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    Command:

    pcresyntax

    
    
    

    PCRE REGULAR EXPRESSION SYNTAX SUMMARY

    
           The  full syntax and semantics of the regular expressions that are sup-
           ported by PCRE are described in  the  pcrepattern  documentation.  This
           document contains just a quick-reference summary of the syntax.
    
    
    

    QUOTING

    
             \x         where x is non-alphanumeric is a literal x
             \Q...\E    treat enclosed characters as literal
    
    
    

    CHARACTERS

    
             \a         alarm, that is, the BEL character (hex 07)
             \cx        "control-x", where x is any character
             \e         escape (hex 1B)
             \f         form feed (hex 0C)
             \n         newline (hex 0A)
             \r         carriage return (hex 0D)
             \t         tab (hex 09)
             \ddd       character with octal code ddd, or backreference
             \xhh       character with hex code hh
             \x{hhh..}  character with hex code hhh..
    
    
    

    CHARACTER TYPES

    
             .          any character except newline;
                          in dotall mode, any character whatsoever
             \C         one byte, even in UTF-8 mode (best avoided)
             \d         a decimal digit
             \D         a character that is not a decimal digit
             \h         a horizontal white space character
             \H         a character that is not a horizontal white space character
             \p{xx}     a character with the xx property
             \P{xx}     a character without the xx property
             \R         a newline sequence
             \s         a white space character
             \S         a character that is not a white space character
             \v         a vertical white space character
             \V         a character that is not a vertical white space character
             \w         a "word" character
             \W         a "non-word" character
             \X         an extended Unicode sequence
    
           In PCRE, \d, \D, \s, \S, \w, and \W recognize only ASCII characters.
    
    
    

    GENERAL CATEGORY PROPERTY CODES FOR \p and \P

    
             C          Other
             Cc         Control
             Cf         Format
             Cn         Unassigned
             Mn         Non-spacing mark
    
             N          Number
             Nd         Decimal number
             Nl         Letter number
             No         Other number
    
             P          Punctuation
             Pc         Connector punctuation
             Pd         Dash punctuation
             Pe         Close punctuation
             Pf         Final punctuation
             Pi         Initial punctuation
             Po         Other punctuation
             Ps         Open punctuation
    
             S          Symbol
             Sc         Currency symbol
             Sk         Modifier symbol
             Sm         Mathematical symbol
             So         Other symbol
    
             Z          Separator
             Zl         Line separator
             Zp         Paragraph separator
             Zs         Space separator
    
    
    

    SCRIPT NAMES FOR \p AND \P

    
           Arabic,  Armenian,  Balinese,  Bengali,  Bopomofo,  Braille,  Buginese,
           Buhid,   Canadian_Aboriginal,   Cherokee,  Common,  Coptic,  Cuneiform,
           Cypriot, Cyrillic, Deseret, Devanagari, Ethiopic, Georgian, Glagolitic,
           Gothic,  Greek, Gujarati, Gurmukhi, Han, Hangul, Hanunoo, Hebrew, Hira-
           gana, Inherited, Kannada,  Katakana,  Kharoshthi,  Khmer,  Lao,  Latin,
           Limbu,  Linear_B,  Malayalam,  Mongolian,  Myanmar,  New_Tai_Lue,  Nko,
           Ogham, Old_Italic, Old_Persian, Oriya, Osmanya,  Phags_Pa,  Phoenician,
           Runic,  Shavian,  Sinhala,  Syloti_Nagri,  Syriac,  Tagalog,  Tagbanwa,
           Tai_Le, Tamil, Telugu, Thaana, Thai, Tibetan, Tifinagh, Ugaritic, Yi.
    
    
    

    CHARACTER CLASSES

    
             [...]       positive character class
             [^...]      negative character class
             [x-y]       range (can be used for hex characters)
             [[:xxx:]]   positive POSIX named set
             [[:^xxx:]]  negative POSIX named set
    
             alnum       alphanumeric
             alpha       alphabetic
             ascii       0-127
             blank       space or tab
             cntrl       control character
    
             ?           0 or 1, greedy
             ?+          0 or 1, possessive
             ??          0 or 1, lazy
             *           0 or more, greedy
             *+          0 or more, possessive
             *?          0 or more, lazy
             +           1 or more, greedy
             ++          1 or more, possessive
             +?          1 or more, lazy
             {n}         exactly n
             {n,m}       at least n, no more than m, greedy
             {n,m}+      at least n, no more than m, possessive
             {n,m}?      at least n, no more than m, lazy
             {n,}        n or more, greedy
             {n,}+       n or more, possessive
             {n,}?       n or more, lazy
    
    
    

    ANCHORS AND SIMPLE ASSERTIONS

    
             \b          word boundary
             \B          not a word boundary
             ^           start of subject
                          also after internal newline in multiline mode
             \A          start of subject
             $           end of subject
                          also before newline at end of subject
                          also before internal newline in multiline mode
             \Z          end of subject
                          also before newline at end of subject
             \z          end of subject
             \G          first matching position in subject
    
    
    

    MATCH POINT RESET

    
             \K          reset start of match
    
    
    

    ALTERNATION

    
             expr|expr|expr...
    
