Heredoc
 


A third way to delimit strings is the heredoc syntax: <<<. After this operator, an identifier is provided, then a newline. The string itself follows, and then the same identifier again to close the quotation.

The closing identifier must begin in the first column of the line. Also, the identifier must follow the same naming rules as any other label in PHP: it must contain only alphanumeric characters and underscores, and must start with a non-digit character or underscore. Warning
It is very important to note that the line with the closing identifier must contain no other characters, except possibly a semicolon (;). That means especially that the identifier may not be indented, and there may not be any spaces or tabs before or after the semicolon. It's also important to realize that the first character before the closing identifier must be a newline as defined by the local operating system. This is \n on UNIX systems, including Mac OS X. The closing delimiter (possibly followed by a semicolon) must also be followed by a newline.

If this rule is broken and the closing identifier is not "clean", it will not be considered a closing identifier, and PHP will continue looking for one. If a proper closing identifier is not found before the end of the current file, a parse error will result at the last line.

Heredocs can not be used for initializing class properties. Since PHP 5.3, this limitation is valid only for heredocs containing variables.

Example #1 Invalid example
class foo {
    public $bar = << bar
    EOT;
}
?>

Heredoc text behaves just like a double-quoted string, without the double quotes. This means that quotes in a heredoc do not need to be escaped, but the escape codes listed above can still be used. Variables are expanded, but the same care must be taken when expressing complex variables inside a heredoc as with strings.

Example #2 Heredoc string quoting example
$str = << Example of string
spanning multiple lines
using heredoc syntax.
EOD;

/* More complex example, with variables. */
class foo
{
    var $foo;
    var $bar;

    function foo()
    {
        $this->foo = 'Foo';
        $this->bar = array('Bar1', 'Bar2', 'Bar3');
    }
}

$foo = new foo();
$name = 'MyName';

echo << My name is "$name". I am printing some $foo->foo.
Now, I am printing some {$foo->bar[1]}.
This should print a capital 'A': \x41
EOT;
?>

The above example will output:

My name is "MyName". I am printing some Foo.
Now, I am printing some Bar2.
This should print a capital 'A': A

It is also possible to use the Heredoc syntax to pass data to function arguments:

Example #3 Heredoc in arguments example
var_dump(array(<< foobar!
EOD
));
?>

As of PHP 5.3.0, it's possible to initialize static variables and class properties/constants using the Heredoc syntax:

Example #4 Using Heredoc to initialize static values
// Static variables
function foo()
{
    static $bar = << Nothing in here...
LABEL;
}

// Class properties/constants
class foo
{
    const BAR = << Constant example
FOOBAR;

    public $baz = << Property example
FOOBAR;
}
?>

Starting with PHP 5.3.0, the opening Heredoc identifier may optionally be enclosed in double quotes:

Example #5 Using double quotes in Heredoc
echo <<<"FOOBAR"
Hello World!
FOOBAR;
?>