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1  .TH PCREPATTERN 3  .TH PCREPATTERN 3 "27 February 2013" "PCRE 8.33"
2  .SH NAME  .SH NAME
3  PCRE - Perl-compatible regular expressions  PCRE - Perl-compatible regular expressions
4  .SH "PCRE REGULAR EXPRESSION DETAILS"  .SH "PCRE REGULAR EXPRESSION DETAILS"
# Line 21  published by O'Reilly, covers regular ex Line 21  published by O'Reilly, covers regular ex
21  description of PCRE's regular expressions is intended as reference material.  description of PCRE's regular expressions is intended as reference material.
22  .P  .P
23  The original operation of PCRE was on strings of one-byte characters. However,  The original operation of PCRE was on strings of one-byte characters. However,
24  there is now also support for UTF-8 character strings. To use this,  there is now also support for UTF-8 strings in the original library, an
25  PCRE must be built to include UTF-8 support, and you must call  extra library that supports 16-bit and UTF-16 character strings, and a
26  \fBpcre_compile()\fP or \fBpcre_compile2()\fP with the PCRE_UTF8 option. There  third library that supports 32-bit and UTF-32 character strings. To use these
27  is also a special sequence that can be given at the start of a pattern:  features, PCRE must be built to include appropriate support. When using UTF
28    strings you must either call the compiling function with the PCRE_UTF8,
29    PCRE_UTF16, or PCRE_UTF32 option, or the pattern must start with one of
30    these special sequences:
31  .sp  .sp
32    (*UTF8)    (*UTF8)
33  .sp    (*UTF16)
34  Starting a pattern with this sequence is equivalent to setting the PCRE_UTF8    (*UTF32)
35  option. This feature is not Perl-compatible. How setting UTF-8 mode affects    (*UTF)
36    .sp
37    (*UTF) is a generic sequence that can be used with any of the libraries.
38    Starting a pattern with such a sequence is equivalent to setting the relevant
39    option. This feature is not Perl-compatible. How setting a UTF mode affects
40  pattern matching is mentioned in several places below. There is also a summary  pattern matching is mentioned in several places below. There is also a summary
41  of UTF-8 features in the  of features in the
42  .\" HREF  .\" HREF
43  \fBpcreunicode\fP  \fBpcreunicode\fP
44  .\"  .\"
45  page.  page.
46  .P  .P
47  Another special sequence that may appear at the start of a pattern or in  Another special sequence that may appear at the start of a pattern or in
48  combination with (*UTF8) is:  combination with (*UTF8), (*UTF16), (*UTF32) or (*UTF) is:
49  .sp  .sp
50    (*UCP)    (*UCP)
51  .sp  .sp
# Line 53  also some more of these special sequence Line 60  also some more of these special sequence
60  of newlines; they are described below.  of newlines; they are described below.
61  .P  .P
62  The remainder of this document discusses the patterns that are supported by  The remainder of this document discusses the patterns that are supported by
63  PCRE when its main matching function, \fBpcre_exec()\fP, is used.  PCRE when one its main matching functions, \fBpcre_exec()\fP (8-bit) or
64  From release 6.0, PCRE offers a second matching function,  \fBpcre[16|32]_exec()\fP (16- or 32-bit), is used. PCRE also has alternative
65  \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP, which matches using a different algorithm that is not  matching functions, \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP and \fBpcre[16|32_dfa_exec()\fP,
66  Perl-compatible. Some of the features discussed below are not available when  which match using a different algorithm that is not Perl-compatible. Some of
67  \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP is used. The advantages and disadvantages of the  the features discussed below are not available when DFA matching is used. The
68  alternative function, and how it differs from the normal function, are  advantages and disadvantages of the alternative functions, and how they differ
69  discussed in the  from the normal functions, are discussed in the
70  .\" HREF  .\" HREF
71  \fBpcrematching\fP  \fBpcrematching\fP
72  .\"  .\"
73  page.  page.
74  .  .
75  .  .
76    .SH "EBCDIC CHARACTER CODES"
77    .rs
78    .sp
79    PCRE can be compiled to run in an environment that uses EBCDIC as its character
80    code rather than ASCII or Unicode (typically a mainframe system). In the
81    sections below, character code values are ASCII or Unicode; in an EBCDIC
82    environment these characters may have different code values, and there are no
83    code points greater than 255.
84    .
85    .
86  .\" HTML <a name="newlines"></a>  .\" HTML <a name="newlines"></a>
87  .SH "NEWLINE CONVENTIONS"  .SH "NEWLINE CONVENTIONS"
88  .rs  .rs
# Line 94  string with one of the following five se Line 111  string with one of the following five se
111    (*ANYCRLF)   any of the three above    (*ANYCRLF)   any of the three above
112    (*ANY)       all Unicode newline sequences    (*ANY)       all Unicode newline sequences
113  .sp  .sp
114  These override the default and the options given to \fBpcre_compile()\fP or  These override the default and the options given to the compiling function. For
115  \fBpcre_compile2()\fP. For example, on a Unix system where LF is the default  example, on a Unix system where LF is the default newline sequence, the pattern
 newline sequence, the pattern  
116  .sp  .sp
117    (*CR)a.b    (*CR)a.b
118  .sp  .sp
# Line 106  Perl-compatible, are recognized only at Line 122  Perl-compatible, are recognized only at
122  they must be in upper case. If more than one of them is present, the last one  they must be in upper case. If more than one of them is present, the last one
123  is used.  is used.
