split() method splits our String object, so that every single character in the original String array is now separated in its own single-character substring.
  • The reverse() method comes then into play and does the main job: it simply reverses the elements contained in the originally array so that what originally was the last character in the -String array, is now the first element (in our case it’s a “.” , since it’s the character that our variable “stringToReverse” was ending on).
  • The join() method finally rejoins all the single characters previously separated by the split() method to form and recompose our reversed string.

Et voilà! 😏

  • Quick side note : This approach should preferably be used if your interviewer specifically says that you are allowed to use built-in methods, otherwise you should go for the next approaches I am going to show you.

2. The Old Fashioned Way: the for loop

If you wanna show your interviewer that you know how to solve this problem without relying on the JS built-in methods, just use the for loop.

But let’s just get a bit fancier and use the ES6 syntax, shall we?

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The new for loop syntax introduced by ES6 is very handy and it drastically reduces the chance of making mistakes while typing code for the loop.
Also, it is much cleaner and nicer to look at 👌 .

3. The Concise and even more “ES6” way of doing things with the Spread Syntax

With ES6 we have a new way of splitting our String into an array, thanks to the so-called spread operator […].

This approach is almost identical to the first approach I showed (except for the […] operator of course 😅 ) and here below you can have a look at it.

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Pretty neat, huh? 😎

Passing the “stringToReverse” as a parameter of the spread operator allows us to “spread” the single character values contained in our original array to get the same result as we did using the split() function, so that we can later reverse the all the single characters one by one as we did before with the JS built-in method reverse() and then finish off once more with the join() method.

4. Last But Not Least….Recursion!

The last method I would like to show you is the recursive approach to this problem.

In this case we want to set up our function so that it recursively calls itself till it hits our base case (i.e. an empty string).

We simply cut the first character of our string object away with the substr() method, and add it at the end of the string recursively till there are no more characters left to add.

We can even do this with a ternary operator to be more concise and clean with our JS syntax.

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And that was the last example on how to reverse a string with JavaScript! 🎉

I truly hope you enjoyed this tutorial and please let me know your thoughts and solutions too!

Top comments (2)

0zdemir0guzhan profile image
Oguzhan • Edited

This is amazing Valentina!
"4. Last But Not Least….Recursion!" has the wrong img.

vale profile image

Thank you so much for pointing out about the misplaced image, I have just replaced it with the right one! :)