How can I convert a string to boolean in JavaScript?


Can I convert a string representing a boolean value (e.g., 'true', 'false') into a intrinsic type in JavaScript?

I have a hidden form in HTML that is updated based upon a user's selection within a list. This form contains some fields which represent boolean values and are dynamically populated with an intrinsic boolean value. However, once this value is placed into the hidden input field it becomes a string.

The only way I could find to determine the field's boolean value, once it was converted into a string, was to depend upon the literal value of its string representation.

var myValue = document.myForm.IS_TRUE.value;
var isTrueSet = myValue == 'true';

Is there a better way to accomplish this?

Do:

var isTrueSet = (myValue == 'true');

You could make it stricter by using the identity operator (===), which doesn't make any implicit type conversions when the compared variables have different types, instead of the equality operator (==).

var isTrueSet = (myValue === 'true');

Don't:

You should probably be cautious about using these two methods for your specific needs:

var myBool = Boolean("false");  // == true

var myBool = !!"false";  // == true

Any string which isn't the empty string will evaluate to true by using them. Although they're the cleanest methods I can think of concerning to boolean conversion, I think they're not what you're looking for.


Warning

This highly upvoted legacy answer is technically correct but only covers a very specific scenario, when your string value is EXACTLY "true" or "false".

An invalid json string passed into these functions below WILL throw an exception.


Original answer:

How about?

JSON.parse("True".toLowerCase());

or with jQuery

$.parseJSON("TRUE".toLowerCase());

stringToBoolean: function(string){
    switch(string.toLowerCase().trim()){
        case "true": case "yes": case "1": return true;
        case "false": case "no": case "0": case null: return false;
        default: return Boolean(string);
    }
}

I think this is much universal:

if (String(a) == "true") ...

It goes:

String(true) == "true"     //returns true
String(false) == "true"    //returns false
String("true") == "true"   //returns true
String("false") == "true"  //returns false

Remember to match case:

var isTrueSet = (myValue.toLowerCase() === 'true');

Also, if it's a form element checkbox, you can also detect if the checkbox is checked:

var isTrueSet = document.myForm.IS_TRUE.checked;

Assuming that if it is checked, it is "set" equal to true. This evaluates as true/false.


You can use regular expressions:

/*
 * Converts a string to a bool.
 *
 * This conversion will:
 *
 *  - match 'true', 'on', or '1' as true.
 *  - ignore all white-space padding
 *  - ignore capitalization (case).
 *
 * '  tRue  ','ON', and '1   ' will all evaluate as true.
 *
 */
function strToBool(s)
{
    // will match one and only one of the string 'true','1', or 'on' rerardless
    // of capitalization and regardless off surrounding white-space.
    //
    regex=/^\s*(true|1|on)\s*$/i

    return regex.test(s);
}

If you like extending the String class you can do:

String.prototype.bool = function() {
    return strToBool(this);
};

alert("true".bool());

For those (see the comments) that would like to extend the String object to get this but are worried about enumerability and are worried about clashing with other code that extends the String object:

Object.defineProperty(String.prototype, "com_example_bool", {
    get : function() {
        return (/^(true|1)$/i).test(this);
    }
});
alert("true".com_example_bool);

(Won't work in older browsers of course and Firefox shows false while Opera, Chrome, Safari and IE show true. Bug 720760)


Wood-eye be careful. After seeing the consequences after applying the the top answer with 500+ upvotes, I feel obligated to post something that is actually useful:

Let's start with the shortest, but very strict way:

var str = "true";
var mybool = JSON.parse(str);

And end with a proper, more tolerant way:

var parseBool = function(str) 
{
    // console.log(typeof str);
    // strict: JSON.parse(str)

    if(str == null)
        return false;

    if (typeof str === 'boolean')
    {
        return (str === true);
    } 

    if(typeof str === 'string')
    {
        if(str == "")
            return false;

        str = str.replace(/^\s+|\s+$/g, '');
        if(str.toLowerCase() == 'true' || str.toLowerCase() == 'yes')
            return true;

        str = str.replace(/,/g, '.');
        str = str.replace(/^\s*\-\s*/g, '-');
    }

