I thought I'd share my favorite regex of all time:

[ -~]

Any ideas what this regexp matches?

It matches all ASCII characters from the space to the tilde. What are those characters? They're all printable characters!

Take a look at the ASCII table. The printable characters start at the space and end at the tilde:

[ -~] matches all printable ascii characters (light blue background)

I love this.


Would you like to wear this regular expression? I just had an idea to make it a t-shirt as this blog post is getting so popular. Check out this t-shirt that I made:

Update: No longer available.

This shirt is available through Teespring. Teespring is like Kickstarter for t-shirts. If 50 people buy the shirt, everyone gets their shirt. Otherwise no one gets charged and no one gets the shirt.


lava Permalink
November 12, 2012, 19:23

I'm curious: For what do you use it? This is a good regex, I can agree, though, I'm not sure, where it could be properly used.

P.S. Only latin, also:
$ echo München | sed 's/[^ -~]/\ /g'
M nchen
$ echo Привет, мир | sed 's/[^ -~]/\ /g'

November 12, 2012, 19:50

ascii only!

ascar Permalink
November 12, 2012, 20:41

ascii only means it's practically useless for, you know, other 6,599,505,516 peoples who lives on earth.

pseudo Permalink
November 12, 2012, 21:01

Strange, I grepped his whole blog post, and couldn't get a match for "useful for everyone", "unicode compliant", "recommended", "best practice", "i18n", "Good idea", or "Drop this bad boy into production TODAY".

But maybe I'm using the wrong character classes.

November 12, 2012, 21:09


ascar Permalink
November 12, 2012, 21:48

>It matches all ASCII characters from the space to the tilde. What are those characters? They're all printable characters!

你他妈的 is printable and belive or not even Texans need it... If it can't match unicode chars, it's useless for everybody...

Makemobies Permalink
November 13, 2012, 05:05

He said didn't say "all THE printable characters"

Leonardo Bighi Permalink
November 13, 2012, 12:52

It's not even every ASCII printable character. What about áãàéíóúùèõñ etc?

It's practically useless.

mpmansell Permalink
November 13, 2012, 13:34

The ASCII character set ranges from 0 to 127 only. You are talking about the Extended ASCII Character set, which is a different beastie.

Erick Jones Permalink
November 28, 2012, 20:12

just in my country is useful...

bob Permalink
November 04, 2013, 19:20

I for one find it immensely useful... I work in an integration environment that deals with only US traffic and I integrate mostly between many archaic systems that "go boom" when they encounter anything beyond basic ascii characters...

Keep up the good work Peter!

gabriel Permalink
November 12, 2012, 22:44

Like those 6,599,505,516 people do not use base64 and other tons of encodings that work on top of ascii.

Zing Permalink
November 20, 2012, 10:59

Yeah, Base64 solves everything. You can just write a regex to match all printable Unicode characters in UTF-8 with Base64 encoding.

Patrick Permalink
November 12, 2012, 23:03

You made off by one error. i just had a daughter born. It are 6,599,505,517 peoples.

November 21, 2012, 14:00

Put down your pitchfork. This post is not a political statement about string encoding.

There is a lot of data out there with encoding issues, and a lot of it is very thorny to work through, and the worst case is when you don't even know what corruption or encoding some given data has. In these cases it is at the very least, useful to be able to know whether or not your data contains non-ASCII characters, and that use IS applicable to everyone.

Raul Permalink
July 14, 2014, 12:11

This is great! We have a store in most languages across the world, but we want to restrict new passwords only to ascii printable characters so what better way than to pass this regular expression to the backend java that handles this.

Thanks Peter!

mpmansell Permalink
November 13, 2012, 13:40

It has plenty of uses, especially when processing or migrating legacy data which may have formatting codes embedded into it for brevity. I have used this regex, and variations, many times over the years for doing just that.

November 14, 2012, 04:02

I've used the inverse of this (with \n) to search for accidentally inserted characters like tabs and non-breaking spaces in text files. I've also tried to edit some files to remove characters other than [\n\040-\176]. And I have some Japanese word lists that can be parsed with regex because some fields only contain ASCII and some non-ASCII characters.

[[:print:]] matches あ by default in Ruby 1.9 but not 1.8.

UnicodeHater Permalink
November 14, 2012, 20:01

Unicode sucks anyway.

Everyone who uses the internet should learn and use English, else GTFO.

July 26, 2016, 23:35

Indeed! It's good to know English. Then, if you know it, you'd discover that both ASCII and ASCII ext don't cover all characters used in English sentences, e.g. dashes.

And nope 0-127 isn't range for ASCII printable characters—printable are from 20 to 7E. Also, without flags/settings it will allow characters outside ASCII (when interpreter doesn't treat string as Unicode, but as characters). So yeah, I'd like a "regexp fail" tshirt!

jaceks Permalink
December 29, 2016, 12:55

What is GTFO? Your mom second name?

sab Permalink
November 16, 2012, 15:11

ETL data cleaning from bad sources... a must in production database environments.

