PHP: Exit a While or For Loop with Break Programming 31 JAN 2010

How do you exit or break out of a running loop before it has finished completing in PHP?

Well luckily PHP makes it pretty easy by providing us with the break control structure, a function that forces the ending of the execution of the current for, foreach, while, do-while, or switch structure.

You can extend break‘s range by utilizing its single numeric argument that tells it how many nested enclosing structures need to in fact be broken out of.

In other words, a bloody useful function to know! :)

Example Usage:

echo date('Y/m/d H:i:s') . '<br />';

The code above launches an infinite continuing loop that will print out the current time until the application is eventually forced closed. However, by inserting the break command, the date only gets echoed out once before the loop is forcefully terminated.

If this while loop had been contained within another while loop, the code as it stands would simply break out of the first while loop but continue to execute as part of the top while loop – however, if we specify break 2, the application would forcefully exit both while loops and thus finish execution.

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.