Java: Example - String to "tokens"

It's common to have to separate a string into separate "tokens". These tokens can be words, numbers, commands, or whatever. There are several ways to do this, but all of the good solutions use regular expressions.

Easy - String split(...) method

The easiest way to split a string into separate "tokens" is to use the split(...) method. For example,

String test = "It's the number 1 way.";
String[] tokens = test.split(" ");       // Single blank is the separator.

Produces the following output:

[It's, the, number, 1, way.]

Good - Scanner

Scanner can be used to "read" strings. Here's the previous example using Scanner, but because it doesn't produce arrays, the results are added to an ArrayList.

String test = "It's the number 1 way.";
ArrayList<String> tokens = new ArrayList<String>();
Scanner tokenize = new Scanner(test);
while (tokenize.hasNext()) {

Produces the same output as above:

[It's, the, number, 1, way.]

It doesn't care about what makes up a "token", only that they must be separated by single blanks. To allow one or more blanks as a separator, use " +", which means one or more blanks.

Scanner has numerous methods for working more generally with regular expressions to identify the token you want to read or the delimiters you want to skip.

Numbers. One advantage of using a Scanner is that you can easily switch back and forth between reading strings and numbers.

Full regular expression processing using Pattern and Matcher

See Regular Expressions.

Old - java.util.StringTokenizer

I've left this in here because it's already written.

//-------------------------------------------------- stringToArray()
// Put all "words" in a string into an array.
String[] stringToArray(String wordString) {
    String[] result;
    int i = 0;     // index into the next empty array element
    //--- Declare and create a StringTokenizer
    StringTokenizer st = new StringTokenizer(wordString);
    //--- Create an array which will hold all the tokens.
    result = new String[st.countTokens()];
    //--- Loop, getting each of the tokens
    while (st.hasMoreTokens()) {
        result[i++] = st.nextToken();
    return result;