RegExp

  • Revision slug: JavaScript/Reference/Global_Objects/RegExp
  • Revision title: RegExp
  • Revision id: 16387
  • Created:
  • Creator: B I R D
  • Is current revision? No
  • Comment /* Special characters in regular expressions */

Revision Content

Summary

Core Object

A regular expression object contains the pattern of a regular expression. It has properties and methods for using that regular expression to find and replace matches in strings.

In addition to the properties of an individual regular expression object that you create using the RegExp constructor function, the predefined RegExp object has static properties that are set whenever any regular expression is used.

Created by

A literal text format or the RegExp constructor function.

The literal format is used as follows:

/pattern/flags

The constructor function is used as follows:

new RegExp("pattern"[, "flags"]) 

Parameters

pattern 
The text of the regular expression.
flags
If specified, flags can have any combination of the following values: g - global match, i - ignore case, m - match over multiple lines.

Notice that the parameters to the literal format do not use quotation marks to indicate strings, while the parameters to the constructor function do use quotation marks. So the following expressions create the same regular expression:

/ab+c/i
new RegExp("ab+c", "i")

Description

When using the constructor function, the normal string escape rules (preceding special characters with \ when included in a string) are necessary. For example, the following are equivalent:

re = new RegExp("\\w+")
re = /\w+/

Special characters in regular expressions

Character Meaning
\

For characters that are usually treated literally, indicates that the next character is special and not to be interpreted literally.

For example, /b/ matches the character 'b'. By placing a backslash in front of b, that is by using /\b/, the character becomes special to mean match a word boundary.

-or-

For characters that are usually treated specially, indicates that the next character is not special and should be interpreted literally.

For example, * is a special character that means 0 or more occurrences of the preceding character should be matched; for example, /a*/ means match 0 or more a's. To match * literally, precede the it with a backslash; for example, /a\*/ matches 'a*'.

^

Matches beginning of input. If the multiline flag is set to true, also matches immediately after a line break character.

For example, /^A/ does not match the 'A' in "an A", but does match the first 'A' in "An A."

$

Matches end of input. If the multiline flag is set to true, also matches immediately before a line break character.

For example, /t$/ does not match the 't' in "eater", but does match it in "eat".

*

Matches the preceding item 0 or more times.

For example, /bo*/ matches 'boooo' in "A ghost booooed" and 'b' in "A bird warbled", but nothing in "A goat grunted".

+

Matches the preceding item 1 or more times. Equivalent to {1,}.

For example, /a+/ matches the 'a' in "candy" and all the a's in "caaaaaaandy".

?

Matches the preceding item 0 or 1 time.

For example, /e?le?/ matches the 'el' in "angel" and the 'le' in "angle."

If used immediately after any of the quantifiers *, +, ?, or {}, makes the quantifier non-greedy (matching the minimum number of times), as opposed to the default, which is greedy (matching the maximum number of times).

Also used in lookahead assertions, described under (?=), (?!), and (?:) in this table.

.

(The decimal point) matches any single character except the newline character.

For example, /.n/ matches 'an' and 'on' in "nay, an apple is on the tree", but not 'nay'.

(x)

Matches 'x' and remembers the match. These are called capturing parentheses.

For example, /(foo)/ matches and remembers 'foo' in "foo bar." The matched substring can be recalled from the resulting array's elements {{mediawiki.external(1)}}, ..., {{mediawiki.external('n')}} or from the predefined RegExp object's properties $1, ..., $9.

(?:x)

Matches 'x' but does not remember the match. These are called non-capturing parentheses. The matched substring can not be recalled from the resulting array's elements {{mediawiki.external(1)}}, ..., {{mediawiki.external('n')}} or from the predefined RegExp object's properties $1, ..., $9.

x(?=y)

Matches 'x' only if 'x' is followed by 'y'. For example, /Jack(?=Sprat)/ matches 'Jack' only if it is followed by 'Sprat'. /Jack(?=Sprat|Frost)/ matches 'Jack' only if it is followed by 'Sprat' or 'Frost'. However, neither 'Sprat' nor 'Frost' is part of the match results.

x(?!y)

Matches 'x' only if 'x' is not followed by 'y'. For example, /\d+(?!\.)/ matches a number only if it is not followed by a decimal point.