    // var isNum = string.match(/^[0-9]+$/) != null;
    // var isNum = /^\d+$/.test(str);
    if(!isNaN(str))
        return (parseFloat(str) != 0);

    return false;
}

Testing:

var array_1 = new Array(true, 1, "1",-1, "-1", " - 1", "true", "TrUe", "  true  ", "  TrUe", 1/0, "1.5", "1,5", 1.5, 5, -3, -0.1, 0.1, " - 0.1", Infinity, "Infinity", -Infinity, "-Infinity"," - Infinity", " yEs");

var array_2 = new Array(null, "", false, "false", "   false   ", " f alse", "FaLsE", 0, "00", "1/0", 0.0, "0.0", "0,0", "100a", "1 00", " 0 ", 0.0, "0.0", -0.0, "-0.0", " -1a ", "abc");


for(var i =0; i < array_1.length;++i){ console.log("array_1["+i+"] ("+array_1[i]+"): " + parseBool(array_1[i]));}

for(var i =0; i < array_2.length;++i){ console.log("array_2["+i+"] ("+array_2[i]+"): " + parseBool(array_2[i]));}

for(var i =0; i < array_1.length;++i){ console.log(parseBool(array_1[i]));}
for(var i =0; i < array_2.length;++i){ console.log(parseBool(array_2[i]));}

I thought that @Steven 's answer was the best one, and took care of a lot more cases than if the incoming value was just a string. I wanted to extend it a bit and offer the following:

function isTrue(value){
    if (typeof(value) === 'string'){
        value = value.trim().toLowerCase();
    }
    switch(value){
        case true:
        case "true":
        case 1:
        case "1":
        case "on":
        case "yes":
            return true;
        default: 
            return false;
    }
}

It's not necessary to cover all the false cases if you already know all of the true cases you'd have to account for. You can pass anything into this method that could pass for a true value (or add others, it's pretty straightforward), and everything else would be considered false


Universal solution with JSON parse:

function getBool(val) {
    return !!JSON.parse(String(val).toLowerCase());
}

getBool("1"); //true
getBool("0"); //false
getBool("true"); //true
getBool("false"); //false
getBool("TRUE"); //true
getBool("FALSE"); //false

UPDATE (without JSON):

function getBool(val){ 
    var num = +val;
    return !isNaN(num) ? !!num : !!String(val).toLowerCase().replace(!!0,'');
}

I also created fiddle to test it http://jsfiddle.net/remunda/2GRhG/


Your solution is fine.

Using === would just be silly in this case, as the field's value will always be a String.


var falsy = /^(?:f(?:alse)?|no?|0+)$/i;
Boolean.parse = function(val) { 
    return !falsy.test(val) && !!val;
};

This returns false for every falsy value and true for every truthy value except for 'false', 'f', 'no', 'n', and '0' (case-insensitive).

// False
Boolean.parse(false);
Boolean.parse('false');
Boolean.parse('False');
Boolean.parse('FALSE');
Boolean.parse('f');
Boolean.parse('F');
Boolean.parse('no');
Boolean.parse('No');
Boolean.parse('NO');
Boolean.parse('n');
Boolean.parse('N');
Boolean.parse('0');
Boolean.parse('');
Boolean.parse(0);
Boolean.parse(null);
Boolean.parse(undefined);
Boolean.parse(NaN);
Boolean.parse();

//True
Boolean.parse(true);
Boolean.parse('true');
Boolean.parse('True');
Boolean.parse('t');
Boolean.parse('yes');
Boolean.parse('YES');
Boolean.parse('y');
Boolean.parse('1');
Boolean.parse('foo');
Boolean.parse({});
Boolean.parse(1);
Boolean.parse(-1);
Boolean.parse(new Date());

The Boolean object doesn't have a 'parse' method. Boolean('false') returns true, so that won't work. !!'false' also returns true, so that won't work also.

If you want string 'true' to return boolean true and string 'false' to return boolean false, then the simplest solution is to use eval(). eval('true') returns true and eval('false') returns false. Keep in mind the performance implications when using eval() though.


I use the following:

function parseBool(b) {
    return !(/^(false|0)$/i).test(b) && !!b;
}

This function performs the usual Boolean coercion with the exception of the strings "false" (case insensitive) and "0".


There are a lot of answers and it's hard to pick one. In my case, I prioritise the performance when choosing, so I create this jsPerf that I hope can throw some light here.