November 12, 2012, 20:01

Well, it matches every *ASCII* printable character.
Not as good as it seems, but looks good though ;)

Leonardo Bighi Permalink
November 13, 2012, 12:50

It's not even every ASCII printable character. What about áãàéíóúùèõñ etc?

Mark Permalink
November 13, 2012, 13:39

áãàéíóúùèõñ are not ASCII. ASCII is a 7 bit code (as shown in the table above).

shogg Permalink
November 13, 2012, 13:44

You confused ASCII with a codepage like ISO-8859. ASCII consists of exactly the 128 codes shown in the table above.

November 27, 2012, 22:04

Haters gonna hate...*sigh*

November 12, 2012, 21:07

Cute quiz, however for an actual piece of code in a live program I'd much rather see the self-describing /[[:print:]]/

Arild Permalink
November 13, 2012, 02:35

+1 for readability. Code is meant to be human readable. Thus something that's obvious is better than the cryptic.

That being said, anyone who's has to do regexp will occasionally create some gnarly patterns.

November 13, 2012, 19:19

Also, not all regex parsers support [[:print]] -- but all of them (that I know of) support character ranges.

November 12, 2012, 21:09

isn't it just the same as /./ ?

if not, whats the difference ?

Michael Permalink
November 12, 2012, 23:43

This will capture ALL characters, printable or not.

Anon Permalink
November 12, 2012, 21:12

Cute, except that it matches spaces spaces but not tabs. Behaviour with alternate code pages may be unpredictable. This kind of thing is good if you know exactly what you are doing and why it works in that context. In some other context it's liable not to do what you think.

mpmansell Permalink
November 13, 2012, 13:36

A tab is a control character, not a printable character.

Nodovitt Permalink
November 12, 2012, 21:38

Why would you even need a blog for this!

November 12, 2012, 21:46

Sweet. My favourite is from Mail::RFC822::Address cf: http://www.ex-parrot.com/pdw/Mail-RFC822-Address/Mail-RFC822-Address.html

(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:(?:(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]
)+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]))*"(?:(?:
\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(
?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[
\t]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*@(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\0
31]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\
](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+
(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:
(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*|(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z
|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)
?[ \t])*)*\<(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:@(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\
r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[
\t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)
?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]
)*))*(?:,@(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[
\t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*
)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]
)+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*)
*:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)?(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+
|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]))*"(?:(?:\r
\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:
\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t
]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*@(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031
]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](
?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?
:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?
:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*\>(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)|(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?
:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?
[ \t]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)*:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:(?:(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\]
\000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|
\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>
@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"
(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*@(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]
)*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\
".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?
:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[
\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*|(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-
\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(
?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)*\<(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:@(?:[^()<>@,;
:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([
^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\"
.\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\
]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*(?:,@(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\
[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\
r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\]
\000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]
|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*)*:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)?(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \0
00-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\
.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,
;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?
:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*@(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*
(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".
\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[
^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]
]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*\>(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:,\s*(
?:(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\
".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(
?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[
\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t
])*))*@(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t
])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?
:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|
\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*|(?:
[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\
]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)*\<(?:(?:\r\n)
?[ \t])*(?:@(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["
()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)
?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>
@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*(?:,@(?:(?:\r\n)?[
\t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,
;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]
)*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\
".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*)*:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)?
(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".
\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\.(?:(?:
\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z|(?=[\[
"()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|"(?:[^\"\r\\]|\\.|(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t]))*"(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])
*))*@(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])
+|\Z|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*)(?:\
.(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*(?:[^()<>@,;:\\".\[\] \000-\031]+(?:(?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])+|\Z
|(?=[\["()<>@,;:\\".\[\]]))|\[([^\[\]\r\\]|\\.)*\](?:(?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*\>(?:(
?:\r\n)?[ \t])*))*)?;\s*)

Jim Permalink
November 12, 2012, 22:00

Where's the T-shirt?

Dan Permalink
November 12, 2012, 22:22

It only comes in XXXXL

November 12, 2012, 23:51

Sorry this regex is too big to put into a t-shirt. ;)

Lucifer Permalink
November 13, 2012, 04:24

That's the joke!

Bob Roberts Permalink
November 13, 2012, 07:29

Is that Windows 8 written in perl?

November 13, 2012, 00:29

Where could I use this in a real life example? Why would I want to match all ASCII characters?

November 13, 2012, 08:19

…although others said so before: Why would you want to limit yourself to ASCII?

Notwithstanding that limitation: Clever! May even be useful, *if* your input data should be limited to ASCII characters (usernames & passwords come to mind, although umlauts etc. in a password will make it harder to brute force)

November 13, 2012, 18:16

It isn't so much as limiting it to ASCII but why would you want to match ASCII characters at all. What purpose does it serve to limit and only match ASCII characters?

November 13, 2012, 19:21

How about if you're filtering data to pass to a legacy system that only understands ASCII?

drbitboy Permalink
December 28, 2012, 02:03

archving 7-bit ASCII documents in the Planetary Data System



tr -d '\n\r -z' < blah.txt | wc -c

should return zero. I've used this 'trick' many times.