/\d+(?!\.)/.exec("3.141") matches 141 but not 3.141.

x|y

Matches either 'x' or 'y'.

For example, /green|red/ matches 'green' in "green apple" and 'red' in "red apple."

{n}

Where n is a positive integer. Matches exactly n occurrences of the preceding item.

For example, /a{2}/ doesn't match the 'a' in "candy," but it matches all of the a's in "caandy," and the first two a's in "caaandy."

{n,}

Where n is a positive integer. Matches at least n occurrences of the preceding item.

For example, /a{2,} doesn't match the 'a' in "candy", but matches all of the a's in "caandy" and in "caaaaaaandy."

{n,m}

Where n and m are positive integers. Matches at least n and at most m occurrences of the preceding item.

For example, /a{1,3}/ matches nothing in "cndy", the 'a' in "candy," the first two a's in "caandy," and the first three a's in "caaaaaaandy". Notice that when matching "caaaaaaandy", the match is "aaa", even though the original string had more a's in it.

{{mediawiki.external('xyz')}}

A character set. Matches any one of the enclosed characters. You can specify a range of characters by using a hyphen.

For example, {{mediawiki.external('abcd')}} is the same as {{mediawiki.external('a-c')}}. They match the 'b' in "brisket" and the 'c' in "ache".

{{mediawiki.external('^xyz')}}

A negated or complemented character set. That is, it matches anything that is not enclosed in the brackets. You can specify a range of characters by using a hyphen.

For example, {{mediawiki.external('^abc')}} is the same as {{mediawiki.external('^a-c')}}. They initially match 'r' in "brisket" and 'h' in "chop."

{{mediawiki.external('\\b')}}

Matches a backspace. (Not to be confused with \b.)

\b

Matches a word boundary, such as a space. (Not to be confused with {{mediawiki.external('\\b')}}.)

For example, /\bn\w/ matches the 'no' in "noonday"; /\wy\b/ matches the 'ly' in "possibly yesterday."

\B

Matches a non-word boundary.

For example, /\w\Bn/ matches 'on' in "noonday", and /y\B\w/ matches 'ye' in "possibly yesterday."

\cX

Where X is a letter from A - Z. Matches a control character in a string.

For example, /\cM/ matches control-M in a string.

\d

Matches a digit character. Equivalent to {{mediawiki.external('0-9')}}.

For example, /\d/ or /{{mediawiki.external('0-9')}}/ matches '2' in "B2 is the suite number."

\D

Matches any non-digit character. Equivalent to {{mediawiki.external('^0-9')}}.

For example, /\D/ or /{{mediawiki.external('^0-9')}}/ matches 'B' in "B2 is the suite number."

\f

Matches a form-feed.

\n

Matches a linefeed.

\r

Matches a carriage return.

\s

Matches a single white space character, including space, tab, form feed, line feed. Equivalent to {{mediawiki.external(' \\f\\n\\r\\t\\u00A0\\u2028\\u2029')}}.

For example, /\s\w*/ matches ' bar' in "foo bar."

\S

Matches a single character other than white space. Equivalent to {{mediawiki.external('^ \\f\\n\\r\\t\\u00A0\\u2028\\u2029')}}.

For example, /\S/\w* matches 'foo' in "foo bar."

\t

Matches a tab.

\v

Matches a vertical tab.

\w

Matches any alphanumeric character including the underscore. Equivalent to {{mediawiki.external('A-Za-z0-9_')}}.

For example, /\w/ matches 'a' in "apple," '5' in "$5.28," and '3' in "3D."

\W

Matches any non-word character. Equivalent to {{mediawiki.external('^A-Za-z0-9_')}}.

