Formatted question description:

2186. Minimum Number of Steps to Make Two Strings Anagram II (Medium)

You are given two strings s and t. In one step, you can append any character to either s or t.

Return the minimum number of steps to make s and t anagrams of each other.

An anagram of a string is a string that contains the same characters with a different (or the same) ordering.


Example 1:

Input: s = "leetcode", t = "coats"
Output: 7
- In 2 steps, we can append the letters in "as" onto s = "leetcode", forming s = "leetcodeas".
- In 5 steps, we can append the letters in "leede" onto t = "coats", forming t = "coatsleede".
"leetcodeas" and "coatsleede" are now anagrams of each other.
We used a total of 2 + 5 = 7 steps.
It can be shown that there is no way to make them anagrams of each other with less than 7 steps.

Example 2:

Input: s = "night", t = "thing"
Output: 0
Explanation: The given strings are already anagrams of each other. Thus, we do not need any further steps.



  • 1 <= s.length, t.length <= 2 * 105
  • s and t consist of lowercase English letters.

Similar Questions:

Solution 1. Counting

// OJ:

// Time: O(N)
// Space: O(1)
class Solution {
    int minSteps(string s, string t) {
        int cnt[26] = {}, ans = 0;
        for (char c : s) cnt[c - 'a']++;
        for (char c : t) cnt[c - 'a']--;
        for (int n : cnt) ans += abs(n);
        return ans;


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