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Creating a snippet or excerpt of words from a text body in PHP

This is a little helpful function I wrote in PHP to make a content snippet that tries to prevent cutting off halfway through a word.  It keeps the number of words to a given amount and also restricts the text to a specfic length if the words go over the character limit. It is pretty simple but works great!
function excerpt($text, $words=12, $end='...',$limit=120) {
    // split the string by spaces into an array
    $split = explode(' ',$text);

    if (count($split)>$words) {
        // rebuild the excerpt back into a string
        $text = join(' ',array_slice($split,0,$words));

    // append the ending, limit it, and return
    return substr($text,0,$limit-length($end)).$end;
There you go, happy coding!


  1. Where does the length() function come from? I put 3 instead of it. By the way, this still cuts off words.

    1. I'm not sure... the strlen() should work as a replacement.


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