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Convert ' to an apostrophe in PHP

Posted by: admin January 2, 2018 Leave a comment

Questions:

My data has many HTML entities in it (• …etc) including '. I just want to convert it to its character equivalent.

I assumed htmlspecialchars_decode() would work, but – no luck. Thoughts?

I tried this:

echo htmlspecialchars_decode('They're here.');

But it returns: They're here.

Edit:

I’ve also tried html_entity_decode(), but it doesn’t seem to work:

echo html_entity_decode('They're here.')

also returns: They're here.

Answers:

Since ' is not part of HTML 4.01, it’s not converted to ' by default.

In PHP 5.4.0, extra flags were introduced to handle different languages, each of which includes ' as an entity.

This means you can do something like this:

echo html_entity_decode('They're here.', ENT_QUOTES | ENT_HTML5);

You will need both ENT_QUOTES (convert single and double quotes) and ENT_HTML5 (or any language flag other than ENT_HTML401, so choose the most appropriate to your situation).

Prior to PHP 5.4.0, you’ll need to use str_replace:

echo str_replace(''', "'", 'They're here.');

Questions:
Answers:

The ' entity and a lot of others are not in the PHP translation table used by html_entity_decode and htmlspecialchars_decode functions, unfortunately.

Check this comment from the PHP manual:
http://php.net/manual/en/function.get-html-translation-table.php#73410

Questions:
Answers:

There is a “right” way, without using str_replace , @cbuckley was right it’s because the default for html_entity_decode is HTML 4.01, but you can set an HTML 5 parameter that will decode it.

Use it like this:

html_entity_decode($str,ENT_QUOTES | ENT_HTML5)

Questions:
Answers:

This should work:

$value = "They're here.";
html_entity_decode(str_replace("'","'",$value));

Questions:
Answers:

What you are actually looking for is html_entity_decode().

html_entity_decode() translates all entities to characters, while htmlspecialchars_decode() only reverses what htmlspecialchars() will encode.

EDIT: Looking at the examples on the page I linked to, I did a bit more investigation and the following seems to not work:

[matt@scharley ~]$ php
<?php
$tmp = array_flip(get_html_translation_table(HTML_ENTITIES));
var_dump($tmp['&apos;']);
PHP Notice:  Undefined index: &apos; in - on line 3
NULL

This is why it’s not working. Why it’s not in the lookup table is another question entirely, something I can’t answer unfortunately.

Questions:
Answers:

Have you tried using echo htmlspecialchars('They&apos;re here.')?

I think that is what you are looking for.