    
    

    CAPTURING

    
             (...)          capturing group
             (?<name>...)   named capturing group (Perl)
             (?'name'...)   named capturing group (Perl)
             (?P<name>...)  named capturing group (Python)
             (?:...)        non-capturing group
             (?|...)        non-capturing group; reset group numbers for
                             capturing groups in each alternative
    
    
    

    ATOMIC GROUPS

             (?x)           extended (ignore white space)
             (?-...)        unset option(s)
    
    
    

    LOOKAHEAD AND LOOKBEHIND ASSERTIONS

    
             (?=...)        positive look ahead
             (?!...)        negative look ahead
             (?<=...)       positive look behind
             (?<!...)       negative look behind
    
           Each top-level branch of a look behind must be of a fixed length.
    
    
    

    BACKREFERENCES

    
             \n             reference by number (can be ambiguous)
             \gn            reference by number
             \g{n}          reference by number
             \g{-n}         relative reference by number
             \k<name>       reference by name (Perl)
             \k'name'       reference by name (Perl)
             \g{name}       reference by name (Perl)
             \k{name}       reference by name (.NET)
             (?P=name)      reference by name (Python)
    
    
    

    SUBROUTINE REFERENCES (POSSIBLY RECURSIVE)

    
             (?R)           recurse whole pattern
             (?n)           call subpattern by absolute number
             (?+n)          call subpattern by relative number
             (?-n)          call subpattern by relative number
             (?&name)       call subpattern by name (Perl)
             (?P>name)      call subpattern by name (Python)
             \g<name>       call subpattern by name (Oniguruma)
             \g'name'       call subpattern by name (Oniguruma)
             \g<n>          call subpattern by absolute number (Oniguruma)
             \g'n'          call subpattern by absolute number (Oniguruma)
             \g<+n>         call subpattern by relative number (PCRE extension)
             \g'+n'         call subpattern by relative number (PCRE extension)
             \g<-n>         call subpattern by relative number (PCRE extension)
             \g'-n'         call subpattern by relative number (PCRE extension)
    
    
    

    CONDITIONAL PATTERNS

    
             (?(condition)yes-pattern)
             (?(condition)yes-pattern|no-pattern)
    
             (?(n)...       absolute reference condition
             (?(+n)...      relative reference condition
             (?(-n)...      relative reference condition
             (?(<name>)...  named reference condition (Perl)
             (?('name')...  named reference condition (Perl)
             (?(name)...    named reference condition (PCRE)
    
           track to reach them. They all force a match failure, but they differ in
           what happens afterwards. Those that advance the start-of-match point do
           so only if the pattern is not anchored.
    
             (*COMMIT)      overall failure, no advance of starting point
             (*PRUNE)       advance to next starting character
             (*SKIP)        advance start to current matching position
             (*THEN)        local failure, backtrack to next alternation
    
    
    

    NEWLINE CONVENTIONS

    
           These are recognized only at the very start of the pattern or  after  a
           (*BSR_...) option.
    
             (*CR)
             (*LF)
             (*CRLF)
             (*ANYCRLF)
             (*ANY)
    
    
    

    WHAT \R MATCHES

    
           These  are  recognized only at the very start of the pattern or after a
           (*...) option that sets the newline convention.
    
             (*BSR_ANYCRLF)
             (*BSR_UNICODE)
    
    
    

    CALLOUTS

    
             (?C)      callout
             (?Cn)     callout with data n
    
    
    

    SEE ALSO

    
           pcrepattern(3), pcreapi(3), pcrecallout(3), pcrematching(3), pcre(3).
    
    
    

    AUTHOR

    
           Philip Hazel
           University Computing Service
           Cambridge CB2 3QH, England.
    
    
    

    REVISION

    
           Last updated: 09 April 2008
           Copyright (c) 1997-2008 University of Cambridge.
    
                                                                     PCRESYNTAX(3)
    
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