For example, /\W/ or /{{mediawiki.external('^$A-Za-z0-9_')}}/ matches '%' in "50%."

\n

Where n is a positive integer. A back reference to the last substring matching the n parenthetical in the regular expression (counting left parentheses).

For example, /apple(,)\sorange\1/ matches 'apple, orange,' in "apple, orange, cherry, peach." A more complete example follows this table.

\0

Matches a NUL character. Do not follow this with another digit.

\xhh

Matches the character with the code hh (two hexadecimal digits)

\uhhhh

Matches the character with code hhhh (four hexadecimal digits).

The literal notation provides compilation of the regular expression when the expression is evaluated. Use literal notation when the regular expression will remain constant. For example, if you use literal notation to construct a regular expression used in a loop, the regular expression won't be recompiled on each iteration.

The constructor of the regular expression object, for example, new RegExp("ab+c"), provides runtime compilation of the regular expression. Use the constructor function when you know the regular expression pattern will be changing, or you don't know the pattern and are getting it from another source, such as user input.

A separate predefined RegExp object is available in each window; that is, each separate thread of JavaScript execution gets its own RegExp object. Because each script runs to completion without interruption in a thread, this assures that different scripts do not overwrite values of the RegExp object.

Properties

Note that several of the RegExp properties have both long and short (Perl-like) names. Both names always refer to the same value. Perl is the programming language from which JavaScript modeled its regular expressions.

constructor: Specifies the function that creates an object's prototype.

global: Whether to test the regular expression against all possible matches in a string, or only against the first. As of JavaScript 1.5, a property of a RegExp instance, not the RegExp object.

ignoreCase: Whether to ignore case while attempting a match in a string. As of JavaScript 1.5, a property of a RegExp instance, not the RegExp object.

lastIndex: The index at which to start the next match. As of JavaScript 1.5, a property of a RegExp instance, not the RegExp object.

multiline: Whether or not to search in strings across multiple lines. As of JavaScript 1.5, a property of a RegExp instance, not the RegExp object.

prototype: Allows the addition of properties to all objects.

source: The text of the pattern. As of JavaScript 1.5, a property of a RegExp instance, not the RegExp object.

Methods

exec: Executes a search for a match in its string parameter.

test: Tests for a match in its string parameter.

toSource: Returns an object literal representing the specified object; you can use this value to create a new object. Overrides the Object.toSource method.

toString: Returns a string representing the specified object. Overrides the Object.toString method.

In addition, this object inherits the watch and unwatch methods from Object.

Examples

Example: Using the replace method

The following script uses the replace method to switch the words in the string. In the replacement text, the script uses "$1" and "$2" to indicate the results of the corresponding matching parentheses in the regular expression pattern.

var re = /(\w+)\s(\w+)/;
var str = "John Smith";
var newstr = str.replace(re, "$2, $1");
document.write(newstr);

This displays "Smith, John".

Example: Using input

In the following example, RegExp.input is set by the Change event. In the getInfo function, the exec method uses the value of RegExp.input as its argument.

<script>
function getInfo() {
   var re = /(\w+)\s(\d+)/;
   var m = re.exec();
   window.alert(m[0] + ", your age is " + m[2]);
}
</script>

Enter your first name and your age, and then press Enter.

