String Literals

String Literals are a way to express text for use in programs. There are two types of String Literals, single-quoted and double-quoted ones, both of which have their own special semantics.

Single-Quoted String Literals

Single-Quoted String Literals are indicated and terminated with a single quote '.
'hello world'
'a'
'"Single-qouted strings can contain double-quotes", he said'
The type of Single-Quoted String Literals is inferred as java.lang.String. However, it is possible to use them as char literals by explicitly stating that this type is wanted:
'a' as char
let c: char = 'C'
This is only possible if the Single-Quoted String consists of exactly one character (Unicode code-point).

Double-Quoted String Literals

Double-Quoted String Literals being and end with a double-quote symbol ". This means they cannot contain this character, for example for quotes within the text.
"Hello World"
"a"
"'Double-quoted Strings can contain single-quotes', she said"
""this is not possible" - the compiler" // error
The type of Double-Quoted String Literals is always inferred as java.lang.String. Explicitly or implicitly casting to char causes a semantic error.

Multi-line Rules

Both types of String Literals can span multiple lines by simply adding a newline in the body of the literal.
"This is a multi-line
string"
To avoid problems with indentation, tab characters are ignored in String Literals:
class Test
{
String s = "Hello,
World"
}

Escape Characters

It is possible to insert certain special characters into String Literals via Escape Sequences. They are indicated by a backslash \ followed by a single symbol. The symbol determines the character that is actually inserted into the String.
let tab: char = '\t'
let cr: char = '\r'
The following table shows the escape sequences and the symbols that are actually inserted:
Escape Symbol
Actual Symbol
Unicode Number
New Line
U+000A
Horizontal Tab
U+0009
Carriage Return
U+000D
\f
Form Feed
U+000C
\b
Backspace
U+0008
To be able to use ' and " in single-quoted or double-quoted String Literals respectively, they can be escaped as well. This will ensure that they are treated as part of the literal, not as the terminating symbol.
println "\"this is possible\" - the compiler"
println '> \' and this as well\' <'
The above code will print
"this is possible" - the compiler
> 'and this as well' <
To insert a backslash symbol, you can use \\.
String path = '..\\path\\to\\file\\'
The value of the path variable will now be
..\path\to\file

String Interpolation

By escaping an opening parenthesis symbol \(, one can make use of String Interpolation in Double-Quoted String Literals. The next closing parenthesis will then be treated as the continuation of the String.
let value: int = 10
let s: String = "The value is: \(value)."
print s // prints 'The value is: 10.'
Note that this feature is only supported in Double-Quoted String Literals.

Verbatim Strings

Verbatim Strings are a way to create Strings with many characters that would otherwise need to be escaped. This is especially handy for file paths in certain operating systems:
let path: String = @"..\path\to\file"
Or for use as RegExp's, where you sometimes want to match characters literally:
let regex: String = @"Hello\.World" // "\." means "a literal dot symbol" in RegExp
let pattern = Pattern.compile(regex)
pattern.matches("Hello.World") // => true
pattern.matches("Hello|World") // => false
In the example, the pattern expects a literal dot . rather than any character.