Regular Expressions

Expressões regulares são padrões utilizados para selecionar cadeias de caracteres em um texto. Em JavaScript, expressões regulares também são objetos. Elas podem ser utilizadas com os métodos exec e test do objeto RegExp, e com os métodos match, replace, search, e split do objeto String. Este capítulo descreve o uso de expressões regulares em JavaScript.

Criando uma Expressão Regular

Há duas maneiras de construir uma expressão regular:

  • Usando uma expressão literal:
    var re = /ab+c/;
    

    As Expressões Regulares na forma literal são compiladas quando o script é carregado. Esta forma de construção possui melhor performace quando a expressão utilizada é constante, ou seja, não muda durante a execução.

  • Chamando o construtor do objeto RegExp:
    var re = new RegExp("ab+c");
    

    Usando o construtor a compilação da expressão regular é realizada em tempo de execução. Use o construtor quando souber que o padrão da expressão regular irá mudar ou quando o padrão for desconhecido, por provir de outra fonte, tal como uma entrada de usuário.

Escrita de Expressões Regulares

Uma expressão regular é composta de um conjunto de caracteres simples, como /abc/, ou uma combinação de caracteres simples e especiais, como /ab*c/ ou /Capitulo (\d+)\.\d*/. O último exemplo contém parênteses, que são usados como um mecanismo de armazenamento, a seleção feita por essa parte da expressão é armazenada para uso posterior, como descrito em: Using Parenthesized Substring Matches.

Uso de Padrões Simples

Padrões simples são construídos utilizando os caracteres que você deseja selecionar, por exemplo, o padrão /abc/ seleciona combinações de caracteres em strings apenas quando os caracteres 'abc' forem encontrados juntos e na ordem especificada. Esse padrão será encontrado com sucesso nas strings "Olá, você conhece o abc?" e "Os mais recentes aviões evoluíram do slabcraft.". Porém, o padrão não será encontrado no texto "Grab crab" pois apesar de conter os mesmos caractes do padrão, estes não aparecem na ordem especificada.

Uso dos Caracteres Especiais

Quando for necessário buscar algo além de um padrão direto, como no caso se precisar encontrar uma ou mais ocorrências da letra 'b', ou encontrar um caracter de espaço, o padrão deverá utilizar caracteres especiais. Por exemplo, o padrão /ab*c/ selecionará qualquer combinação de caracteres que contenha o caractere 'a' seguido de zero ou mais caracteres 'b' (o caractere * seleciona zero ou mais ocorrências do item que o precede), seguido do caractere 'c'. Se aplicada ao texto 'cbbabbbbcdebc', essa expressão regular selecionará as letras grifadas no texto.

A tabela abaixo fornece uma lista completa dos caracteres especiais que podem ser utilizados nas expressões regulares, com sua respectiva descrição.

Tabela 4.1 Caracteres especiais utilizados em expressões regulares.
Caractere Descrição
\

Aplicado conforme as seguintes regras:

Uma barra invertida que preceda um caractere não especial significa que o caractere seguinte é especial e não deve ser interpretado de forma literal. Por exemplo, o caractere 'b' quando não precedido de uma barra invertida significará uma ocorrência do próprio caractere 'b' minúsculo, porém se precedido da barra invertida '\b' ele passará a significar a ocorrência do caractere especial word boundary character.

Quando a barra invertida preceder um caractere especial isso significará que o próximo caractere deve ser interpretado de forma literal. Por exemplo o padrão /a*/, que selecionará a ocorrência de zero ou mais caracteres 'a' quando utilizado sem a \ para escape. Por outro lado no padrão /a\*/ o asterisco deixa de ter seu significado especial, pois a '\' de escape fará com que o '*' seja interpretado de forma literal, passando o padrão a selecionar o caractere 'a' seguido do caractere '*'.

Quando utilizar o construtor RegExp("padrao"), não se esqueça de fazer o escape do caractere \, já que esse caractere é também utilizado como caractere de escape em strings.

^

Aplica-se no início da entrada. Se a flag multilinhas é postapara  true, também se aplica imediatamente após um caractere de quebra de linha.

Por exemplo, /^A/ não corresponde ao 'A' em "an A", mas corresponde ao 'A' em "An E".


Este caractere tem um significado diferente quando aparece como o primeiro caractere  em um padrão conjunto de caracteres.

Por exemplo, /[^a-z\s]/ acha correspondência para o '3' em "I have 3 sisters".

$

Aplica-se no final da entrada. Se a flag multilinhas é posta para true, também se aplica imediatamente antes de um caractere de quebra de linha.

Por exemplo, /t$/ não corresponde ao 't' em "eater", mas acha correspondência em "eat".

*

Busca correspondência com o caractere precedente 0 ou mais vezes.

