regular expressions

Regular expressions are one of those things that are incredibly powerful… if you know how to use them. It has taken quite a bit of time for me to learn the ins and outs of how they work, but once you get the hang of them there is almost always some variation that can be used in the different programming languages.

There have been some programs that try to lend a hand at building the regular expressions, but more often than not you’ll have to fork out some money for them. RegExr is looking to solve this problem. It is a free online regular expression builder that will show you the results of your regular expression in real-time.

I’ll be using this all of the time now, and it would have definitely been a great tool to have when I was trying to learn the ropes. Along the right side it includes a small “library” of the syntax available for building your regular expressions. That is a huge time saver so that you don’t have to keep referencing a cheat sheet.

If you don’t find the online version appealing they have also taken the liberty of converting it into a desktop application using Adobe’s AIR technology. That means it will run on Mac OS X, Windows, or Linux assuming that you have Adobe Air installed.

RegExr Online Version
RegExr Desktop Version
[via Download Squad]

There Are 31 Comments

  1. Pretty handy indeed. Bookmarked! :)

  2. Excellent find, will be very handy for quick testing, and having the syntax there makes it doubly useful.

  3. Inferno_str1ke wrote:
    Excellent find, will be very handy for quick testing, and having the syntax there makes it doubly useful.

    Yeah, I don’t use regular expressions enough to remember all of the syntax so I normally have a cheat sheet next to me. This definitely solves that problem.

  4. I’m learning regular expressions now and this tool will be incredibly useful.

    For the PHP & MySQL intro course I took last semester, we used an app called JEdit preinstalled and configured with the settings and plugins the professor wanted and it had a feature (that I think came in the form of a plugin) which allowed you to test your regular expression, but you still had to remember all the syntax to create your regular expressions and it would only highlight each pattern matched one at a time (you’d have to cycle through the matches). I’d have to use a regular expression cheat sheet alongside this app to do my regular expressions.

    This website tool builds in the cheat sheet and highlights all matches simultaneously making it far more useful than JEdit. I’ll be using this website with great regularity. Thanks and very nice find!

  5. Really nice!
    An alternative is RegEx Pal – []

  6. x wrote:
    Really nice!
    An alternative is RegEx Pal – []

    Nice find… doesn’t seem quite as robust as this site, but I think it’s more responsive since it’s not built on Flash.

  7. Found this entry via a Google search… Just wanted to say thanks for pointing me to this awesome tool! :)

  8. What about licence is this GNU?

  9. Please post some pointer on how to use this .thank you.

  10. Fantastic tool! Thanks for creating it.

  11. 10/10. Really helpful.

  12. Couldn’t make it work, no indication why, no help of any kind. Tried the obvious and it sat there and did nothing.


  13. Awesome i losed the link ;) thanks for posting it

  14. Another alternative is [] It is a very simple, open source, Regex editor with a reference guide included.

    • That actually does look pretty nice. I’ll have to start using that a bit to see how it performs as my programming companion. Thanks Oliver!

  15. ahahaha this is THE BEST one out there. i tried the online once. then i closed it and couldn’t find it again. i tried others while looking for it. they all sucked compared to this <3

  16. Really nice tool, hilighting found strings is very educational!

  17. Thanks! I just don’t use them enough to remember. This was a lifesaver find that made it not quite so tough to do again for validation.

  18. Awesome regex tool! Thanks!

  19. My Life Saver!! Thanks!!

  20. This is a great learning and testing tool BUT it would be AWESOME if it allowed you to export the highlighted text to a file (CSV, Excel, etc…)

    I find it very helpful when wish to clean some crappy garbage web content that’s in a form that none of the Data Extractor tools can handle without a lot of creative and time consuming tweaking.

    Thanks Grant you always do great things for the community at large…!!!

  21. very very thanks

  22. Awesome tool.. thanks :)

  23. Most Excellent! Definately a bookmark

  24. Thank you very much.
    It took me shortest time to write a reg ex.

    Really Really Really grateful.

  25. This-is-awesome.

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