<form>
<input type="text" name="NameAge" onchange="getInfo(this);"/>
</form>

Revision Source

<p>
</p>
<h3 name="Summary"> Summary </h3>
<p><b>Core Object</b>
</p><p>A regular expression object contains the pattern of a regular expression. It has properties and methods for using that regular expression to find and replace matches in strings.
</p><p>In addition to the properties of an individual regular expression object that you create using the <code>RegExp</code> constructor function, the predefined <code>RegExp</code> object has static properties that are set whenever any regular expression is used.
</p>
<h3 name="Created_by"> Created by </h3>
<p>A literal text format or the <code>RegExp</code> constructor function.
</p><p>The literal format is used as follows:
</p>
<pre class="eval"><i>/pattern/flags</i>
</pre>
<p>The constructor function is used as follows:
</p>
<pre class="eval">new RegExp("<i>pattern</i>"[, "<i>flags</i>"]) 
</pre>
<h3 name="Parameters"> Parameters </h3>
<dl><dt> <code>pattern</code> </dt><dd> The text of the regular expression.
</dd></dl>
<dl><dt> <code>flags</code></dt><dd> If specified, flags can have any combination of the following values: <code>g</code> - global match, <code>i</code> - ignore case, <code>m</code> - match over multiple lines.
</dd></dl>
<p>Notice that the parameters to the literal format do not use quotation marks to indicate strings, while the parameters to the constructor function do use quotation marks. So the following expressions create the same regular expression:
</p>
<pre class="eval">/ab+c/i
new RegExp("ab+c", "i")
</pre>
<h3 name="Description"> Description </h3>
<p>When using the constructor function, the normal string escape rules (preceding special characters with \ when included in a string) are necessary. For example, the following are equivalent:
</p>
<pre class="eval">re = new RegExp("\\w+")
re = /\w+/
</pre>
<h4 name="Special_characters_in_regular_expressions"> Special characters in regular expressions </h4>
<table class="fullwidth-table">
<tbody><tr>
<td class="header">Character</td>
<td class="header">Meaning</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\</code></td>
<td>
<p>For characters that are usually treated literally, indicates that the next character is special and not to be interpreted literally.
</p><p>For example, <code>/b/</code> matches the character 'b'. By placing a backslash in front of b, that is by using <code>/\b/</code>, the character becomes special to mean match a word boundary.
</p><p>-or-
</p><p>For characters that are usually treated specially, indicates that the next character is not special and should be interpreted literally.
</p><p>For example, * is a special character that means 0 or more occurrences of the preceding character should be matched; for example, <code>/a*/</code> means match 0 or more a's. To match <code>*</code> literally, precede the it with a backslash; for example, <code>/a\*/</code> matches 'a*'.  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>^</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches beginning of input. If the multiline flag is set to true, also matches immediately after a line break character.
</p><p>For example, <code>/^A/</code> does not match the 'A' in "an A", but does match the first 'A' in "An A."  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>$</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches end of input. If the multiline flag is set to true, also matches immediately before a line break character.
</p><p>For example, <code>/t$/</code> does not match the 't' in "eater", but does match it in "eat".  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>*</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches the preceding item 0 or more times.
</p><p>For example, <code>/bo*/</code> matches 'boooo' in "A ghost booooed" and 'b' in "A bird warbled", but nothing in "A goat grunted".  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>+</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches the preceding item 1 or more times. Equivalent to <code>{1,}</code>.
</p><p>For example, <code>/a+/</code> matches the 'a' in "candy" and all the a's in "caaaaaaandy".  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>?</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches the preceding item 0 or 1 time.
</p><p>For example, <code>/e?le?/</code> matches the 'el' in "angel" and the 'le' in "angle."
