Dart: Check If Two Strings are Anagram

An anagram is a word or phrase formed by rearranging the letters of a different word or phrase, typically using all the original letters exactly once.

For example, the word “listen” is an anagram of “silent.” In programming, checking whether two strings are anagrams can be a useful tool.

This process involves comparing two strings to see if they are rearrangements of each other.

Brief Explanation of Anagrams

  • Definition: An anagram involves taking letters from one word or phrase and rearranging them to form another word or phrase.
  • Examples:
    • “Dormitory” rearranged can form “Dirty Room.”
    • “Astronomer” can become “Moon Starer.”
    • Even phrases can be anagrams: “School master” can be rearranged into “The classroom.”

Relevance of Anagram Checking in Programming

  • Application Scenarios:
    • Data Validation: Ensuring user inputs that should be anagrams actually are (e.g., in games or educational software).
    • Natural Language Processing (NLP): In text analysis, recognizing anagrams can be crucial for linguistics studies or language processing algorithms.
    • Cryptography and Security: Anagrams can be a part of cryptographic puzzles or algorithms.
    • Data Organization: In databases, anagram checking might be used to organize, search, or filter data more effectively.
  • Significance:
    • Algorithmic Thinking: Anagram checking is an excellent example of using algorithmic strategies like sorting and hashing in real-world scenarios.
    • Efficiency in Coding: Understanding how to effectively check for anagrams in programming languages like Dart hones skills in writing efficient and concise code.

Basic Concept of Anagrams

The concept of anagrams is both fascinating and simple. It revolves around rearranging letters of a word or phrase to create a completely new word or phrase, often leading to surprising and amusing results.

Understanding this concept is crucial for implementing anagram checking in programming.

Defining Anagrams

  • Simple Definition: An anagram is a word or phrase formed by rearranging the letters of another word or phrase, using all the original letters exactly once.
  • Key Characteristics:
    • Letter Usage: All letters from the original word or phrase are used once and only once.
    • New Formation: The result is a completely different word or phrase.
    • Length Conservation: The original and the anagram have the same number of letters.

Examples of Anagrams

  • Single Words:
    • “Brace” and “Caber”
    • “Listen” and “Silent”
    • “Angel” and “Glean”
  • Phrases:
    • “The Morse Code” and “Here Come Dots”
    • “Eleven plus two” and “Twelve plus one”
    • “Astronomer” and “Moon starer”

Understanding anagrams is not just about recognizing these transformations but also about appreciating the subtlety involved in their creation.

In programming, especially in languages like Dart, this involves analyzing strings to check for this characteristic rearrangement of letters.

Dart Fundamentals for String Manipulation

To effectively check if two strings are anagrams in Dart, a solid understanding of Dart’s string manipulation capabilities is essential. Dart, being a modern programming language, offers a rich set of tools for handling strings.

Key Dart String Functions Relevant to Anagram Checking

  1. toLowerCase() or toUpperCase()
    • Standardizes the case of the characters in a string, which is crucial for case-insensitive anagram checking.
    • Example: 'Hello'.toLowerCase() results in 'hello'.
  2. split()
    • Splits a string into a list of substrings.
    • Useful for breaking a string into its constituent characters.
    • Example: 'hello'.split('') results in ['h', 'e', 'l', 'l', 'o'].
  3. sort()
    • Sorts a list, and when used on a list of characters, it can arrange them in alphabetical order.
    • Vital for comparison-based anagram checking.
    • Example: ['h', 'e', 'l', 'l', 'o'].sort() results in ['e', 'h', 'l', 'l', 'o'].
  4. join()
    • Joins a list of strings into a single string.
    • Useful after sorting characters to form a sorted string.
    • Example: ['e', 'h', 'l', 'l', 'o'].join() results in 'ehllo'.
  5. trim()
    • Removes whitespace from both ends of a string.
    • Essential for processing user input or text where whitespace may not be relevant.
    • Example: ' hello '.trim() results in 'hello'.

