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How can I access/change the first N letters of a string?

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How can I access/change the first N letters of a string?

There are many ways. If you just want to grab a copy, use substr:

    $first_byte = substr($a, 0, 1);

If you want to modify part of a string, the simplest way is often to use substr() as an lvalue:

    substr($a, 0, 3) = "Tom";

Although those with a regexp kind of thought process will likely prefer

    $a =~ s/^.../Tom/;

Source: Perl FAQ: Data Manipulation
Copyright: Copyright (c) 1997 Tom Christiansen and Nathan Torkington.
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