124  .P  .P
125  The newline convention affects the interpretation of the dot metacharacter when  The newline convention affects where the circumflex and dollar assertions are
126  PCRE_DOTALL is not set, and also the behaviour of \eN. However, it does not  true. It also affects the interpretation of the dot metacharacter when
127  affect what the \eR escape sequence matches. By default, this is any Unicode  PCRE_DOTALL is not set, and the behaviour of \eN. However, it does not affect
128  newline sequence, for Perl compatibility. However, this can be changed; see the  what the \eR escape sequence matches. By default, this is any Unicode newline
129    sequence, for Perl compatibility. However, this can be changed; see the
130  description of \eR in the section entitled  description of \eR in the section entitled
131  .\" HTML <a href="#newlineseq">  .\" HTML <a href="#newlineseq">
132  .\" </a>  .\" </a>
# Line 130  corresponding characters in the subject. Line 147  corresponding characters in the subject.
147  .sp  .sp
148  matches a portion of a subject string that is identical to itself. When  matches a portion of a subject string that is identical to itself. When
149  caseless matching is specified (the PCRE_CASELESS option), letters are matched  caseless matching is specified (the PCRE_CASELESS option), letters are matched
150  independently of case. In UTF-8 mode, PCRE always understands the concept of  independently of case. In a UTF mode, PCRE always understands the concept of
151  case for characters whose values are less than 128, so caseless matching is  case for characters whose values are less than 128, so caseless matching is
152  always possible. For characters with higher values, the concept of case is  always possible. For characters with higher values, the concept of case is
153  supported if PCRE is compiled with Unicode property support, but not otherwise.  supported if PCRE is compiled with Unicode property support, but not otherwise.
154  If you want to use caseless matching for characters 128 and above, you must  If you want to use caseless matching for characters 128 and above, you must
155  ensure that PCRE is compiled with Unicode property support as well as with  ensure that PCRE is compiled with Unicode property support as well as with
156  UTF-8 support.  UTF support.
157  .P  .P
158  The power of regular expressions comes from the ability to include alternatives  The power of regular expressions comes from the ability to include alternatives
159  and repetitions in the pattern. These are encoded in the pattern by the use of  and repetitions in the pattern. These are encoded in the pattern by the use of
# Line 192  otherwise be interpreted as a metacharac Line 209  otherwise be interpreted as a metacharac
209  non-alphanumeric with backslash to specify that it stands for itself. In  non-alphanumeric with backslash to specify that it stands for itself. In
210  particular, if you want to match a backslash, you write \e\e.  particular, if you want to match a backslash, you write \e\e.
211  .P  .P
212  In UTF-8 mode, only ASCII numbers and letters have any special meaning after a  In a UTF mode, only ASCII numbers and letters have any special meaning after a
213  backslash. All other characters (in particular, those whose codepoints are  backslash. All other characters (in particular, those whose codepoints are
214  greater than 127) are treated as literals.  greater than 127) are treated as literals.
215  .P  .P
216  If a pattern is compiled with the PCRE_EXTENDED option, whitespace in the  If a pattern is compiled with the PCRE_EXTENDED option, white space in the
217  pattern (other than in a character class) and characters between a # outside  pattern (other than in a character class) and characters between a # outside
218  a character class and the next newline are ignored. An escaping backslash can  a character class and the next newline are ignored. An escaping backslash can
219  be used to include a whitespace or # character as part of the pattern.  be used to include a white space or # character as part of the pattern.