Dart’s Approach to Strings and Characters

  • Unicode and UTF-16: Dart strings are a sequence of UTF-16 code units. This means that Dart has built-in support for Unicode, allowing a wide range of characters beyond just ASCII.
  • Immutability: Strings in Dart are immutable. When you modify a string, you are actually creating a new string, not changing the original.
  • Rich API: Dart provides a comprehensive set of methods for string manipulation, making it easy to perform complex operations on strings.
  • String Interpolation: Dart supports string interpolation, allowing variables and expressions to be embedded directly into strings.

In summary, Dart’s string manipulation capabilities are robust and user-friendly, making tasks like anagram checking straightforward.

With functions like toLowerCase(), split(), sort(), join(), and trim(), Dart programmers have a powerful toolkit for handling and processing strings effectively.

Methods to Determine Anagrams in Dart

Method 1: Character Sorting and Comparison

This method involves sorting the characters of both strings and then comparing them to check if they are identical. Here’s how you can implement it in Dart:

Implementation Steps
  1. Prepare the Strings:
    • Convert both strings to the same case (lowercase or uppercase) to ensure case-insensitivity.
    • Remove any whitespace if necessary.
  2. Convert to Lists:
    • Split both strings into lists of characters using the split('') function.
  3. Sort the Lists:
    • Use the sort() method on both lists to sort the characters alphabetically.
  4. Rejoin and Compare:
    • Rejoin the sorted lists back into strings using the join() method.
    • Compare the rejoined strings to check if they are identical.
Dart Code Example
bool areAnagrams(String str1, String str2) {
  String prepare(String s) => s.toLowerCase().trim().split('').sort().join();
  return prepare(str1) == prepare(str2);

void main() {
  String word1 = "Listen";
  String word2 = "Silent";

  bool result = areAnagrams(word1, word2);
  print(result ? 'Anagrams' : 'Not Anagrams');
  • Simplicity: The logic is straightforward and easy to understand.
  • Effectiveness: This method is very effective for short to medium length strings.
  • Universally Applicable: Works well with any set of characters, including special and Unicode characters.
  • Performance: For very long strings, sorting can become a performance bottleneck.
  • Space Complexity: This method requires additional space to store the sorted lists.

Method 2: Character Counting

This method involves counting the frequency of each character in both strings and then comparing these frequencies. It’s an efficient way to check for anagrams, especially for longer strings.


  • Frequency Count: The key idea is to count how often each character appears in each string.
  • Use of Maps: In Dart, a Map is used to keep track of the character counts.
  • Comparison: If both strings have the same character frequencies, they are anagrams.

Implementation in Dart

  1. Function to Count Characters:
    • Create a function that takes a string and returns a Map with characters as keys and their counts as values.
  2. Prepare the Strings:
    • Convert the strings to a uniform case (lowercase or uppercase).
    • Optionally, trim spaces if they are not considered.
  3. Count and Compare:
    • Use the function to get character counts for both strings.
    • Compare the two maps for equality.
Dart Code Example
Map<String, int> characterCount(String str) {
  var count = <String, int>{};
  for (var char in str.toLowerCase().split('')) {
    count[char] = (count[char] ?? 0) + 1;
  return count;

bool areAnagrams(String str1, String str2) {
  return characterCount(str1) == characterCount(str2);

void main() {
  String word1 = "Conversation";
  String word2 = "Voices Rant On";

  bool result = areAnagrams(word1, word2);
  print(result ? 'Anagrams' : 'Not Anagrams');

Efficiency Analysis

  • Time Complexity: This method has a linear time complexity, O(n), making it efficient for long strings.
  • Space Complexity: Uses additional space for the character count maps, but this is generally manageable.
  • Performance: Faster than the sorting method, especially as the length of the strings increases.
  • Versatility: Effective for all types of characters and cases.

The character counting method is highly efficient and scales well with the length of the strings. It is particularly advantageous when dealing with large datasets or when performance is a critical factor.

This method showcases the power of Dart’s Map data structure in handling and comparing complex data efficiently.

Code Optimization and Best Practices

When implementing anagram checking in Dart, optimizing your code for efficiency and adhering to best practices are crucial steps.

These practices not only improve the performance of your code but also enhance its readability and maintainability.

