JavaScript backslash (\) in variables is causing an error

In Javascript, when I put a backslash in some variables like:

var ttt = "aa ///\\\";
var ttt = "aa ///\"; 

Javascript shows an error.

If I try to restrict user in entering this character, I also get an error:

(("aaa ///\\\").indexOf('"') != -1)

Restricting backslashes from user input is not a good strategy, because you have to show an annoying message to the user.

Why am I getting an error with backslash?

The backslash (\) is an escape character in Javascript (along with a lot of other C-like languages). This means that when Javascript encounters a backslash, it tries to escape the following character. For instance, \n is a newline character (rather than a backslash followed by the letter n).

In order to output a literal backslash, you need to escape it. That means \\ will output a single backslash (and \\\\ will output two, and so on). The reason "aa ///\" doesn't work is because the backslash escapes the " (which will print a literal quote), and thus your string is not properly terminated. Similarly, "aa ///\\\" won't work, because the last backslash again escapes the quote.

Just remember, for each backslash you want to output, you need to give Javascript two.

You may want to try the following, which is more or less the standard way to escape user input:

function stringEscape(s) {
    return s ? s.replace(/\\/g,'\\\\').replace(/\n/g,'\\n').replace(/\t/g,'\\t').replace(/\v/g,'\\v').replace(/'/g,"\\'").replace(/"/g,'\\"').replace(/[\x00-\x1F\x80-\x9F]/g,hex) : s;
    function hex(c) { var v = '0'+c.charCodeAt(0).toString(16); return '\\x'+v.substr(v.length-2); }

This replaces all backslashes with an escaped backslash, and then proceeds to escape other non-printable characters to their escaped form. It also escapes single and double quotes, so you can use the output as a string constructor even in eval (which is a bad idea by itself, considering that you are using user input). But in any case, it should do the job you want.

You have to escape each \ to be \\:

var ttt = "aa ///\\\\\\";

Updated: I think this question is not about the escape character in string at all. The asker doesn't seem to explain the problem correctly.

because you had to show a message to user that user can't give a name which has (\) character.

I think the scenario is like:

var user_input_name = document.getElementById('the_name').value;

Then the asker wants to check if user_input_name contains any [\]. If so, then alert the user.

If user enters [aa ///\] in HTML input box, then if you alert(user_input_name), you will see [aaa ///\]. You don't need to escape, i.e. replace [\] to be [\\] in JavaScript code. When you do escaping, that is because you are trying to make of a string which contain special characters in JavaScript source code. If you don't do it, it won't be parsed correct. Since you already get a string, you don't need to pass it into an escaping function. If you do so, I am guessing you are generating another JavaScript code from a JavaScript code, but it's not the case here.

I am guessing asker wants to simulate the input, so we can understand the problem. Unfortunately, asker doesn't understand JavaScript well. Therefore, a syntax error code being supplied to us:

var ttt = "aa ///\";

Hence, we assume the asker having problem with escaping.

If you want to simulate, you code must be valid at first place.

var ttt = "aa ///\\"; // <- This is correct
// var ttt = "aa ///\"; // <- This is not.

alert(ttt); // You will see [aa ///\] in dialog, which is what you expect, right?

Now, you only need to do is

var user_input_name = document.getElementById('the_name').value;
if (user_input_name.indexOf("\\") >= 0) { // There is a [\] in the string
  alert("\\ is not allowed to be used!"); // User reads [\ is not allowed to be used]

Edit: I used [] to quote text to be shown, so it would be less confused than using "".

The backslash \ is reserved for use as an escape character in Javascript.

To use a backslash literally you need to use two backslashes


The jsfiddle link to where i tried out your query its working fine @Imrul as mentioned you are using C# on server side and you dont mind that either:

If you want to use special character in javascript variable value, Escape Character (\) is required.

Backslash in your example is special character, too.

So you should do something like this,

var ttt = "aa ///\\\\\\"; // --> ///\\\


var ttt = "aa ///\\"; // --> ///\

But Escape Character not require for user input.

When you press / in prompt box or input field then submit, that means single /.