220  .P  .P
221  If you want to remove the special meaning from a sequence of characters, you  If you want to remove the special meaning from a sequence of characters, you
222  can do so by putting them between \eQ and \eE. This is different from Perl in  can do so by putting them between \eQ and \eE. This is different from Perl in
# Line 235  one of the following escape sequences th Line 252  one of the following escape sequences th
252    \ea        alarm, that is, the BEL character (hex 07)    \ea        alarm, that is, the BEL character (hex 07)
253    \ecx       "control-x", where x is any ASCII character    \ecx       "control-x", where x is any ASCII character
254    \ee        escape (hex 1B)    \ee        escape (hex 1B)
255    \ef        formfeed (hex 0C)    \ef        form feed (hex 0C)
256    \en        linefeed (hex 0A)    \en        linefeed (hex 0A)
257    \er        carriage return (hex 0D)    \er        carriage return (hex 0D)
258    \et        tab (hex 09)    \et        tab (hex 09)
259    \eddd      character with octal code ddd, or back reference    \eddd      character with octal code ddd, or back reference
260    \exhh      character with hex code hh    \exhh      character with hex code hh
261    \ex{hhh..} character with hex code hhh.. (non-JavaScript mode)    \ex{hhh..} character with hex code hhh.. (non-JavaScript mode)
262    \euhhhh    character with hex code hhhh (JavaScript mode only)    \euhhhh    character with hex code hhhh (JavaScript mode only)
263  .sp  .sp
264  The precise effect of \ecx is as follows: if x is a lower case letter, it  The precise effect of \ecx on ASCII characters is as follows: if x is a lower
265  is converted to upper case. Then bit 6 of the character (hex 40) is inverted.  case letter, it is converted to upper case. Then bit 6 of the character (hex
266  Thus \ecz becomes hex 1A (z is 7A), but \ec{ becomes hex 3B ({ is 7B), while  40) is inverted. Thus \ecA to \ecZ become hex 01 to hex 1A (A is 41, Z is 5A),
267  \ec; becomes hex 7B (; is 3B). If the byte following \ec has a value greater  but \ec{ becomes hex 3B ({ is 7B), and \ec; becomes hex 7B (; is 3B). If the
268  than 127, a compile-time error occurs. This locks out non-ASCII characters in  data item (byte or 16-bit value) following \ec has a value greater than 127, a
269  both byte mode and UTF-8 mode. (When PCRE is compiled in EBCDIC mode, all byte  compile-time error occurs. This locks out non-ASCII characters in all modes.
270  values are valid. A lower case letter is converted to upper case, and then the  .P
271  0xc0 bits are flipped.)  The \ec facility was designed for use with ASCII characters, but with the
272    extension to Unicode it is even less useful than it once was. It is, however,
273    recognized when PCRE is compiled in EBCDIC mode, where data items are always
274    bytes. In this mode, all values are valid after \ec. If the next character is a
275    lower case letter, it is converted to upper case. Then the 0xc0 bits of the
276    byte are inverted. Thus \ecA becomes hex 01, as in ASCII (A is C1), but because
277    the EBCDIC letters are disjoint, \ecZ becomes hex 29 (Z is E9), and other
278    characters also generate different values.
279  .P  .P
280  By default, after \ex, from zero to two hexadecimal digits are read (letters  By default, after \ex, from zero to two hexadecimal digits are read (letters
281  can be in upper or lower case). Any number of hexadecimal digits may appear  can be in upper or lower case). Any number of hexadecimal digits may appear
282  between \ex{ and }, but the value of the character code must be less than 256  between \ex{ and }, but the character code is constrained as follows:
283  in non-UTF-8 mode, and less than 2**31 in UTF-8 mode. That is, the maximum  .sp
284  value in hexadecimal is 7FFFFFFF. Note that this is bigger than the largest    8-bit non-UTF mode    less than 0x100
285  Unicode code point, which is 10FFFF.    8-bit UTF-8 mode      less than 0x10ffff and a valid codepoint
286      16-bit non-UTF mode   less than 0x10000
287      16-bit UTF-16 mode    less than 0x10ffff and a valid codepoint
288      32-bit non-UTF mode   less than 0x80000000
289      32-bit UTF-32 mode    less than 0x10ffff and a valid codepoint
290    .sp
291    Invalid Unicode codepoints are the range 0xd800 to 0xdfff (the so-called
292    "surrogate" codepoints), and 0xffef.
293  .P  .P
294  If characters other than hexadecimal digits appear between \ex{ and }, or if  If characters other than hexadecimal digits appear between \ex{ and }, or if
295  there is no terminating }, this form of escape is not recognized. Instead, the  there is no terminating }, this form of escape is not recognized. Instead, the
296  initial \ex will be interpreted as a basic hexadecimal escape, with no  initial \ex will be interpreted as a basic hexadecimal escape, with no
297  following digits, giving a character whose value is zero.  following digits, giving a character whose value is zero.
298  .P  .P
299  If the PCRE_JAVASCRIPT_COMPAT option is set, the interpretation of \ex is  If the PCRE_JAVASCRIPT_COMPAT option is set, the interpretation of \ex is
300  as just described only when it is followed by two hexadecimal digits.  as just described only when it is followed by two hexadecimal digits.
301  Otherwise, it matches a literal "x" character. In JavaScript mode, support for  Otherwise, it matches a literal "x" character. In JavaScript mode, support for
302  code points greater than 256 is provided by \eu, which must be followed by  code points greater than 256 is provided by \eu, which must be followed by
303  four hexadecimal digits; otherwise it matches a literal "u" character.  four hexadecimal digits; otherwise it matches a literal "u" character.
304    Character codes specified by \eu in JavaScript mode are constrained in the same
305    was as those specified by \ex in non-JavaScript mode.
306  .P  .P
307  Characters whose value is less than 256 can be defined by either of the two  Characters whose value is less than 256 can be defined by either of the two
308  syntaxes for \ex (or by \eu in JavaScript mode). There is no difference in the  syntaxes for \ex (or by \eu in JavaScript mode). There is no difference in the
309  way they are handled. For example, \exdc is exactly the same as \ex{dc} (or  way they are handled. For example, \exdc is exactly the same as \ex{dc} (or
310  \eu00dc in JavaScript mode).  \eu00dc in JavaScript mode).
