Regular Expressions: 30 Useful Tools and Resources

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Regular expression, or often known as regex, is a pattern that consist of rules used to match a certain set of strings. They are extremely powerful, and you’ll need them in most programming languages you come across, especially when there’s a need to scan and match context for further actions.

Here’s a simple example of regular expression – to match all string consist of "regular expression", "regular expressions", "regex", and "regexp" in a content, this is your regular expression pattern – reg(ular expression?|ex(p|es)?)

regular expressions

Now, they might seem a little bit confusing or hard to pick up at first, but once you understand the syntax, you’ll notice it’s pretty simple and definitely very useful for future coding projects. Learning and using Regular Expressions don’t have to be torturous process. Here’s a list of useful regular expression tools and resources to make your life easier. Full list after jump.

Desktop Regex Tools

Expresso (Win)
Expresso is an award winning regex editor suitable for regular expression beginners; it also has a full-featured development environment for programmers and web designers.

Rad Software Regular Expression Designer (Win)
Interactive Windows based regex application designed to be simple and easy to use. .NET framework is required.

The Regex Coach (Win)
Graphical application for Windows which can be used to experiment with (Perl-compatible) regular expressions interactively.

RegExr Desktop (Win, Mac, Linux)
Tools for learning, editing, and testing regular expressions (RegEx or RegExp for short) on Mac OSX, Windows, and Linux.

Regex Widget (Mac)
Interactive widget for trying out regular expressions for JavaScript, and other languages (such as Sed, Ruby, or Perl).

Regular Expressions Tester
Firefox addon testing tool for regular expressions with color highlighting (including submatches) and helpers for creating expressions.

More:

  • Regex magic (Win) – Generates complete regular expressions to your specifications without the need to deal with regular expression syntax.

Online Regex Tools

RegE xr

Created by gskinner, this is one of the best online regular expression tool we’ve seen so far. It is community driven with useful examples of regex syntax. Supports match and replace.

HTML2Regexp – Regular Expression Generator for HTML Element
Ruby program of generating regular expressions for extracting HTML elements.

reWork
Online regular expression tools with functions like replace, multiple, split, scan and more. Update results instantly as you type.

Rubular
Ruby-based regular expression editor. Handy and simple way to test your regular expressions on the web.

Txt2re
Awesome tiny tool for refreshing your memory on how to put together regex patterns. Supports Perl, PHP, Python, Java, Javascript, ColdFusion, C, C++, Ruby, VB, VBScript, JSharp, C Sharp, C++, .NET and VB.NET.

More:

  • Regular Expression Test Tool – This service uses PHP regular expression functions as a base for its operations. It can be useful for programmers of other languages as well.
  • Rex V – Ajax based regular expression evaluator for three different regular expression systems PHP PCRE, PHP Posix and Javascript.
  • Flex 3 Regular Expression Explorer – Community driven regular regular expression test site with samples you can play around with.
  • Regex Pal – JavaScript regular expression tester with real-time regex syntax and match highlighting.
  • Python Regular Expression Testing Tool – One of the web based python regular expression tool for rapidly testing regular expressions. Includes support for python regex specific functions such as dotall and unicode.

More Reading on Regex

We are probably just scratching the surfaces of useful Regular Expression tools. If you think we’ve missed a good piece regex article or tools , please leave a comment below. Thanks!

Author:

Siva is great fan of inspiring photography and beautiful design. He likes them more than his current job as a web developer. He has recently launched Pokkisam - a insprational photography and design blog.

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