Regular Expressions That Makes You an Expert Developer

Regular expressions are an essential part of any programmer’s toolkit. These are very useful kits for web developer to validate, match or replace text. To help user there are number of tools and resources are developed. The tools and resources like Greedliness / Laziness, Back referencing, Word boundaries, Named Groups, Word Boundaries, Atomic Groups, Recursion, Call Backs, Commenting, Regex helps to test regular expression in a different ways.

If you would like to modify a htaccess file to make clean URLs, or some other advanced works as filtering RSS or other data. Some resources and tools given bellow which let you step forward to achieve good mastery over regex.


With the enormous technology development, everything is being made simple, accessible, and user-friendly. Regular expression also known as ‘regexp’ or ‘regex’ is one such method that offers a brief and adaptable mode of text strings to describe a search pattern with minimal effort. The idea of regular expression is to provide great flexibility in matching the text patterns or strings and hence provide a powerful approach for an easy search.

Why regular expressions

The answer is very simple. It is one of most powerful tools a programmer can think of! However just take a look at some of the reasons :

  • Regular expressions are merged to many programming languages and tools such as the vi editor of Unix/Linux OS (operating system); the grep command of the OS; Perl and PHP programming languages.
  • Every usage of regular expressions evokes a powerful search engine and this searches for the text with the specified patterns.
  • You are offered with dual match strings – eg: Find all lines having either Mangoes or Grapes – Mangoes|Grapes.
  • Regular expressions are language study by themselves – in other words – a language within a language.
  • You may match a whole category of characters – eg: Match all lowercase letters for 1 character position: (a-z) or (0-9) or (ABCXYZ456).
  • You may match any character by the usage of a period – eg: Match any 3 characters: … (3 periods), or match characters at the beginning or end of a line.
  • With regular expressions you can almost match anything as it can scan any file or date that are in an identifiable pattern.
  • And much more…

Basic and Extended Regular Expression

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There are the two main types of regular expressions. These provide you with all the required matches according to your need. Either you want to match a single character, or a range of characters in the desired pattern. You are exposed to Perl-derivative regular expressions, Simple regular expressions, Posix character classes, and Posix basic regular expressions with the apt examples for you to learn to use the regular expressions appropriately. Expressive power and compactness

Regex Engines – Comparison

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Before you can decide on the regex engine that you want to choose, it is advised to go through the comparison chart to know the features offered by various regex engines. This gives you the entire list of libraries, list of languages that are available with the regex support, and comparison of other features. Comparison of regular expression engines

Guides for Regular Expressions

You ought to know certain basic terms before you can use the regular expressions. Some of the basic easy guidance along with definitions is provided with sufficient examples. Go ahead and get the feel of the basics before you proceed to the next step!

  • Introductory guide to regular expression

    Javatutors presents some basic regular expression and gives some example. And it also makes list of latest Javascript tutorials.

  • Understanding regular expressions

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    Regular expression references display a list of books and references.

  • Categorized regular expressions

    Display pattern provides 38 categories in expression and description for each category.

  • Regex useful resources

    This displays regex useful regular expression, in that board index, programming, regex is mentioned. Each contains details of resources. And we can also see valuable suggestions given by the user.

  • Regexlib for resources

    A Regex resource is a collection of many tools and resources. Some of those are like, the regulator, Fric gunperson’s RegEx work bench, Jregex tester, the RegEx coach, expresso, rework etc.

  • Regex for web work

    Here is a detailed description about using regular expression in web work. There are many general resources and references like, Mastering regular expression books can be comforting when tackling intimidating topics, Pocket reference book, Resources on regular expressions, Brief guide to regular expression. In additions to these details there is description on dual approaches, application and scripting languages.

  • Regular expression resources

    Many regular expression resources like the 30 minute regex tutorial, regular expression info, Microsoft regular expression webcast, regexlib, NET framework regular expression reference, mastering regular expression listed here.

  • Regular expression info-tools

    Programming languages and libraries, databases, general applications with notable support for regular expressions, specialized tools and utilities for working with regular expressions are some important ingredients in this regular expression info tools. These tools and utilities have regular expressions as the core of their functionality.

  • Mastering over regular expression

    instantShift - Regular Expressions That Makes You an Expert Developer

    This is about mastering regular expression, which covers regular expression syntax, mechanics of expression-processing, common pitfalls, performance issues, and implementation of specific differences.

  • Introduction to advanced regular expression

    To over come some shortcomings of simple regular expression this advanced regular expressions. It discusses eight commonly used concepts such as, greedliness/laziness, back reference, named groups, word boundaries, atomic groups, recursion, callbacks and commenting.