311  .P  .P
312  After \e0 up to two further octal digits are read. If there are fewer than two  After \e0 up to two further octal digits are read. If there are fewer than two
# Line 300  parenthesized subpatterns. Line 333  parenthesized subpatterns.
333  Inside a character class, or if the decimal number is greater than 9 and there  Inside a character class, or if the decimal number is greater than 9 and there
334  have not been that many capturing subpatterns, PCRE re-reads up to three octal  have not been that many capturing subpatterns, PCRE re-reads up to three octal
335  digits following the backslash, and uses them to generate a data character. Any  digits following the backslash, and uses them to generate a data character. Any
336  subsequent digits stand for themselves. In non-UTF-8 mode, the value of a  subsequent digits stand for themselves. The value of the character is
337  character specified in octal must be less than \e400. In UTF-8 mode, values up  constrained in the same way as characters specified in hexadecimal.
338  to \e777 are permitted. For example:  For example:
339  .sp  .sp
340    \e040   is another way of writing a space    \e040   is another way of writing an ASCII space
341  .\" JOIN  .\" JOIN
342    \e40    is the same, provided there are fewer than 40    \e40    is the same, provided there are fewer than 40
343              previous capturing subpatterns              previous capturing subpatterns
# Line 319  to \e777 are permitted. For example: Line 352  to \e777 are permitted. For example:
352              character with octal code 113              character with octal code 113
353  .\" JOIN  .\" JOIN
354    \e377   might be a back reference, otherwise    \e377   might be a back reference, otherwise
355              the byte consisting entirely of 1 bits              the value 255 (decimal)
356  .\" JOIN  .\" JOIN
357    \e81    is either a back reference, or a binary zero    \e81    is either a back reference, or a binary zero
358              followed by the two characters "8" and "1"              followed by the two characters "8" and "1"
# Line 328  Note that octal values of 100 or greater Line 361  Note that octal values of 100 or greater
361  zero, because no more than three octal digits are ever read.  zero, because no more than three octal digits are ever read.
362  .P  .P
363  All the sequences that define a single character value can be used both inside  All the sequences that define a single character value can be used both inside
364  and outside character classes. In addition, inside a character class, the  and outside character classes. In addition, inside a character class, \eb is
365  sequence \eb is interpreted as the backspace character (hex 08). The sequences  interpreted as the backspace character (hex 08).
366  \eB, \eN, \eR, and \eX are not special inside a character class. Like any other  .P
367  unrecognized escape sequences, they are treated as the literal characters "B",  \eN is not allowed in a character class. \eB, \eR, and \eX are not special
368  "N", "R", and "X" by default, but cause an error if the PCRE_EXTRA option is  inside a character class. Like other unrecognized escape sequences, they are
369  set. Outside a character class, these sequences have different meanings.  treated as the literal characters "B", "R", and "X" by default, but cause an
370    error if the PCRE_EXTRA option is set. Outside a character class, these
371    sequences have different meanings.
372  .  .
373  .  .
374  .SS "Unsupported escape sequences"  .SS "Unsupported escape sequences"
# Line 390  Another use of backslash is for specifyi Line 425  Another use of backslash is for specifyi
425  .sp  .sp
426    \ed     any decimal digit    \ed     any decimal digit
427    \eD     any character that is not a decimal digit    \eD     any character that is not a decimal digit
428    \eh     any horizontal whitespace character    \eh     any horizontal white space character
429    \eH     any character that is not a horizontal whitespace character    \eH     any character that is not a horizontal white space character
430    \es     any whitespace character    \es     any white space character
431    \eS     any character that is not a whitespace character    \eS     any character that is not a white space character
432    \ev     any vertical whitespace character    \ev     any vertical white space character
433    \eV     any character that is not a vertical whitespace character    \eV     any character that is not a vertical white space character
434    \ew     any "word" character    \ew     any "word" character
435    \eW     any "non-word" character    \eW     any "non-word" character
436  .sp  .sp
# Line 405  This is the same as Line 440  This is the same as
440  .\" </a>  .\" </a>
441  the "." metacharacter  the "." metacharacter
442  .\"  .\"
443  when PCRE_DOTALL is not set. Perl also uses \eN to match characters by name;  when PCRE_DOTALL is not set. Perl also uses \eN to match characters by name;
444  PCRE does not support this.  PCRE does not support this.
445  .P  .P
446  Each pair of lower and upper case escape sequences partitions the complete set  Each pair of lower and upper case escape sequences partitions the complete set
# Line 438  or "french" in Windows, some character c Line 473  or "french" in Windows, some character c
473  accented letters, and these are then matched by \ew. The use of locales with  accented letters, and these are then matched by \ew. The use of locales with