</p><p>If used immediately after any of the quantifiers <code>*</code>, <code>+</code>, <code>?</code>, or <code>{}</code>, makes the quantifier non-greedy (matching the minimum number of times), as opposed to the default, which is greedy (matching the maximum number of times).
</p><p>Also used in lookahead assertions, described under <code>(?=)</code>, <code>(?!)</code>, and <code>(?:)</code> in this table.  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>.</code></td>
<td>
<p>(The decimal point) matches any single character except the newline character.
</p><p>For example, <code>/.n/</code> matches 'an' and 'on' in "nay, an apple is on the tree", but not 'nay'.  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>(x)</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches 'x' and remembers the match. These are called capturing parentheses.
</p><p>For example, <code>/(foo)/</code> matches and remembers 'foo' in "foo bar." The matched substring can be recalled from the resulting array's elements <code>{{mediawiki.external(1)}}, ..., {{mediawiki.external('n')}}</code> or from the predefined <code>RegExp</code> object's properties <code>$1, ..., $9</code>.  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>(?:x)</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches 'x' but does not remember the match. These are called non-capturing parentheses. The matched substring can not be recalled from the resulting array's elements <code>{{mediawiki.external(1)}}, ..., {{mediawiki.external('n')}}</code> or from the predefined <code>RegExp</code> object's properties <code>$1, ..., $9</code>.  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>x(?=y)</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches 'x' only if 'x' is followed by 'y'. For example, <code>/Jack(?=Sprat)/</code> matches 'Jack' only if it is followed by 'Sprat'. <code>/Jack(?=Sprat|Frost)/</code> matches 'Jack' only if it is followed by 'Sprat' or 'Frost'. However, neither 'Sprat' nor 'Frost' is part of the match results.  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>x(?!y)</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches 'x' only if 'x' is not followed by 'y'. For example, <code>/\d+(?!\.)/</code> matches a number only if it is not followed by a decimal point.
</p><p><code>/\d+(?!\.)/.exec("3.141")</code> matches 141 but not 3.141.  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>x|y</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches either 'x' or 'y'.
</p><p>For example, <code>/green|red/</code> matches 'green' in "green apple" and 'red' in "red apple."  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>{n}</code></td>
<td>
<p>Where <code>n</code> is a positive integer. Matches exactly <code>n</code> occurrences of the preceding item.
</p><p>For example, <code>/a{2}/</code> doesn't match the 'a' in "candy," but it matches all of the a's in "caandy," and the first two a's in "caaandy."  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>{n,}</code></td>
<td>
<p>Where <code>n</code> is a positive integer. Matches at least <code>n</code> occurrences of the preceding item.
</p><p>For example, <code>/a{2,}</code> doesn't match the 'a' in "candy", but matches all of the a's in "caandy" and in "caaaaaaandy."  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>{n,m}</code></td>
<td>
<p>Where <code>n</code> and <code>m</code> are positive integers. Matches at least <code>n</code> and at most <code>m</code> occurrences of the preceding item.
</p><p>For example, <code>/a{1,3}/</code> matches nothing in "cndy", the 'a' in "candy," the first two a's in "caandy," and the first three a's in "caaaaaaandy". Notice that when matching "caaaaaaandy", the match is "aaa", even though the original string had more a's in it.  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>{{mediawiki.external('xyz')}}</code></td>
<td>
<p>A character set. Matches any one of the enclosed characters. You can specify a range of characters by using a hyphen.
</p><p>For example, <code>{{mediawiki.external('abcd')}}</code> is the same as <code>{{mediawiki.external('a-c')}}</code>. They match the 'b' in "brisket" and the 'c' in "ache".  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>{{mediawiki.external('^xyz')}}</code></td>
<td>
<p>A negated or complemented character set. That is, it matches anything that is not enclosed in the brackets. You can specify a range of characters by using a hyphen.