Por exemplo, /bo*/ acha uma correspondência para 'boooo' em "A ghost booooed" e 'b' em "A bird warbled", mas nenhuma em "A goat grunted".

+

Busca correspondência com o caractere precedente 1 ou mais vezes. Equivalente a {1,}.

Por exemplo, /a+/ acha correspondência para o 'a' in "candy" e todos os "as" em "caaaaaaandy".

?

Busca o caracter precendente 0 ou 1 vez. Equivalente à {0,1}.

Por exemplo, /e?le?/ casa o 'el' em "angel" e o 'le' em "angle" e também o 'l' em "oslo".

Se usado imediatamente após qualquer um dos quantificadores *, +, ou {}, faz o quantificador não guloso (combinando o número mínimo de vezes), como um oposto para o padrão que é guloso (combinar o número máximo possível). Por exemplo, aplicando /\d+/ em "123abc" casa "123". Mas aplicando /\d+?/, apenas "1" vai ser casado.

Also used in lookahead assertions, described under x(?=y) and x(?!y) 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 [1], ..., [n].

(?: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 [1], ..., [n].
x(?=y)

Matches 'x' only if 'x' is followed by 'y'. This is called a lookahead.

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'. This is called a negated lookahead.

For example, /\d+(?!\.)/ matches a number only if it is not followed by a decimal point. The regular expression /\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 character.

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,m}

Where n and m are positive integers. Matches at least n and at most m occurrences of the preceding character. When either n or m is zero, it can be omitted.

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.

[xyz]

A character set. Matches any one of the enclosed characters. You can specify a range of characters by using a hyphen. Special characters (such as the dot (.) and the asterisk (*)) do not have any special meaning inside a character set. They need not be escaped. Escape sequences also work.

For example, [abcd] is the same as [a-d]. They match the 'b' in "brisket" and the 'c' in "city". /[a-z.]+/ and /[\w.]+/ both match everything in "test.i.ng".

[^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. Everything that works in the normal character set also works here.

For example, [^abc] is the same as [^a-c]. They initially match 'r' in "brisket" and 'h' in "chop."

[\b] Matches a backspace (U+0008). (Not to be confused with \ b.)
\b

Matches a word boundary. A word boundary matches the position where a word character is not followed or preceeded by another word-character. Note that a matched word boundary is not included in the match. In other words, the length of a matched word boundary is zero. (Not to be confused with [\b].)

Examples:
/\bmoo/ matches the 'moo' in "moon" ;
/oo\b/ does not match the 'oo' in "moon", because 'oo' is followed by 'n' which is a word character;
/oon\b/ matches the 'oon' in "moon", because 'oon' is the end of the string, thus not followed by a word character;
/\w\b\w/ will never match anything, because a word character can never be followed by both a non-word and a word character.

\B

Matches a non-word boundary. This matches a position where the previous and next character are of the same type: Either both must be words, or both must be non-words. The beginning and end of a string are considered non-words.

For example, /\B../ matches 'oo' in "noonday" (, and /y\B./ matches 'ye' in "possibly yesterday."

\cX

Where X is a character ranging from A to Z. Matches a control character in a string.

For example, /\cM/ matches control-M (U+000D) in a string.

\d

Matches a digit character. Equivalent to [0-9].

For example, /\d/ or /[0-9]/ matches '2' in "B2 is the suite number."

\D

Matches any non-digit character. Equivalent to [^0-9].

For example, /\D/ or /[^0-9]/ matches 'B' in "B2 is the suite number."

\f Matches a form feed (U+000C).
\n Matches a line feed (U+000A).
\r Matches a carriage return (U+000D).
\s

Matches a single white space character, including space, tab, form feed, line feed. Equivalent to [ \f\n\r\t\v​\u00A0\u1680​\u180e\u2000​\u2001\u2002​\u2003\u2004​\u2005\u2006​\u2007\u2008​\u2009\u200a​\u2028\u2029​\u2028\u2029​\u202f\u205f​\u3000].

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

\S

Matches a single character other than white space. Equivalent to [^ \f\n\r\t\v​\u00A0\u1680​\u180e\u2000​\u2001\u2002​\u2003\u2004​\u2005\u2006​\u2007\u2008​\u2009\u200a​\u2028\u2029​\u2028\u2029​\u202f\u205f​\u3000].

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

\t Matches a tab (U+0009).
\v Matches a vertical tab (U+000B).
\w

Matches any alphanumeric character including the underscore. Equivalent to [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 [^A-Za-z0-9_].

For example, /\W/ or /[^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."

\0 Matches a NULL (U+0000) character. Do not follow this with another digit, because \0<digits> is an octal escape sequence.
\xhh Matches the character with the code hh (two hexadecimal digits)
\uhhhh Matches the character with the code hhhh (four hexadecimal digits).