474  Unicode is discouraged.  Unicode is discouraged.
475  .P  .P
476  By default, in UTF-8 mode, characters with values greater than 128 never match  By default, in a UTF mode, characters with values greater than 128 never match
477  \ed, \es, or \ew, and always match \eD, \eS, and \eW. These sequences retain  \ed, \es, or \ew, and always match \eD, \eS, and \eW. These sequences retain
478  their original meanings from before UTF-8 support was available, mainly for  their original meanings from before UTF support was available, mainly for
479  efficiency reasons. However, if PCRE is compiled with Unicode property support,  efficiency reasons. However, if PCRE is compiled with Unicode property support,
480  and the PCRE_UCP option is set, the behaviour is changed so that Unicode  and the PCRE_UCP option is set, the behaviour is changed so that Unicode
481  properties are used to determine character types, as follows:  properties are used to determine character types, as follows:
# Line 457  is noticeably slower when PCRE_UCP is se Line 492  is noticeably slower when PCRE_UCP is se
492  .P  .P
493  The sequences \eh, \eH, \ev, and \eV are features that were added to Perl at  The sequences \eh, \eH, \ev, and \eV are features that were added to Perl at
494  release 5.10. In contrast to the other sequences, which match only ASCII  release 5.10. In contrast to the other sequences, which match only ASCII
495  characters by default, these always match certain high-valued codepoints in  characters by default, these always match certain high-valued codepoints,
496  UTF-8 mode, whether or not PCRE_UCP is set. The horizontal space characters  whether or not PCRE_UCP is set. The horizontal space characters are:
 are:  
497  .sp  .sp
498    U+0009     Horizontal tab    U+0009     Horizontal tab (HT)
499    U+0020     Space    U+0020     Space
500    U+00A0     Non-break space    U+00A0     Non-break space
501    U+1680     Ogham space mark    U+1680     Ogham space mark
# Line 483  are: Line 517  are:
517  .sp  .sp
518  The vertical space characters are:  The vertical space characters are:
519  .sp  .sp
520    U+000A     Linefeed    U+000A     Linefeed (LF)
521    U+000B     Vertical tab    U+000B     Vertical tab (VT)
522    U+000C     Formfeed    U+000C     Form feed (FF)
523    U+000D     Carriage return    U+000D     Carriage return (CR)
524    U+0085     Next line    U+0085     Next line (NEL)
525    U+2028     Line separator    U+2028     Line separator
526    U+2029     Paragraph separator    U+2029     Paragraph separator
527    .sp
528    In 8-bit, non-UTF-8 mode, only the characters with codepoints less than 256 are
529    relevant.
530  .  .
531  .  .
532  .\" HTML <a name="newlineseq"></a>  .\" HTML <a name="newlineseq"></a>
# Line 497  The vertical space characters are: Line 534  The vertical space characters are:
534  .rs  .rs
535  .sp  .sp
536  Outside a character class, by default, the escape sequence \eR matches any  Outside a character class, by default, the escape sequence \eR matches any
537  Unicode newline sequence. In non-UTF-8 mode \eR is equivalent to the following:  Unicode newline sequence. In 8-bit non-UTF-8 mode \eR is equivalent to the
538    following:
539  .sp  .sp
540    (?>\er\en|\en|\ex0b|\ef|\er|\ex85)    (?>\er\en|\en|\ex0b|\ef|\er|\ex85)
541  .sp  .sp
# Line 508  below. Line 546  below.
546  .\"  .\"
547  This particular group matches either the two-character sequence CR followed by  This particular group matches either the two-character sequence CR followed by
548  LF, or one of the single characters LF (linefeed, U+000A), VT (vertical tab,  LF, or one of the single characters LF (linefeed, U+000A), VT (vertical tab,
549  U+000B), FF (formfeed, U+000C), CR (carriage return, U+000D), or NEL (next  U+000B), FF (form feed, U+000C), CR (carriage return, U+000D), or NEL (next
550  line, U+0085). The two-character sequence is treated as a single unit that  line, U+0085). The two-character sequence is treated as a single unit that
551  cannot be split.  cannot be split.
552  .P  .P
553  In UTF-8 mode, two additional characters whose codepoints are greater than 255  In other modes, two additional characters whose codepoints are greater than 255
554  are added: LS (line separator, U+2028) and PS (paragraph separator, U+2029).  are added: LS (line separator, U+2028) and PS (paragraph separator, U+2029).
555  Unicode character property support is not needed for these characters to be  Unicode character property support is not needed for these characters to be
556  recognized.  recognized.