Optimizing Anagram Checking Code in Dart

  1. Use Efficient Data Structures:
    • Prefer using Map for character counting, as it offers O(1) access and update times.
    • For sorting, consider using built-in methods as they are usually optimized.
  2. Minimize Operations Inside Loops:
    • In the character counting method, minimize the number of operations inside the loop. For instance, convert the string to lowercase outside the loop.
  3. Avoid Unnecessary Conversions:
    • Don’t convert strings to lists or other data structures unless necessary. For instance, you can iterate over strings directly without converting them to lists.
  4. Utilize Lazy Iterables:
    • Use methods like map() and where() that return lazy iterables to avoid unnecessary computations.
  5. Short-Circuiting:
    • In the comparison phase, if the length of the strings differs, return false immediately, as they cannot be anagrams.

Dart-Specific Best Practices for String Manipulation

  1. String Interpolation:
    • Use string interpolation for creating strings as it’s more readable and efficient.
  2. Immutability:
    • Remember that strings in Dart are immutable. Reassigning strings frequently can be less efficient due to the creation of new string objects.
  3. Unicode Awareness:
    • Be mindful of Dart’s UTF-16 string representation, especially when dealing with Unicode characters.
  4. Null Safety:
    • With Dart’s sound null safety, always handle potential null values in strings to avoid runtime errors.
  5. Effective Use of Dart Libraries:
    • Utilize Dart’s extensive standard libraries for common string operations instead of reinventing the wheel.
  6. Document and Comment Your Code:
    • Write clear comments, especially when implementing complex logic, to make the code more understandable.
  7. Unit Testing:
    • Write unit tests for your anagram functions to ensure reliability and catch any edge cases.
  8. Code Formatting and Style:
    • Adhere to Dart’s style guide for consistency and readability.

By applying these optimization techniques and best practices, your Dart code for checking anagrams will not only be efficient and fast but also clean and maintainable.

This approach is beneficial for both personal projects and professional development, ensuring your code adheres to high standards.

Testing Your Anagram Checker

Ensuring the reliability and accuracy of your anagram checker in Dart involves writing and running comprehensive tests. Dart’s robust testing framework makes this process straightforward.

How to Write and Run Tests in Dart for Anagram Functions

  1. Setting Up the Testing Environment:
    • Use Dart’s testing package: package:test/test.dart.
    • Write test cases within the main() function of your test file.
  2. Writing Test Cases:
    • Use test() function to define individual test cases.
    • Provide a descriptive name for each test.
    • Use expect() to compare the function’s output against expected results.
  3. Running Tests:
    • Run tests using Dart’s command-line tools or within your IDE.

Common Test Cases to Consider

  1. Positive Tests (strings that are anagrams):
    • Regular cases with lower and uppercase letters.
    • Strings with spaces and special characters.
    • Long strings to test performance.
  2. Negative Tests (strings that are not anagrams):
    • Completely different strings.
    • Strings with same letters but different counts.
    • Edge cases like empty strings or strings with only spaces.
  3. Boundary Tests:
    • Very short strings (e.g., single characters).
    • Very long strings to test the performance limits.
Example of a Dart Test Case
import 'package:test/test.dart';
import 'your_anagram_checker.dart'; // Import your anagram checker file

void main() {
  test('Anagrams with mixed case', () {
    expect(areAnagrams('Listen', 'Silent'), isTrue);

  test('Not anagrams', () {
    expect(areAnagrams('Hello', 'World'), isFalse);

  // Add more tests as needed


Recap of Methods and Best Practices

  • We explored two primary methods for checking anagrams in Dart: Character Sorting and Comparison, and Character Counting. While the former is straightforward and effective for short strings, the latter scales better for longer strings.
  • Optimization and Best Practices include efficient use of Dart’s string functions, data structures, understanding of immutability, and null safety considerations. Writing readable, well-commented, and tested code is equally important.

Encouragement for Practical Application and Learning

  • Practical Application: Try implementing these methods in real-world projects, such as word games, text analysis tools, or educational software. This practical application will deepen your understanding and skills.
  • Continuous Learning: Dart is a versatile language with a rich ecosystem. Continue exploring its features and libraries to enhance your programming prowess.
  • Community Involvement: Engage with the Dart community. Share your insights, learn from others, and stay updated with best practices and new developments.
Hussain Humdani

Hussain Humdani

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