Split Function (Visual Basic)

Returns a zero-based, one-dimensional array containing a specified number of substrings.

Function Split(
   ByVal Expression As String,
   Optional ByVal Delimiter As String = " ",
   Optional ByVal Limit As Integer = -1,
   Optional ByVal Compare As CompareMethod = CompareMethod.Binary
) As String()


  • Expression
    Required. String expression containing substrings and delimiters.

  • Delimiter
    Optional. Any string of characters used to identify substring limits. If Delimiter is omitted, the space character (" ") is assumed to be the delimiter.

  • Limit
    Optional. Maximum number of substrings into which the input string should be split. The default, –1, indicates that the input string should be split at every occurrence of the Delimiter string.

  • Compare
    Optional. Numeric value indicating the comparison to use when evaluating substrings. See "Settings" for values.


String array. If Expression is a zero-length string (""), Split returns a single-element array containing a zero-length string. If Delimiter is a zero-length string, or if it does not appear anywhere in Expression, Split returns a single-element array containing the entire Expression string.


The Compare argument can have the following values.





Performs a binary comparison



Performs a textual comparison



By default, or when Limit equals -1, the Split function splits the input string at every occurrence of the delimiter string, and returns the substrings in an array. When the Limit parameter is greater than zero, the Split function splits the string at the first Limit-1 occurrences of the delimiter, and returns an array with the resulting substrings. For example, Split("a:b:c", ":") returns the array {"a", "b", "c"}, while Split("a:b:c", ":", 2) returns the array {"a", "b:c"}.

When the Split function encounters two delimiters in a row, or a delimiter at the beginning or end of the string, it interprets them as surrounding an empty string (""). For example, Split("xx", "x") returns the array containing three empty strings: one from between the beginning of the string and the first "x", one from between the two "x" strings, and one from between the last "x" and the end of the string.

This table demonstrates how the optional Delimiter, Limit, and Compare parameters can change the behavior of the Split function.

Split Call

Return Value

Split("42, 12, 19")

{"42," , "12," , "19"}

Split("42, 12, 19", ", ")

{"42", "12", "19"}

Split("42, 12, 19", ", ", 2)

{"42", "12, 19"}

Split("", ".")

{"192", "168", "0", "1"}

Split("Alice and Bob", " AND ")

{"Alice and Bob"}

Split("Alice and Bob", " AND ", ,CompareMethod.Text)

{"Alice", "Bob"}

Split("someone@example.com", "@",1)


Split("someone@example.com", "@",2)

{"someone", "example.com"}


The following example demonstrates how to split a string at its spaces.

Dim TestString As String = "Look at these!" 
' Returns an array containing "Look", "at", and "these!". 
Dim TestArray() As String = Split(TestString)

The following example demonstrates how to split strings with multiple delimiters in a row and filter out the empty strings.

Dim TestString As String = "apple    pear banana  " 
Dim TestArray() As String = Split(TestString)
' TestArray holds {"apple", "", "", "", "pear", "banana", "", ""} 
Dim LastNonEmpty As Integer = -1
For i As Integer = 0 To TestArray.Length - 1
    If TestArray(i) <> "" Then
        LastNonEmpty += 1
        TestArray(LastNonEmpty) = TestArray(i)
    End If 
ReDim Preserve TestArray(LastNonEmpty)
' TestArray now holds {"apple", "pear", "banana"}




Assembly: Visual Basic Runtime Library (in Microsoft.VisualBasic.dll)

See Also


String Manipulation Summary

Join Function (Visual Basic)

CompareMethod Enumeration