# Line 528  one of the following sequences: Line 566  one of the following sequences:
566    (*BSR_ANYCRLF)   CR, LF, or CRLF only    (*BSR_ANYCRLF)   CR, LF, or CRLF only
567    (*BSR_UNICODE)   any Unicode newline sequence    (*BSR_UNICODE)   any Unicode newline sequence
568  .sp  .sp
569  These override the default and the options given to \fBpcre_compile()\fP or  These override the default and the options given to the compiling function, but
570  \fBpcre_compile2()\fP, but they can be overridden by options given to  they can themselves be overridden by options given to a matching function. Note
571  \fBpcre_exec()\fP or \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP. Note that these special settings,  that these special settings, which are not Perl-compatible, are recognized only
572  which are not Perl-compatible, are recognized only at the very start of a  at the very start of a pattern, and that they must be in upper case. If more
573  pattern, and that they must be in upper case. If more than one of them is  than one of them is present, the last one is used. They can be combined with a
574  present, the last one is used. They can be combined with a change of newline  change of newline convention; for example, a pattern can start with:
 convention; for example, a pattern can start with:  
575  .sp  .sp
576    (*ANY)(*BSR_ANYCRLF)    (*ANY)(*BSR_ANYCRLF)
577  .sp  .sp
578  They can also be combined with the (*UTF8) or (*UCP) special sequences. Inside  They can also be combined with the (*UTF8), (*UTF16), (*UTF32), (*UTF) or
579  a character class, \eR is treated as an unrecognized escape sequence, and so  (*UCP) special sequences. Inside a character class, \eR is treated as an
580  matches the letter "R" by default, but causes an error if PCRE_EXTRA is set.  unrecognized escape sequence, and so matches the letter "R" by default, but
581    causes an error if PCRE_EXTRA is set.
582  .  .
583  .  .
584  .\" HTML <a name="uniextseq"></a>  .\" HTML <a name="uniextseq"></a>
# Line 549  matches the letter "R" by default, but c Line 587  matches the letter "R" by default, but c
587  .sp  .sp
588  When PCRE is built with Unicode character property support, three additional  When PCRE is built with Unicode character property support, three additional
589  escape sequences that match characters with specific properties are available.  escape sequences that match characters with specific properties are available.
590  When not in UTF-8 mode, these sequences are of course limited to testing  When in 8-bit non-UTF-8 mode, these sequences are of course limited to testing
591  characters whose codepoints are less than 256, but they do work in this mode.  characters whose codepoints are less than 256, but they do work in this mode.
592  The extra escape sequences are:  The extra escape sequences are:
593  .sp  .sp
594    \ep{\fIxx\fP}   a character with the \fIxx\fP property    \ep{\fIxx\fP}   a character with the \fIxx\fP property
595    \eP{\fIxx\fP}   a character without the \fIxx\fP property    \eP{\fIxx\fP}   a character without the \fIxx\fP property
596    \eX       an extended Unicode sequence    \eX       a Unicode extended grapheme cluster
597  .sp  .sp
598  The property names represented by \fIxx\fP above are limited to the Unicode  The property names represented by \fIxx\fP above are limited to the Unicode
599  script names, the general category properties, "Any", which matches any  script names, the general category properties, "Any", which matches any
# Line 584  Armenian, Line 622  Armenian,
622  Avestan,  Avestan,
623  Balinese,  Balinese,
624  Bamum,  Bamum,
625    Batak,
626  Bengali,  Bengali,
627  Bopomofo,  Bopomofo,
628    Brahmi,
629  Braille,  Braille,
630  Buginese,  Buginese,
631  Buhid,  Buhid,
632  Canadian_Aboriginal,  Canadian_Aboriginal,
633  Carian,  Carian,
634    Chakma,
635  Cham,  Cham,
636  Cherokee,  Cherokee,
637  Common,  Common,
# Line 633  Lisu, Line 674  Lisu,
674  Lycian,  Lycian,
675  Lydian,  Lydian,
676  Malayalam,  Malayalam,
677    Mandaic,
678  Meetei_Mayek,  Meetei_Mayek,
679    Meroitic_Cursive,
680    Meroitic_Hieroglyphs,
681    Miao,
682  Mongolian,  Mongolian,
683  Myanmar,  Myanmar,
684  New_Tai_Lue,  New_Tai_Lue,
# Line 652  Rejang, Line 697  Rejang,
697  Runic,  Runic,
698  Samaritan,  Samaritan,
699  Saurashtra,  Saurashtra,
700    Sharada,
701  Shavian,  Shavian,
702  Sinhala,  Sinhala,
703    Sora_Sompeng,
704  Sundanese,  Sundanese,
705  Syloti_Nagri,  Syloti_Nagri,
706  Syriac,  Syriac,
# Line 662  Tagbanwa, Line 709  Tagbanwa,
709  Tai_Le,  Tai_Le,
710  Tai_Tham,  Tai_Tham,
711  Tai_Viet,  Tai_Viet,
712    Takri,
713  Tamil,  Tamil,
714  Telugu,  Telugu,
715  Thaana,  Thaana,
# Line 736  the Lu, Ll, or Lt property, in other wor Line 784  the Lu, Ll, or Lt property, in other wor
784  a modifier or "other".  a modifier or "other".