Brief of results (the higher the better):

  1. Conditional statement: 2,826,922
  2. Switch case on Bool object: 2,825,469
  3. Casting to JSON: 1,867,774
  4. !! conversions: 805,322
  5. Prototype of String: 713,637

They are linked to the related answer where you can find more information (pros and cons) about each one; specially in the comments.


This has been taken from the accepted answer, but really it has a very weak point, and I am shocked how it got that count of upvotes, the problem with it that you have to consider the case of the string because this is case sensitive

var isTrueSet = (myValue.toLowerCase() === 'true');

Boolean.parse = function (str) {
  switch (str.toLowerCase ()) {
    case "true":
      return true;
    case "false":
      return false;
    default:
      throw new Error ("Boolean.parse: Cannot convert string to boolean.");
  }
};

The expression you're looking for simply is

/^true$/i.test(myValue)

as in

var isTrueSet = /^true$/i.test(myValue);

This tests myValue against a regular expression , case-insensitive, and doesn't modify the prototype.

Examples:

/^true$/i.test("true"); // true
/^true$/i.test("TRUE"); // true
/^true$/i.test("tRuE"); // true
/^true$/i.test(" tRuE"); // false (notice the space at the beginning)
/^true$/i.test("untrue"); // false (some other solutions here will incorrectly return true
/^true$/i.test("false");// returns false
/^true$/i.test("xyz");  // returns false

There are already so many answers available. But following can be useful in some scenarios.

// One can specify all values against which you consider truthy
var TRUTHY_VALUES = [true, 'true', 1];

function getBoolean(a) {
    return TRUTHY_VALUES.some(function(t) {
        return t === a;
    });
}

This can be useful where one examples with non-boolean values.

getBoolean('aa'); // false
getBoolean(false); //false
getBoolean('false'); //false

getBoolean('true'); // true
getBoolean(true); // true
getBoolean(1); // true

To convert both string("true", "false") and boolean to boolean

('' + flag) === "true"

Where flag can be

 var flag = true
 var flag = "true"
 var flag = false
 var flag = "false"

why don't you try something like this

Boolean(JSON.parse((yourString.toString()).toLowerCase()));

It will return an error when some other text is given rather than true or false regardless of the case and it will capture the numbers also as

// 0-> false
// any other number -> true

This function can handle string as well as Boolean true/false.

function stringToBoolean(val){
    var a = {
        'true':true,
        'false':false
    };
    return a[val];
}

Demonstration below:

function stringToBoolean(val) {
  var a = {
    'true': true,
    'false': false
  };
  return a[val];
}

console.log(stringToBoolean("true"));

console.log(typeof(stringToBoolean("true")));

console.log(stringToBoolean("false"));

console.log(typeof(stringToBoolean("false")));

console.log(stringToBoolean(true));

console.log(typeof(stringToBoolean(true)));

console.log(stringToBoolean(false));

console.log(typeof(stringToBoolean(false)));

console.log("=============================================");
// what if value was undefined? 
console.log("undefined result:  " + stringToBoolean(undefined));
console.log("type of undefined result:  " + typeof(stringToBoolean(undefined)));
console.log("=============================================");
// what if value was an unrelated string?
console.log("unrelated string result:  " + stringToBoolean("hello world"));
console.log("type of unrelated string result:  " + typeof(stringToBoolean(undefined)));


Hands down the easiest way (assuming you string will be 'true' or 'false') is:

var z = 'true';
var y = 'false';
var b = (z === 'true'); // will evaluate to true
var c = (y === 'true'); // will evaluate to false

Always use the === operator instead of the == operator for these types of conversions!


Like @Shadow2531 said, you can't just convert it directly. I'd also suggest that you consider string inputs besides "true" and "false" that are 'truthy' and 'falsey' if your code is going to be reused/used by others. This is what I use:

function parseBoolean(string) {
  switch (String(string).toLowerCase()) {
    case "true":
    case "1":
    case "yes":
    case "y":
      return true;
    case "false":
    case "0":
    case "no":
    case "n":
      return false;
    default:
      //you could throw an error, but 'undefined' seems a more logical reply
      return undefined;
  }
}

I'm using this one

String.prototype.maybeBool = function(){

    if ( ["yes", "true", "1", "on"].indexOf( this.toLowerCase() ) !== -1 ) return true;
    if ( ["no", "false", "0", "off"].indexOf( this.toLowerCase() ) !== -1 ) return false;

    return this;

}

"on".maybeBool(); //returns true;
"off".maybeBool(); //returns false;
"I like js".maybeBool(); //returns "I like js"

You need to separate (in your thinking) the value of your selections and the representation of that value.

