.NET Framework Regular Expressions

Regular expressions provide a powerful, flexible, and efficient method for processing text. The extensive pattern-matching notation of regular expressions allows you to quickly parse large amounts of text to find specific character patterns; to extract, edit, replace, or delete text substrings; or to add the extracted strings to a collection in order to generate a report. For many applications that deal with strings (such as HTML processing, log file parsing, and HTTP header parsing), regular expressions are an indispensable tool.

Microsoft .NET Framework regular expressions incorporate the most popular features of other regular expression implementations such as those in Perl and awk. Designed to be compatible with Perl 5 regular expressions, .NET Framework regular expressions include features not yet seen in other implementations, such as right-to-left matching and on-the-fly compilation.

The .NET Framework regular expression classes are part of the base class library and can be used with any language or tool that targets the common language runtime, including ASP.NET and Visual Studio .NET.

In This Section