Comparison Chart of Online Regular Expression Testers, overviews and reviews

Comparison Chart of Online Regular Expression Testers, overviews and reviews

Validate your regular expression online, but where? Online regular expression testers, information, programs and tools can help a great deal in finding the right regex for a given task. It can be hard to find the right one with regular search tools like Google or Yahoo because how would you find a particular feature set? In this article I summarize all important features to make it easier for you to decide which one is right for you.

This page is regularly updated, if you want to know whether anything has changed since your last visit, be sure to check the history section, if you know of any omissions or errors of my overview, please let me know.

Quick overview

The following table serves as a quick reference to the features, flavors and methods used by online regular expression testers that I know of or that people have reported to me. First here’s a little explanation on the columns.

name the name and link to the online regex tester, click it to try it
regex flavor(s) the specific flavors the regex tool supports, choose this to find the online regex tool that supports your particular language or flavor
features any of nine features that the tool supports, the tenth (a heart) if it supports something special that makes it worth a specific looks (hint: makes your heart go quicker); each icon corresponds to a feature: match, replace, modifiers, extra options, realtime matching, regex reference available, code generation, animation, benchmarking and extras; check Legenda below for more info on each icon
method whether the tool is client or server side, and, if possible, what language was used for implementation (this influences how the matching process works)
input all support text input by typing or copying, some support a full web page (url) or uploading of a file

Online regular expression tools and testers

Please, let me know if you’ve seen, heard or used one not listed here or if you’re the creator/maintainer of one of those and wish to report an omission. It’s my wish to keep this list up-to-date, but I need your help in keeping it that way. If anything isn’t clear, just drop me note, I’d be happy to help make it clearer.

name regex flavor(s) features method input
JavaScript Regex Tester/Builder JavaScript / EcmaScript
Match yes / no Not available or feature not found Visually animated matching process Not available or feature not found Realtime matching, see the match or replace immediately
Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found
client side JS text
Tool für Regular Expressions unclear
Match yes / no Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found
Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Extra features
server side CGI text, url
Regex PowerToy online PCRE, Java
Match yes / no Search for a match Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found
Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Animated effects, step by step Not available or feature not found Extra features
client side Java text
Spaw Editor’s Regex Test Tool PHP preg_*, POSIX
Match yes / no Search for a match Visually animated matching process Extra options, configuration Not available or feature not found
Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found
server side PHP text
Lavtorvik’s Regular Expression Tool PHP PCRE, POSIX, JS
Match yes / no Search for a match Visually animated matching process Extra options, configuration Realtime matching, see the match or replace immediately
Not available or feature not found Export to a target language Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found
client side JS, AJAX for PHP text
FileFormat.info regex test page Java
Match yes / no Search for a match Visually animated matching process Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found
Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found
server side Java text (x10)
RexExr: Free Online Regex Testing Tool ActionScript 3
Match yes / no Search for a match Not available or feature not found Extra options, configuration Realtime matching, see the match or replace immediately
Extended reference or help available Not available or feature not found Animated effects, step by step Not available or feature not found Extra features
client side Flex, desktop text
Rubular Ruby
Match yes / no Not available or feature not found Visually animated matching process Not available or feature not found Realtime matching, see the match or replace immediately
Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found
AJAX + Ruby text
REGex TESTER v1.5 and v2.0 alpha JavaScript, PREG, EREG
Match yes / no Search for a match Visually animated matching process Not available or feature not found Realtime matching, see the match or replace immediately
Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found
client side js, AJAX for preg/ereg text
A Better .NET Regex tester .NET
Match yes / no Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Extra options, configuration Not available or feature not found
Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found
AJAX + .NET text
Regular Expression Library .NET / VBScript / Ecma
Match yes / no Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Extra options, configuration Not available or feature not found
Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found Not available or feature not found
server side .NET / client side JS text, file, url
Regex Hero, direct link .NET Silverlight
Match yes / no Search for a match Not available or feature not found Extra options, configuration Realtime matching, see the match or replace immediately
Not available or feature not found Export to a target language Not available or feature not found Benchmark your regular expression Not available or feature not found
client side Silverlight text

For the overview above: you can hover over the features to see what they mean. Or use the following legenda, which is the key to the meaning of those little icons. Let me know if you’d like other features listed if you feel they occur often in online regular expression testers.

Legenda
Match yes / no Match succeed / fail against input string supported
Search for a match Replace occurrences in your string
Visually animated matching process Regular expression modifiers supported, like /im, or /smx
Extra options, configuration Extra options avaialable
Realtime matching, see the match or replace immediately Realtime match or replace result while typing the regular expression
Export to a target language Code generation for target language
Extended reference or help available Reference or extensive help available on regular expressions
Animated effects, step by step Play/stop: animated matching process step-by-step or animated help
Benchmark your regular expression Benchmark your regular expressions against a target string
Extra features Extra features: hover your mouse to read them
Not available or feature not found Feature not supported (hover over the icon to see which)

Reviews

With time, I hope to provide a review of each and every online regular expression engine I find. If you have an online parser, tester, tool yourself or you found one not listed, please add a comment to this blog and I’ll quickly add it and evaluate it.

History

A short history of this page, what online regex utility was added when and when I changed or added features or major texts

2009-09-27 added fileformat.info testpage and Lavtorvik’s regular expression tool
2009-09-26 turned “not supported” icon from red (too disturbing) to grey, added heart icon for extra features, added explanation of columns
2009-09-25 changed layout, added icons (courtesy of free icons by pixel mixer, thanks!), added usability, changed and name for Regex Hero
2009-09-20 added Tool für Regular Expressions
2009-09-19 abbreviated features, added legenda for features
2009-09-17 initial post, non-graphical overview, initial list of eight online regex utils

– Abel –

  • http://nyancode.me/ James Rolan

    Hello, I found a new one regular expression tester at http://liveregex.com. Supports multi-lang like PHP, Ruby, Python…. and permalink function for sharing purpose. Also has a diagram to explain the regex. Hope you can add it to the list. Lolz.

  • http://regexhero.net/ Steve Wortham

    Nice list you have here. For what it’s worth, the official URL for the Silverlight Regex Tester is at regexhero.net or a direct link of regexhero.net/tester. If you use it there it’ll fill your browser.

    • http://www.undermyhat.org Abel Braaksma

      Is that the same engine? They seem to be. I’ve updated the references. Nice work, the tester!

      • http://regexhero.net/ Steve Wortham

        Abel,

        Thanks, yeah it is the very same application. RegexLib is even pointing to the URL of the Silverlight XAP file at RegexHero.net. It’s there as a nice-to-have for existing RegexLib users. But yeah, the home of the tester is RegexHero.net.

        Thanks again,
        Steve

      • http://regexhero.net/ Steve Wortham

        Abel,

        I’ve made some updates to Regex Hero. There are a list of features here: http://regexhero.net/about/

        Of note it has a built-in reference, code generation, personal & public (community) libraries. And it allows you to set modifiers (RegexOptions). The one feature I haven’t built yet is step-by-step or animated help.

        Steve

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