  • Regular expression user guide

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    Here you can find a regular expression user guide it many contents namely a gentle introduction, apache browser recognition, posix standard character classes, commonly available extensions, substances groups and back references, regular expression tester, common example, notes etc.

  • The complete regular expression guide

    The complete regular expression guide is mainly for web developer and web administrator. Developers can use this to parse text files and administrator can use it for search logs, automate boring tasks and sniff the net work traffic etc.

Regular Expression Tutorial

  • PHP,perl and JavaScript regular-expressions

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    Virtuosi media provides 37 PHP tutorials to both beginners to advance. This gives all the information about validation, database interaction, and how to create simple scripts like a blog or login page. It also covers OOP, frame work development, and Ajax.

  • Regular expression examples

    Sample regular expression gives more detailed examples, they are numeric ranges, matching a floating point numbers, matching an email address, match valid dates, finding or verifying credit card numbers, matching complete lines, removing duplicate lines or items, regex examples for processing code.

  • Learn How to Use and Get The Most out of Regular Expressions

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    Regular expression tutorial teaches you how to create your own regular expression. It starts with most basic concepts and ends with most advanced and specialized capabilities.

  • Introduction to regular expression using JavaScript

    Introduction to Regular Expressions using JavaScript tutorial helps to anyone who wants to learn regular expression. It uses JavaScript programming language. But you can use it as a reference to other language.

  • Php regular expressions examples

    Regular expression examples teach you how to get mastery over regular expression. It starts with simple examples and continues wide list of cases.

  • Php regular expression-html

    Php regular expression shows how to use php regular expression in your script. Here two types of regular expression mentioned one is Posix and another is Perl compatible. To make easy learning syntax it lists some characters of syntax.

  • Demistifying regular expressions

    Demystifying regular expression describes simple usage of regular expression. Its prime intention intention is let user to try most powerful search and replace paradigm.

  • The joy of regular expressions-1

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    The joy of regular expression introduces you regex syntax. It describes contents like, resources, background, why do we need regular expression?, grasping the concept, learning by doing, positive matching, expression delimiters and pattern modifiers, exact match, validating a user name.

  • The joy of regular expression-2

    instantShift - Regular Expressions That Makes You an Expert Developer

    This is the second part of Sitepoint here it continues its quest for hunting many other issues. Its main aim is to provide information on web designing for both beginner and experts.

  • Building and testing regular expression in Unix system

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    This article is about essential aids for building and testing regular expression in unix system. And it also describes some tools and techniques like highlighting matches, showing only the matches and not the lines, calling a wizard, studying doc.

  • Regex tutorial table of contents

    This regular expression tutorial teaches you all aspect of regular expressions. Such as how a regex engine works internally, character classes or character sets, the dots, start of string and end of string anchors etc…

Tools overview

Regular expression tools are just as first aid box for the user. It provides both desktop and web tools. In desktop tools you can find rad software regular expression, regex designer, the regulator, expresso, regulazy, regular expression visualizes. And in web tools you can find retester, javascript, regular expression validator, regex pal, rexv, a better net regular, expression tester and regular expression tools. These tools are more handy to regular expression user.

  • The premier regular expression development tool

    instantShift - Regular Expressions That Makes You an Expert Developer

    It is equally suitable teaching tool for beginner or for the advanced programmer or web designer with an expertise and extensive knowledge of regular expressions.

  • Free regular expression designer

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    It is interactive window application that designed to help programmer to learn, develop or design regular expression.

  • Test your regular expression

    Regex tester is tool that offers options like single line, case insensitive, multiline, ignore whitespace in expression and explicit capture.

  • Regular expression tester

    instantShift - Regular Expressions That Makes You an Expert Developer

    This offers some development functions to test and create regular expression with some tools like case sensitive, global and multiline search, color highlighting of found expression, display of special characters etc.

  • Regular expression generator for HTML element

    Html2regexp is a ruby program of generating regular expressions for extracting HTML elements.

  • Rework-a regular expression workbench.

    instantShift - Regular Expressions That Makes You an Expert Developer

    It’s a regular expression workbench. The main features it has replace, Multiple, Split, Scan, Parse and Graph.

  • 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.

  • Key features for learning testing and writing

    An innovative and intuitive tool for learning, writing, and testing Regular Expressions. It includes some other features; they are-shows results as you type, roll over your expression to see information on specific elements, your saved expressions are saved locally.

  • The regex coach-interactive regular expressions

    instantShift - Regular Expressions That Makes You an Expert Developer

    The Regex Coach is a graphical application for Windows which can be used to experiment with (Perl-compatible) regular expressions interactively, as you are make change in application all other parts are instantly update.

  • A ruby regular expression editor

    instantShift - Regular Expressions That Makes You an Expert Developer

    Rubular is a Ruby-based regular expression editor. It’s a handy and simple way to test your regular expressions.