</p><p>For example, <code>{{mediawiki.external('^abc')}}</code> is the same as <code>{{mediawiki.external('^a-c')}}</code>. They initially match 'r' in "brisket" and 'h' in "chop."  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>{{mediawiki.external('\\b')}}</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches a backspace. (Not to be confused with <code>\b</code>.)  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\b</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches a word boundary, such as a space. (Not to be confused with <code>{{mediawiki.external('\\b')}}</code>.)
</p><p>For example, <code>/\bn\w/</code> matches the 'no' in "noonday"; <code>/\wy\b/</code> matches the 'ly' in "possibly yesterday."  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\B</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches a non-word boundary.
</p><p>For example, <code>/\w\Bn/</code> matches 'on' in "noonday", and <code>/y\B\w/</code> matches 'ye' in "possibly yesterday."  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\cX</code></td>
<td>
<p>Where <code>X</code> is a letter from A - Z. Matches a control character in a string.
</p><p>For example, <code>/\cM/</code> matches control-M in a string.  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\d</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches a digit character. Equivalent to <code>{{mediawiki.external('0-9')}}</code>.
</p><p>For example, <code>/\d/</code> or <code>/{{mediawiki.external('0-9')}}/</code> matches '2' in "B2 is the suite number."  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\D</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches any non-digit character. Equivalent to <code>{{mediawiki.external('^0-9')}}</code>.
</p><p>For example, <code>/\D/</code> or <code>/{{mediawiki.external('^0-9')}}/</code> matches 'B' in "B2 is the suite number."  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\f</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches a form-feed.  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\n</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches a linefeed.  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\r</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches a carriage return.  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\s</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches a single white space character, including space, tab, form feed, line feed. Equivalent to <code>{{mediawiki.external(' \\f\\n\\r\\t\\u00A0\\u2028\\u2029')}}</code>.
</p><p>For example, <code>/\s\w*/</code> matches ' bar' in "foo bar."  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\S</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches a single character other than white space. Equivalent to
<code>{{mediawiki.external('^ \\f\\n\\r\\t\\u00A0\\u2028\\u2029')}}</code>.
</p><p>For example, <code>/\S/\w*</code> matches 'foo' in "foo bar."  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\t</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches a tab.  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\v</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches a vertical tab.  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\w</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches any alphanumeric character including the underscore. Equivalent to <code>{{mediawiki.external('A-Za-z0-9_')}}</code>.
</p><p>For example, <code>/\w/</code> matches 'a' in "apple," '5' in "$5.28," and '3' in "3D."  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\W</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches any non-word character. Equivalent to <code>{{mediawiki.external('^A-Za-z0-9_')}}</code>.
</p><p>For example, <code>/\W/</code> or <code>/{{mediawiki.external('^$A-Za-z0-9_')}}/</code> matches '%' in "50%."  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\n</code></td>
<td>
<p>Where <code>n</code> is a positive integer. A back reference to the last substring matching the n parenthetical in the regular expression (counting left parentheses).
</p><p>For example, <code>/apple(,)\sorange\1/</code> matches 'apple, orange,' in "apple, orange, cherry, peach." A more complete example follows this table.  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\0</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches a NUL character. Do not follow this with another digit.  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\xhh</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches the character with the code hh (two hexadecimal digits)  
</p>
</td>
</tr>

