String::Truncate - a module for when strings are too long to be displayed in...


version 1.100603


This module handles the simple but common problem of long strings and finite terminal width. It can convert:

 "this is your brain" -> "this is your ..."
                      or " your brain"
                      or "this is... brain"
                      or "... is your b..."

It's simple:

 use String::Truncate qw(elide);

 my $brain = "this is your brain";

 elide($brain, 16); # first option
 elide($brain, 16, { truncate => 'left' });   # second option
 elide($brain, 16, { truncate => 'middle' }); # third option
 elide($brain, 16, { truncate => 'ends' });   # fourth option

 String::Trunc::trunc($brain, 16); # => "this is your bra"


This library should run on perls released even a long time ago. It should work on any version of perl released in the last five years.

Although it may work on older versions of perl, no guarantee is made that the minimum required version will not be increased. The version may be increased for any reason, and there is no promise that patches will be accepted to lower the minimum required perl.



  elide($string, $length, \%arg)

This function returns the string, if it is less than or equal to $length characters long. If it is longer, it truncates the string and marks the elision.

Valid arguments are:

 truncate - elide at left, right, middle, or ends? (default: right)
 marker   - how to mark the elision (default: ...)
 at_space - if true, strings will be broken at whitespace if possible


  trunc($string, $length, \%arg)

This acts just like elide, but assumes an empty marker, so it actually truncates the string normally.


String::Truncate exports both elide and trunc, and also supports the Exporter-style ":all" tag.

  use String::Truncate ();        # export nothing
  use String::Truncate qw(elide); # export just elide()
  use String::Truncate qw(:all);  # export both elide() and trunc()
  use String::Truncate qw(-all);  # export both elide() and trunc()

When exporting, you may also supply default values:

  use String::Truncate -all => defaults => { length => 10, marker => '--' };

  # or

  use String::Truncate -all => { length => 10, marker => '--' };

These values affect only the imported version of the functions. You may pass arguments as usual to override them, and you may call the subroutine by its fully-qualified name to get the standard behavior.


The imported builds and installs lexical closures (code references) that merge in given values to the defaults. You can build your own closures without importing them into your namespace. To do this, use the elide_with_defaults and trunc_with_defaults routines.


  my $elider = String::Truncate::elide_with_defaults(\%arg);

This routine, never exported, builds a coderef which behaves like elide, but uses default values when needed. All the valid arguments to elide are valid here, as well as length.


This routine behaves exactly like elide_with_defaults, with one obvious exception: it returns code that works like trunc rather than elide. If a marker argument is passed, it is ignored.


Text::Truncate does a very similar thing. So does Text::Elide.


Please report any bugs or feature requests through the web interface at I will be notified, and then you'll automatically be notified of progress on your bug as I make changes.


Ian Langworth gave me some good advice about naming things. (Also some bad jokes. Nobody wants String::ETOOLONG, Ian.) Hans Dieter Pearcey suggested allowing defaults just in time for a long bus ride, and I was rescued from boredom by that suggestion


Ricardo Signes <>


  • David Steinbrunner <>

  • Ricardo SIGNES <>

  • Ricardo Signes <>


This software is copyright (c) 2022 by Ricardo Signes.

This is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as the Perl 5 programming language system itself.