Jane Doe Permalink
April 02, 2013, 01:55

How would I use this, then? Drop all invalid characters? Replace them all with a fixed value? Check for bad strings and abort? Besides being kind of hard to read, this is pretty limiting in what your options are when you encounter such a character.

I'd use something like #map which is easier to understand, and more flexible in what it can do when it encounters a non-ASCII character.

albatross Permalink
August 30, 2018, 01:27

I just made good use of this regex! I needed one, that can differentiate an IRI (all Unicode) from an URI (ASCII only) and is as simple as possible, so it can be used with simplicistic regex engines.

November 27, 2018, 15:55

I used it to validate 128B barcodes, which only take ASCII characters!

November 13, 2012, 01:03


andrew p Permalink
November 13, 2012, 01:11

man re_format :print: works better

Mikael Permalink
November 13, 2012, 02:20

Please stop discriminating us with names including ÅÄÖ. Or even 그레.

White Power Bill Permalink
November 13, 2012, 06:43

Yay, it's my favorite too!

Keiji Permalink
November 13, 2012, 06:57

I so angly, lound-eye
(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

November 13, 2012, 07:07

Thanks! I'll be putting this puppy to work tomorrow!

November 13, 2012, 16:33

Just curious, but in what context are you intending to use this?

ilmari Permalink
November 13, 2012, 08:45

A tshirt with [^ -~] would be funnier.

Igor Feghali Permalink
November 13, 2012, 09:48

and the caption could be "I wan't to believe" or even "for all the important things we don't see" :)

November 13, 2012, 19:23

Or "In control"

Oli Permalink
November 13, 2012, 09:31

I prefer "The regex that will change the world"

Mark Hagers Permalink
November 13, 2012, 10:13

I'd love a t-shirt, but would you consider adding a quantifyer? i.e.:
[ -~]+

Will Reynolds Permalink
November 13, 2012, 12:24

At last, a perfect solution for validating text sent to my Daisy Wheel printer... although I think I scrapped it 30 years ago...

Jack Script Permalink
November 13, 2012, 22:51

What's with people?

The title of this post is "My favorite regex of all time". It's one man's opinion. It's subjective. The man has a favorite regex, he's not advocating its use.

He even states, "[ -~] matches all printable ascii characters (light blue background)" and he's correct. Why do people feel the need to point out that it doesn't work for some situation when he never said it would.

I work with a lot of legacy print streams. I can think of several places that I might be able to use this. Thanks for sharing.

Magnus Skog Permalink
November 23, 2012, 14:13

Thanks Jack. My thoughts exactly. Finally someone that doesn't have a huge stick up their ass.

Rob G Permalink
November 14, 2012, 14:41

Well, this is also an example of why I detest regex's - seeing this in code wouldn't exactly clearly document the intent of the developer.

andrew Permalink
January 14, 2016, 01:57

// This is a comment.

itoctopus Permalink
November 14, 2012, 15:52

There are three kinds of programmers out there: Those who understand regexes, those who don't, and those who pretend that they understand regexes.

I have yet to personally meet programmers falling in the first two groups!

Hater Permalink
November 14, 2012, 18:09

If 50 people buy that shirt, not only do they get the shirt, they get a free "you're a tool" look from everyone they explain it to.

Alexei Martchenko Permalink
November 16, 2012, 14:36

Nice regex, good to parse some slug urls easily

Magnus Skog Permalink
November 23, 2012, 14:16

Another great article. Thanks for sharing your insight! Cheers

jack taylor Permalink
November 23, 2012, 20:25

Cool! And checkout all the a-holes with their heads up their butts!

harsh Permalink
February 23, 2013, 15:29

Hey, I need to find all the other strings which are not email id and need to remove them from a text file.
Which means i need to find the all the words which do not contain '@'.

is there any regex to do so ?

February 25, 2013, 09:44

Use sed:

sed -n '/@/!p' file

This will print all lines that don't contain @.

March 02, 2013, 17:05

Had cause to write the regex


the other day in an attempt to match all names starting with exactly one underscore.

It's not right for that purpose, though, and I had to correct it to something less pleasing using negative lookahead (because it doesn't match a name consisting of just a single underscore which is a name starting with exactly one underscore).

(PS, comment system seems a bit borked if you have a space as the third “letter” in your name.)

Andrew Gee Permalink
March 13, 2013, 16:29

[^ -~]+|& # x 2 6 6 5 ;

(no spaces after &)

farshad Permalink
July 22, 2014, 05:24

it doesn't match \t which is usually used.

Peter Permalink
November 07, 2014, 19:46

tabs are not printable characters. If you want to use them, that's fine, but then you need to say that your regex matches printable character plus one non printable character.

August 01, 2015, 06:26

Simply awesome :) A good question to surprise as well.

SA0987 Permalink
September 02, 2015, 20:05

OMG ... a) I love the regex, b) do you still make the t-shirts!

I used [^ -~] to remove non-print chars for XML clean

dein gott Permalink
November 06, 2015, 06:02


To be or not to be. And yes I already have the t-shirt

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