Regular Expression Validator

Regex is a popular pattern patching expression used in popular scripting languages like Sed, Awk, PHP and Perl to match strings. Use our online tool to test, debug and validate regular expressions for easier coding practices.

Example: (abc|xyz)*[:\-] (Please do not enter a separater, i.e. '/(abc|xyz)*[:\-]/i')


What is the regular expression?

A regular expression is a pattern used in a scripting languages such as the Sed, Awk, PHP, Perl, Bash and other programming languages to match subject string. It is used to search a string (or text) to match all occurances of a pattern, and allows it to act on it (i.e. replace with another string).


A regular expression uses a pattern to match a string. There are literal characters which matches exact character, and wildcard characters that matches a variety of characters. Also, there are symbols that match number of occurances (?, + and *). To give you a flavor of how regular expression works, here are some concepts used to match a text.

Meta Character Operation Example Description
| Or apple|orange|pear Matches apple, orange, or pear
() Group gr(a|e)y Matches grey or gray
. Any char a.c Matches abc, adc, aMc
? 0 or 1 occurance colou?r Matches color or colour
* 0 or more occurance xyz* Matches xy, xyz, xyzz
+ 1 or more occurance xyz+ Matches xyz, xyzz, xyzzz
- Range with bracket [a-z] Matches a, b, through z
[] Or 1 character [abc] Matches a, b or c
[^ ] Not contained [abc] Matches any char but a, b or c
^ Beginning of string ^abc Matches starting with abc
$ End of string xyz$ Matches string ending xyz
\t Tab \t Matches tab
\n New Line \n Matches new line
\n, n=1..9 Match nth item (abc|xyz)\1 Matches abcabc, abcxyz
{n}, n=1..9 match n times a{3} Matches aaa

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