785  .P  .P
786  The Cs (Surrogate) property applies only to characters in the range U+D800 to  The Cs (Surrogate) property applies only to characters in the range U+D800 to
787  U+DFFF. Such characters are not valid in UTF-8 strings (see RFC 3629) and so  U+DFFF. Such characters are not valid in Unicode strings and so
788  cannot be tested by PCRE, unless UTF-8 validity checking has been turned off  cannot be tested by PCRE, unless UTF validity checking has been turned off
789  (see the discussion of PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK in the  (see the discussion of PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK, PCRE_NO_UTF16_CHECK and
790    PCRE_NO_UTF32_CHECK in the
791  .\" HREF  .\" HREF
792  \fBpcreapi\fP  \fBpcreapi\fP
793  .\"  .\"
# Line 753  Instead, this property is assumed for an Line 802  Instead, this property is assumed for an
802  Unicode table.  Unicode table.
803  .P  .P
804  Specifying caseless matching does not affect these escape sequences. For  Specifying caseless matching does not affect these escape sequences. For
805  example, \ep{Lu} always matches only upper case letters.  example, \ep{Lu} always matches only upper case letters. This is different from
806    the behaviour of current versions of Perl.
807  .P  .P
808  The \eX escape matches any number of Unicode characters that form an extended  Matching characters by Unicode property is not fast, because PCRE has to do a
809  Unicode sequence. \eX is equivalent to  multistage table lookup in order to find a character's property. That is why
810  .sp  the traditional escape sequences such as \ed and \ew do not use Unicode
811    (?>\ePM\epM*)  properties in PCRE by default, though you can make them do so by setting the
812    PCRE_UCP option or by starting the pattern with (*UCP).
813    .
814    .
815    .SS Extended grapheme clusters
816    .rs
817  .sp  .sp
818  That is, it matches a character without the "mark" property, followed by zero  The \eX escape matches any number of Unicode characters that form an "extended
819  or more characters with the "mark" property, and treats the sequence as an  grapheme cluster", and treats the sequence as an atomic group
 atomic group  
820  .\" HTML <a href="#atomicgroup">  .\" HTML <a href="#atomicgroup">
821  .\" </a>  .\" </a>
822  (see below).  (see below).
823  .\"  .\"
824  Characters with the "mark" property are typically accents that affect the  Up to and including release 8.31, PCRE matched an earlier, simpler definition
825  preceding character. None of them have codepoints less than 256, so in  that was equivalent to
826  non-UTF-8 mode \eX matches any one character.  .sp
827  .P    (?>\ePM\epM*)
828  Note that recent versions of Perl have changed \eX to match what Unicode calls  .sp
829  an "extended grapheme cluster", which has a more complicated definition.  That is, it matched a character without the "mark" property, followed by zero
830  .P  or more characters with the "mark" property. Characters with the "mark"
831  Matching characters by Unicode property is not fast, because PCRE has to search  property are typically non-spacing accents that affect the preceding character.
832  a structure that contains data for over fifteen thousand characters. That is  .P
833  why the traditional escape sequences such as \ed and \ew do not use Unicode  This simple definition was extended in Unicode to include more complicated
834  properties in PCRE by default, though you can make them do so by setting the  kinds of composite character by giving each character a grapheme breaking
835  PCRE_UCP option for \fBpcre_compile()\fP or by starting the pattern with  property, and creating rules that use these properties to define the boundaries
836  (*UCP).  of extended grapheme clusters. In releases of PCRE later than 8.31, \eX matches
837    one of these clusters.
838    .P
839    \eX always matches at least one character. Then it decides whether to add
840    additional characters according to the following rules for ending a cluster:
841    .P
842    1. End at the end of the subject string.
843    .P
844    2. Do not end between CR and LF; otherwise end after any control character.
845    .P
846    3. Do not break Hangul (a Korean script) syllable sequences. Hangul characters
847    are of five types: L, V, T, LV, and LVT. An L character may be followed by an
848    L, V, LV, or LVT character; an LV or V character may be followed by a V or T
849    character; an LVT or T character may be follwed only by a T character.
850    .P
851    4. Do not end before extending characters or spacing marks. Characters with
852    the "mark" property always have the "extend" grapheme breaking property.
853    .P
854    5. Do not end after prepend characters.
855    .P
856    6. Otherwise, end the cluster.
857  .  .
858  .  .
859  .\" HTML <a name="extraprops"></a>  .\" HTML <a name="extraprops"></a>
860  .SS PCRE's additional properties  .SS PCRE's additional properties
861  .rs  .rs
862  .sp  .sp
863  As well as the standard Unicode properties described in the previous  As well as the standard Unicode properties described above, PCRE supports four
864  section, PCRE supports four more that make it possible to convert traditional  more that make it possible to convert traditional escape sequences such as \ew
865  escape sequences such as \ew and \es and POSIX character classes to use Unicode  and \es and POSIX character classes to use Unicode properties. PCRE uses these
866  properties. PCRE uses these non-standard, non-Perl properties internally when  non-standard, non-Perl properties internally when PCRE_UCP is set. However,
867  PCRE_UCP is set. They are:  they may also be used explicitly. These properties are:
868  .sp  .sp
869    Xan   Any alphanumeric character    Xan   Any alphanumeric character
870    Xps   Any POSIX space character    Xps   Any POSIX space character
# Line 798  PCRE_UCP is set. They are: Line 872  PCRE_UCP is set. They are:
872    Xwd   Any Perl "word" character    Xwd   Any Perl "word" character
873  .sp  .sp
874  Xan matches characters that have either the L (letter) or the N (number)  Xan matches characters that have either the L (letter) or the N (number)
875  property. Xps matches the characters tab, linefeed, vertical tab, formfeed, or  property. Xps matches the characters tab, linefeed, vertical tab, form feed, or
876  carriage return, and any other character that has the Z (separator) property.  carriage return, and any other character that has the Z (separator) property.
