Home » Php » ctype_alpha but allow spaces(php)

ctype_alpha but allow spaces(php)

Posted by: admin July 12, 2020 Leave a comment


I was wondering if one can allow spaces in a textfield when checking it with ctype_alpha. Since ctype_alpha only allows alphabetical letters, I don’t know how to let the user enter space in the field. I did try using ctype_space but that didn’t work. I simply want the user to be able to type only alphabets and they have a choice to include spaces if they “wish.” I hope I will not have to use regexp.

elseif (!ctype_alpha($fname))
    echo "Your name may only contain alphabetical letters";   
How to&Answers:

this is what I would do

if (!ctype_alpha(str_replace(' ', '', $fname)))

this allows for spaces only, but if you want to allow more than just spaces, like punctuation or what not, read up on str_replace, it allows for arrays

str_replace(array(' ', "'", '-'), '', $fname)

I’m suggesting this because First Name may have apostrophe and last name may also have dashes


You can do that also by simply removing space before you do ctype_alpha.

$fname=str_replace(" ", "", $fname);

  echo "Your name may only contain alphabetical letters";


Removing the spaces is the way to go, but remember ctype_alpha results in a false on an empty string these days!
Below the method I use…

function validateAlpha($valueToValidate, $spaceAllowed = false) {
    if ($spaceAllowed) {
        $valueToValidate = str_replace(' ', '', $valueToValidate);
    if (strlen($valueToValidate) == 0) {
        return true;
    return ctype_alpha($valueToValidate);