Using Parentheses

Parentheses around any part of the regular expression pattern cause that part of the matched substring to be remembered. Once remembered, the substring can be recalled for other use, as described in Using Parenthesized Substring Matches.

For example, the pattern /Chapter (\d+)\.\d*/ illustrates additional escaped and special characters and indicates that part of the pattern should be remembered. It matches precisely the characters 'Chapter ' followed by one or more numeric characters (\d means any numeric character and + means 1 or more times), followed by a decimal point (which in itself is a special character; preceding the decimal point with \ means the pattern must look for the literal character '.'), followed by any numeric character 0 or more times (\d means numeric character, * means 0 or more times). In addition, parentheses are used to remember the first matched numeric characters.

This pattern is found in "Open Chapter 4.3, paragraph 6" and '4' is remembered. The pattern is not found in "Chapter 3 and 4", because that string does not have a period after the '3'.

To match a substring without causing the matched part to be remembered, within the parentheses preface the pattern with ?:. For example, (?:\d+) matches one or more numeric characters but does not remember the matched characters.

Working with Regular Expressions

Regular expressions are used with the RegExp methods test and exec and with the String methods match, replace, search, and split. These methods are explained in detail in the JavaScript Reference.

Table 4.2 Methods that use regular expressions
Method Description
exec A RegExp method that executes a search for a match in a string. It returns an array of information.
test A RegExp method that tests for a match in a string. It returns true or false.
match A String method that executes a search for a match in a string. It returns an array of information or null on a mismatch.
search A String method that tests for a match in a string. It returns the index of the match, or -1 if the search fails.
replace A String method that executes a search for a match in a string, and replaces the matched substring with a replacement substring.
split A String method that uses a regular expression or a fixed string to break a string into an array of substrings.

When you want to know whether a pattern is found in a string, use the test or search method; for more information (but slower execution) use the exec or match methods. If you use exec or match and if the match succeeds, these methods return an array and update properties of the associated regular expression object and also of the predefined regular expression object, RegExp. If the match fails, the exec method returns null (which converts to false).

In the following example, the script uses the exec method to find a match in a string.

var myRe = /d(b+)d/g;
var myArray = myRe.exec("cdbbdbsbz");

If you do not need to access the properties of the regular expression, an alternative way of creating myArray is with this script:

var myArray = /d(b+)d/g.exec("cdbbdbsbz");

If you want to construct the regular expression from a string, yet another alternative is this script:

var myRe = new RegExp("d(b+)d", "g");
var myArray = myRe.exec("cdbbdbsbz");

With these scripts, the match succeeds and returns the array and updates the properties shown in the following table.

Table 4.3 Results of regular expression execution.
Object Property or index Description In this example
myArray   The matched string and all remembered substrings. ["dbbd", "bb"]
index The 0-based index of the match in the input string. 1
input The original string. "cdbbdbsbz"
[0] The last matched characters. "dbbd"
myRe lastIndex The index at which to start the next match. (This property is set only if the regular expression uses the g option, described in Advanced Searching With Flags.) 5
source The text of the pattern. Updated at the time that the regular expression is created, not executed. "d(b+)d"

As shown in the second form of this example, you can use a regular expression created with an object initializer without assigning it to a variable. If you do, however, every occurrence is a new regular expression. For this reason, if you use this form without assigning it to a variable, you cannot subsequently access the properties of that regular expression. For example, assume you have this script:

var myRe = /d(b+)d/g;
var myArray = myRe.exec("cdbbdbsbz");
console.log("The value of lastIndex is " + myRe.lastIndex);

This script displays:

The value of lastIndex is 5

However, if you have this script:

var myArray = /d(b+)d/g.exec("cdbbdbsbz");
console.log("The value of lastIndex is " + /d(b+)d/g.lastIndex);

It displays:

The value of lastIndex is 0

The occurrences of /d(b+)d/g in the two statements are different regular expression objects and hence have different values for their lastIndex property. If you need to access the properties of a regular expression created with an object initializer, you should first assign it to a variable.

Using Parenthesized Substring Matches

Including parentheses in a regular expression pattern causes the corresponding submatch to be remembered. For example, /a(b)c/ matches the characters 'abc' and remembers 'b'. To recall these parenthesized substring matches, use the Array elements [1], ..., [n].

The number of possible parenthesized substrings is unlimited. The returned array holds all that were found. The following examples illustrate how to use parenthesized substring matches.

Example 1

The following script uses the replace() method to switch the words in the string. For the replacement text, the script uses the $1 and $2 in the replacement to denote the first and second parenthesized substring matches.

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

This prints "Smith, John".

Advanced Searching With Flags

Regular expressions have four optional flags that allow for global and case insensitive searching. To indicate a global search, use the g flag. To indicate a case-insensitive search, use the i flag. To indicate a multi-line search, use the m flag. To perform a "sticky" search, that matches starting at the current position in the target string, use the y flag. These flags can be used separately or together in any order, and are included as part of the regular expression.