  • Rexv regular expression evaluator

    It’s a Ajax Regular Expression evaluator for three different regular expression systems PHP PCRE, PHP Posix, JavaScript.

  • Flex 3 regular expression explorer

    instantShift - Regular Expressions That Makes You an Expert Developer

    Using this explorer you can find an existing regular expression example, create your own regular expression example and save a regular expression to the community.

  • A JavaScript regular expression tester

    JavaScript regular expression tester with real-time regex syntax and match highlighting. The regex syntax is quite complex and it strives to be aware of all aspects of ECMA 262, browser specific bugs, feature and limitations.

  • Headache relief for programmers

    instantShift - Regular Expressions That Makes You an Expert Developer

    Regular Expression Generator for languages like Perl PHP Python Java Javascript ColdFusion C C++ Ruby VB VBScript JSharp CSharp C++.dotnet VB.dotnet. And this is a awesome tiny tool for refreshing your memory on how to put together regex patterns.

  • ReAnimator regular expression tool

    It is a fun little tool that shows a graphic representation of the finite state machines that a regular expression engine uses to perform a regular expression search.

  • Javascript regular expression validator

    Regexlibrary is a web based regular expression validator for JavaScript that lets you easily test and write regular expressions for JavaScript. The tool helps you check syntax and also provides a regular expressions library for your use.

  • Regex buddy for learn create use regular expression

    instantShift - Regular Expressions That Makes You an Expert Developer

    This tool is your perfect friend for working with regular expressions. It leads to integrate with favorite searching and editing tool. You can quickly test any regex on sample strings and files.

  • Javascript regex generator

    This is a user friendly regex generator. This script runs on top of JDC 1.0.3 in Internet Explorer which is why it is executed slightly faster in Firefox, Opera and Safari.

  • Python regular expression testing tools

    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.

  • Regexmagic regular expression generator

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    RegexMagic makes sure to generate a regular expression that works with it. It is also generate snippets in many programming languages that you can copy and paste directly into your source code to implement your regular expression.

Regular expression cheat sheets and quick references

  • The basics of regular expression

    This is about regular expression basics. It gives list of quantifier control numbers of characters. Signs for start line and end line, single character and any number of characters, 0 0r 1 of the character optional, alternation, character class, negated character class, grouping are mentioned clearly.

  • Regular expression cheat sheet

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    The Regular Expressions Cheat Sheet is a quick reference guide for regular expressions, including symbols, ranges, grouping, assertions and some sample patterns.

  • Regular expression basic syntax references

    There is description on regular expression syntax like characters, character class and character sets, dot, anchor, word boundaries, alternation and quantifier.

  • Regex cheat sheet

    This cheat sheet is about some signs for basic syntax and for POSIX character classes and Perl-style Metacharacters.

  • Net regular expression cheat sheet

    Net regular expression cheat sheets define metacharacters, and makes list of basic signs for metacharacter and character classes.

  • Regular expression-quick reference guide

    instantShift - Regular Expressions That Makes You an Expert Developer

    Regex-cheat sheet.pdf is a quick reference guide for regular expression. It provides guidance on literal character, character group, counts, alternation, lookahead and lookbehind, grouping and back references, Posix character class, non-printing character class, anchor etc.

  • Php regular expression tutorial

    Mysql-regular expression- cheat sheet defines how regular expression in mysql are used within REGEXP and RLIKE sections of where clauses in the selection of records for display, update or deletion. It also displays operator types with example and description.

  • Regex cheat sheet.aspx

    Regex cheat sheet describes what regular expression cheat sheet is.

  • Regexlib regular expression cheat sheet

    instantShift - Regular Expressions That Makes You an Expert Developer

    Regex-cheat-sheet.aspx defines metacharacter, character escape and character classes.

  • Scriptmonkeys regular expression cheat sheet

    Scriptmonkeys regular expression cheat sheet displays a chart, where regular expression basics are listed.

  • Python regular expression cheat sheet

    Python-regular-expression-cheat-sheet stored some codes and HTML. You can share it with other programmer and designer.

Bonus resources


If you seek for an excellent resource for string manipulation and validation, regular expressions is the answer for it. Hundreds of online resources provide you with more than needed information to start from scratch and reach perfection.

Find Something Missing?

While compiling this list, it’s always a possibility that we missed some other great resources. Feel free to share it with us.

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  1. Thank you Siva for this cool post. Its amazing to read all this once a while.. Cheers.. Will list this on my blog soon

  2. Very well done, thank you Siva!

  3. Very informative and useful article, i like to read your article very much. Thanks a lot for sharing with us.

  4. Nice share..very detailed as well..

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