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 –
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.
Regular Expressions TesterFirefox addon testing tool for regular expressions with color highlighting (including submatches) and helpers for creating expressions.
- 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.
reWorkOnline regular expression tools with functions like replace, multiple, split, scan and more. Update results instantly as you type.
RubularRuby-based regular expression editor. Handy and simple way to test your regular expressions on the web.
- 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.
- Flex 3 Regular Expression Explorer – Community driven regular regular expression test site with samples you can play around with.
- 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
- Using Regular Expressions – Regular expression in a nutshell.
- Regular Expression Basics
- Regular Expression Basic Syntax Reference
- Regular Expressions Cheat Sheet – Quick reference guide for regular expressions, including symbols, ranges, grouping, assertions and some sample patterns to get you started.
- RegExLib cheatsheet – For .NET framework.
- .NET Framework Regular Expressions
- Five Habits for Successful Regular Expressions
- Regular Expression Examples – Example patterns that you can use for and adapt to your own purposes.
- How to Use and Get The Most out of Regular Expressions
- 8 Regular Expressions You Should Know
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!