Firefox 3 note

Support for the y flag was added in Firefox 3. The y flag fails if the match doesn't succeed at the current position in the target string.

To include a flag with the regular expression, use this syntax:

var re = /pattern/flags;

or

var re = new RegExp("pattern", "flags");

Note that the flags are an integral part of a regular expression. They cannot be added or removed later.

For example, re = /\w+\s/g creates a regular expression that looks for one or more characters followed by a space, and it looks for this combination throughout the string.

var re = /\w+\s/g;
var str = "fee fi fo fum";
var myArray = str.match(re);
console.log(myArray);

This displays ["fee ", "fi ", "fo "]. In this example, you could replace the line:

var re = /\w+\s/g;

with:

var re = new RegExp("\\w+\\s", "g");

and get the same result.

The m flag is used to specify that a multiline input string should be treated as multiple lines. If the m flag is used, ^ and $ match at the start or end of any line within the input string instead of the start or end of the entire string.

Examples

The following examples show some uses of regular expressions.

Changing the Order in an Input String

The following example illustrates the formation of regular expressions and the use of string.split() and string.replace(). It cleans a roughly formatted input string containing names (first name first) separated by blanks, tabs and exactly one semicolon. Finally, it reverses the name order (last name first) and sorts the list.

// The name string contains multiple spaces and tabs,
// and may have multiple spaces between first and last names.
var names = "Harry Trump ;Fred Barney; Helen Rigby ; Bill Abel ; Chris Hand ";

var output = ["---------- Original String\n", names + "\n"];

// Prepare two regular expression patterns and array storage.
// Split the string into array elements.

// pattern: possible white space then semicolon then possible white space
var pattern = /\s*;\s*/;

// Break the string into pieces separated by the pattern above and
// store the pieces in an array called nameList
var nameList = names.split(pattern);

// new pattern: one or more characters then spaces then characters.
// Use parentheses to "memorize" portions of the pattern.
// The memorized portions are referred to later.
pattern = /(\w+)\s+(\w+)/;

// New array for holding names being processed.
var bySurnameList = [];

// Display the name array and populate the new array
// with comma-separated names, last first.
//
// The replace method removes anything matching the pattern
// and replaces it with the memorized string—second memorized portion
// followed by comma space followed by first memorized portion.
//
// The variables $1 and $2 refer to the portions
// memorized while matching the pattern.

output.push("---------- After Split by Regular Expression");

var i, len;
for (i = 0, len = nameList.length; i < len; i++){
  output.push(nameList[i]);
  bySurnameList[i] = nameList[i].replace(pattern, "$2, $1");
}

// Display the new array.
output.push("---------- Names Reversed");
for (i = 0, len = bySurnameList.length; i < len; i++){
  output.push(bySurnameList[i]);
}

// Sort by last name, then display the sorted array.
bySurnameList.sort();
output.push("---------- Sorted");
for (i = 0, len = bySurnameList.length; i < len; i++){
  output.push(bySurnameList[i]);
}

output.push("---------- End");

console.log(output.join("\n"));

Using Special Characters to Verify Input

In the following example, the user is expected to enter a phone number. When the user presses the "Check" button, the script checks the validity of the number. If the number is valid (matches the character sequence specified by the regular expression), the script shows a message thanking the user and confirming the number. If the number is invalid, the script informs the user that the phone number is not valid at all.

The regular expression looks for zero or one open parenthesis \(?, followed by three digits \d{3}, followed by zero or one close parenthesis \)?, followed by one dash, forward slash, or decimal point and when found, remember the character ([-\/\.]), followed by three digits \d{3}, followed by the remembered match of a dash, forward slash, or decimal point \1, followed by four digits \d{4}.

The Change event activated when the user presses Enter sets the value of RegExp.input.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>  
  <head>  
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1">  
    <meta http-equiv="Content-Script-Type" content="text/javascript">  
    <script type="text/javascript">  
      var re = /\(?\d{3}\)?([-\/\.])\d{3}\1\d{4}/;  
      function testInfo(phoneInput){  
        var OK = re.exec(phoneInput.value);  
        if (!OK)  
          window.alert(RegExp.input + " isn't a phone number with area code!");  
        else
          window.alert("Thanks, your phone number is " + OK[0]);  
      }  
    </script>  
  </head>  
  <body>  
    <p>Enter your phone number (with area code) and then click "Check".
        <br>The expected format is like ###-###-####.</p>
    <form action="#">  
      <input id="phone"><button onclick="testInfo(document.getElementById('phone'));">Check</button>
    </form>  
  </body>  
</html>

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 Última atualização por: programadorthi,