Pick a point in the JavaScript logic where they need to transition from string sentinels to native type and do a comparison there, preferably where it only gets done once for each value that needs to be converted. Remember to address what needs to happen if the string sentinel is not one the script knows (i.e. do you default to true or to false?)

In other words, yes, you need to depend on the string's value. :-)


My take on this question is that it aims to satisfy three objectives:

  • Return true/false for truthy and falsey values, but also return true/false for multiple string values that would be truthy or falsey if they were Booleans instead of strings.
  • Second, provide a resilient interface so that values other than those specified will not fail, but rather return a default value
  • Third, do all this with as little code as possible.

The problem with using JSON is that it fails by causing a Javascript error. This solution is not resilient (though it satisfies 1 and 3):

JSON.parse("FALSE") // fails

This solution is not concise enough:

if(value === "TRUE" || value === "yes" || ...) { return true; }

I am working on solving this exact problem for Typecast.js. And the best solution to all three objectives is this one:

return /^true$/i.test(v);

It works for many cases, does not fail when values like {} are passed in, and is very concise. Also it returns false as the default value rather than undefined or throwing an Error, which is more useful in loosely-typed Javascript development. Bravo to the other answers that suggested it!


I'm a little late, but I have a little snippet to do this, it essentially maintains all of JScripts truthey/falsey/filthy-ness but includes "false" as an acceptible value for false.

I prefer this method to the ones mentioned because it doesn't rely on a 3rd party to parse the code (i.e: eval/JSON.parse), which is overkill in my mind, it's short enough to not require a utility function and maintains other truthey/falsey conventions.

var value = "false";
var result = (value == "false") != Boolean(value);

// value = "true"  => result = true
// value = "false" => result = false
// value = true    => result = true
// value = false   => result = false
// value = null    => result = false
// value = []      => result = true
// etc..

another solution. jsFiddle

var toBoolean = function(value) {
    var strValue = String(value).toLowerCase();
    strValue = ((!isNaN(strValue) && strValue !== '0') &&
        strValue !== '' &&
        strValue !== 'null' &&
        strValue !== 'undefined') ? '1' : strValue;
    return strValue === 'true' || strValue === '1' ? true : false
};

test cases run in node

> toBoolean(true)
true
> toBoolean(false)
false
> toBoolean(undefined)
false
> toBoolean(null)
false
> toBoolean('true')
true
> toBoolean('True')
true
> toBoolean('False')
false
> toBoolean('false')
false
> toBoolean('0')
false
> toBoolean('1')
true
> toBoolean('100')
true
> 

Holy god some of these answers are just wild. I love JS and its infinite number of ways to skin a bool.

My preference, which I was shocked not to see already, is:

testVar = testVar.toString().match(/^(true|[1-9][0-9]*|[0-9]*[1-9]+|yes)$/i) ? true : false;

function parseBool(value) {
    if (typeof value === "boolean") return value;

    if (typeof value === "number") {
        return value === 1 ? true : value === 0 ? false : undefined;
    }

    if (typeof value != "string") return undefined;

    return value.toLowerCase() === 'true' ? true : false;
}

you can use JSON.parse as follows:

   
var trueOrFalse='True';
result =JSON.parse(trueOrFalse.toLowerCase());
if(result==true)
  alert('this is true');
else 
  alert('this is false');

in this case .toLowerCase is important


One Liner

We just need to account for the "false" string since any other string (including "true") is already true.

function b(v){ return v==="false" ? false : !!v; }

Test

b(true)    //true
b('true')  //true
b(false)   //false
b('false') //false

A more exaustive version

function bool(v){ return v==="false" || v==="null" || v==="NaN" || v==="undefined" || v==="0" ? false : !!v; }

Test

bool(true)        //true
bool("true")      //true
bool(1)           //true
bool("1")         //true
bool("hello")     //true

bool(false)       //false
bool("false")     //false
bool(0)           //false
bool("0")         //false
bool(null)        //false
bool("null")      //false
bool(NaN)         //false
bool("NaN")       //false
bool(undefined)   //false
bool("undefined") //false
bool("")          //false

bool([])          //true
bool({})          //true
bool(alert)       //true
bool(window)      //true