Remove zero-width space characters from a JavaScript string

Unicode has the following zero-width characters:

  • U+200B zero width space
  • U+200C zero width non-joiner Unicode code point
  • U+200D zero width joiner Unicode code point
  • U+FEFF zero width no-break space Unicode code point

To remove them from a string in JavaScript, you can use a simple regular expression:

var userInput="a\u200Bb\u200Cc\u200Dd\uFEFFe";
console.log(userInput.length); // 9
var result = userInput.replace(/[\u200B-\u200D\uFEFF]/g, '');
console.log(result.length); // 5

Note that there are many more symbols that may not be visible. Some of ASCII’s control characters, for example.

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