PHP Print Statements

In PHP there are various methods to print data. PHP provides more functions and language constructs for printing various data types. These functions are varied on the data format printed on the browser using them. For example, the print() and echo() statements prints string data, whereas, the print_r() is used to print compound datatype like arrays or objects. In this tutorial, we are going to see some of the PHP functions that are used to create print statements. I have added the example code for each function.


PHP Functions used for Printing Data

print() – The print() is used to create PHP print statement to print given data to the browser. It accepts single data and prints it on the browser. It is a PHP language construct and not a function. So, we can use ‘print’ without parenthesis for creating a print statement. The code shows an example for using print with and without parenthesis where both will print same data.

print "Apple"; 

echo() –  The echo() is also not a PHP function. It is also a construct as like as print(). The difference is that the echo() will accept multiple data separated by commas. While sending multiple values to the echo() statement, we have to use parenthesis to enclose the values. If we use single data in an echo() statement, we can ignore parenthesis. In the code, I use echo() statement for printing multiple data and stated the output using PHP comment line.

echo "Apple"; 

// Output AppleOrangeGrapes
echo "Apple","Orange","Grapes"; 
// not a valid statement
echo ("Apple","Orange","Grapes");

printf(string_format, values) – This method is used print the formatted output by using the values passed as the parameter of this function. So, this functions accepts the output string format and the values to be added to be added. For example,

printf('We are expected to score above %d%% for distinction', 85);
//Output: We are expected to score above 85% 
//for distinction

sprintf() – This is similar to the printf() function except that it can return the formatted string instead of printing it to the browser. Then we can store it into a variable.

print_r() – This function is used to print the compound data like PHP array or objects.

var_dump() – var_dump() also prints array data in structured manner. It gives additional data, like, the data type, the length, values and more. For example,

var_dump(false) // prints bool(false) 
print_r(false) // returns empty string

This PHP code tutorial was published on April 18, 2013.

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