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php – Is every letter in the alphabet in a string at least once?

Posted by: admin July 12, 2020 Leave a comment


Was wondering if there was a more efficient way to detect if a string contains every letter in the alphabet one or more times using regex?

I appreciate any suggestions

$str = str_split(strtolower('We promptly judged antique ivory buckles for the next prize'));

$az = str_split('abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz');

$count = 0;
foreach($az as $alph) {
    foreach($str as $z) {
        if($alph == $z) {
How to&Answers:

With regex you can do that, but it isn’t optimal nor fast at all, @hjpotter way if from far faster:

var_dump(strlen(preg_replace('~[^a-z]|(.)(?=.*)~i', '', $str)) == 26);

It removes all non letter characters, all duplicate letters (case insensitive), and compares the string length with 26.

  • [^a-z] matches any non letter character
  • (.) captures a letter in group 1
  • (?=.*\1) checks if the same letter is somewhere else (on the right)
  • the i modifier makes the pattern case insensitive


Just use array_diff:

count(array_diff($az, $str)) > 0;


I don’t have any regex answer. But without regex you can try using PHP’s count_chars function.

For example:

$test_string = 'abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyzabcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz';
echo count(count_chars($test_string, 1));

Gives you 26 – which is the number of unique chars from $test_string with a frequency greater than zero.


You current program will print pangram for all strings having 26+ alphabets, which means, even aaa... is a pangram.

In your inner loop, you can just break if any character from a-z is not found:

function is_pangram($str) {
  if (strlen($str) < 26) return false; 
  $az = str_split('abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz');
  for ($az as $char) {
    if (stripos($str, $char) === false)
      return false;
  return true;

A regex is not optimal in this situation. An alternative approach would be using array_map and str_count.


Make an array of Booleans with length 26. Then you can loop through your string just once. In pseudo code (because I don’t know PHP):

Boolean b[26]; // Initialized to false
count = 0;
Loop for each char c in string
   if (not b[c]) then
      b[c] = true
   if (count == 26)
     break;  // All present;
// If count < 26 then not all present

You need to figure out how to make the character index into the array, but that shouldn’t be too hard.