<tr>
<td><code>\uhhhh</code></td>
<td>
<p>Matches the character with code hhhh (four hexadecimal digits).  
</p>
</td>
</tr>
</tbody></table>
<p>The literal notation provides compilation of the regular expression when the expression is evaluated. Use literal notation when the regular expression will remain constant. For example, if you use literal notation to construct a regular expression used in a loop, the regular expression won't be recompiled on each iteration.
</p><p>The constructor of the regular expression object, for example, <code>new RegExp("ab+c")</code>, provides runtime compilation of the regular expression. Use the constructor function when you know the regular expression pattern will be changing, or you don't know the pattern and are getting it from another source, such as user input.
</p><p>A separate predefined <code>RegExp</code> object is available in each window; that is, each separate thread of JavaScript execution gets its own <code>RegExp</code> object. Because each script runs to completion without interruption in a thread, this assures that different scripts do not overwrite values of the <code>RegExp</code> object.
</p>
<h3 name="Properties"> Properties </h3>
<p>Note that several of the <code>RegExp</code> properties have both long and short (Perl-like) names. Both names always refer to the same value. Perl is the programming language from which JavaScript modeled its regular expressions.
</p><p><a href="en/Core_JavaScript_1.5_Reference/Global_Objects/RegExp/constructor">constructor</a>: Specifies the function that creates an object's prototype.  
</p><p><a href="en/Core_JavaScript_1.5_Reference/Global_Objects/RegExp/global">global</a>: Whether to test the regular expression against all possible matches in a string, or only against the first. As of JavaScript 1.5, a property of a RegExp instance, not the RegExp object.  
</p><p><a href="en/Core_JavaScript_1.5_Reference/Global_Objects/RegExp/ignoreCase">ignoreCase</a>: Whether to ignore case while attempting a match in a string. As of JavaScript 1.5, a property of a RegExp instance, not the RegExp object.  
</p><p><a href="en/Core_JavaScript_1.5_Reference/Global_Objects/RegExp/lastIndex">lastIndex</a>: The index at which to start the next match. As of JavaScript 1.5, a property of a RegExp instance, not the RegExp object.  
</p><p><a href="en/Core_JavaScript_1.5_Reference/Global_Objects/RegExp/multiline">multiline</a>: Whether or not to search in strings across multiple lines. As of JavaScript 1.5, a property of a RegExp instance, not the RegExp object.  
</p><p><a href="en/Core_JavaScript_1.5_Reference/Global_Objects/RegExp/prototype">prototype</a>: Allows the addition of properties to all objects.  
</p><p><a href="en/Core_JavaScript_1.5_Reference/Global_Objects/RegExp/source">source</a>: The text of the pattern. As of JavaScript 1.5, a property of a RegExp instance, not the RegExp object.
</p>
<h3 name="Methods"> Methods </h3>
<p><a href="en/Core_JavaScript_1.5_Reference/Global_Objects/RegExp/exec">exec</a>: Executes a search for a match in its string parameter.  
</p><p><a href="en/Core_JavaScript_1.5_Reference/Global_Objects/RegExp/test">test</a>: Tests for a match in its string parameter.  
</p><p><a href="en/Core_JavaScript_1.5_Reference/Global_Objects/RegExp/toSource">toSource</a>: Returns an object literal representing the specified object; you can use this value to create a new object. Overrides the <a href="en/Core_JavaScript_1.5_Reference/Global_Objects/Object/toSource">Object.toSource</a> method.  
</p><p><a href="en/Core_JavaScript_1.5_Reference/Global_Objects/RegExp/toString">toString</a>: Returns a string representing the specified object. Overrides the <a href="en/Core_JavaScript_1.5_Reference/Global_Objects/Object/toString">Object.toString</a> method.
</p><p>In addition, this object inherits the <a href="en/Core_JavaScript_1.5_Reference/Global_Objects/Object/watch">watch</a> and <a href="en/Core_JavaScript_1.5_Reference/Global_Objects/Object/unwatch">unwatch</a> methods from <a href="en/Core_JavaScript_1.5_Reference/Global_Objects/Object">Object</a>.
</p>
<h3 name="Examples"> Examples </h3>
<h4 name="Example:_Using_the_replace_method"> Example: Using the <code>replace</code> method </h4>
<p>The following script uses the <code>replace</code> method to switch the words in the string. In the replacement text, the script uses "<code>$1</code>" and "<code>$2</code>" to indicate the results of the corresponding matching parentheses in the regular expression pattern.
</p>
<pre class="eval">var re = /(\w+)\s(\w+)/;
var str = "John Smith";
var newstr = str.replace(re, "$2, $1");
document.write(newstr);
</pre>
<p>This displays "Smith, John".
</p>
<h4 name="Example:_Using_input"> Example: Using <code>input</code> </h4>
<p>In the following example, <code>RegExp.input</code> is set by the Change event. In the <code>getInfo</code> function, the <code>exec</code> method uses the value of <code>RegExp.input</code> as its argument.
</p>
<pre class="eval">&lt;script&gt;
function getInfo() {
   var re = /(\w+)\s(\d+)/;
   var m = re.exec();
   window.alert(m[0] + ", your age is " + m[2]);
}
&lt;/script&gt;

Enter your first name and your age, and then press Enter.

&lt;form&gt;
&lt;input type="text" name="NameAge" onchange="getInfo(this);"/&gt;
&lt;/form&gt;
</pre>
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