877  Xsp is the same as Xps, except that vertical tab is excluded. Xwd matches the  Xsp is the same as Xps, except that vertical tab is excluded. Xwd matches the
878  same characters as Xan, plus underscore.  same characters as Xan, plus underscore.
879    .P
880    There is another non-standard property, Xuc, which matches any character that
881    can be represented by a Universal Character Name in C++ and other programming
882    languages. These are the characters $, @, ` (grave accent), and all characters
883    with Unicode code points greater than or equal to U+00A0, except for the
884    surrogates U+D800 to U+DFFF. Note that most base (ASCII) characters are
885    excluded. (Universal Character Names are of the form \euHHHH or \eUHHHHHHHH
886    where H is a hexadecimal digit. Note that the Xuc property does not match these
887    sequences but the characters that they represent.)
888  .  .
889  .  .
890  .\" HTML <a name="resetmatchstart"></a>  .\" HTML <a name="resetmatchstart"></a>
# Line 868  escape sequence" error is generated inst Line 951  escape sequence" error is generated inst
951  A word boundary is a position in the subject string where the current character  A word boundary is a position in the subject string where the current character
952  and the previous character do not both match \ew or \eW (i.e. one matches  and the previous character do not both match \ew or \eW (i.e. one matches
953  \ew and the other matches \eW), or the start or end of the string if the  \ew and the other matches \eW), or the start or end of the string if the
954  first or last character matches \ew, respectively. In UTF-8 mode, the meanings  first or last character matches \ew, respectively. In a UTF mode, the meanings
955  of \ew and \eW can be changed by setting the PCRE_UCP option. When this is  of \ew and \eW can be changed by setting the PCRE_UCP option. When this is
956  done, it also affects \eb and \eB. Neither PCRE nor Perl has a separate "start  done, it also affects \eb and \eB. Neither PCRE nor Perl has a separate "start
957  of word" or "end of word" metasequence. However, whatever follows \eb normally  of word" or "end of word" metasequence. However, whatever follows \eb normally
# Line 907  regular expression. Line 990  regular expression.
990  .SH "CIRCUMFLEX AND DOLLAR"  .SH "CIRCUMFLEX AND DOLLAR"
991  .rs  .rs
992  .sp  .sp
993    The circumflex and dollar metacharacters are zero-width assertions. That is,
994    they test for a particular condition being true without consuming any
995    characters from the subject string.
996    .P
997  Outside a character class, in the default matching mode, the circumflex  Outside a character class, in the default matching mode, the circumflex
998  character is an assertion that is true only if the current matching point is  character is an assertion that is true only if the current matching point is at
999  at the start of the subject string. If the \fIstartoffset\fP argument of  the start of the subject string. If the \fIstartoffset\fP argument of
1000  \fBpcre_exec()\fP is non-zero, circumflex can never match if the PCRE_MULTILINE  \fBpcre_exec()\fP is non-zero, circumflex can never match if the PCRE_MULTILINE
1001  option is unset. Inside a character class, circumflex has an entirely different  option is unset. Inside a character class, circumflex has an entirely different
1002  meaning  meaning
# Line 926  constrained to match only at the start o Line 1013  constrained to match only at the start o
1013  "anchored" pattern. (There are also other constructs that can cause a pattern  "anchored" pattern. (There are also other constructs that can cause a pattern
1014  to be anchored.)  to be anchored.)
1015  .P  .P
1016  A dollar character is an assertion that is true only if the current matching  The dollar character is an assertion that is true only if the current matching
1017  point is at the end of the subject string, or immediately before a newline  point is at the end of the subject string, or immediately before a newline at
1018  at the end of the string (by default). Dollar need not be the last character of  the end of the string (by default). Note, however, that it does not actually
1019  the pattern if a number of alternatives are involved, but it should be the last  match the newline. Dollar need not be the last character of the pattern if a
1020  item in any branch in which it appears. Dollar has no special meaning in a  number of alternatives are involved, but it should be the last item in any
1021  character class.  branch in which it appears. Dollar has no special meaning in a character class.
1022  .P  .P
1023  The meaning of dollar can be changed so that it matches only at the very end of  The meaning of dollar can be changed so that it matches only at the very end of
1024  the string, by setting the PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY option at compile time. This  the string, by setting the PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY option at compile time. This
# Line 963  end of the subject in both modes, and if Line 1050  end of the subject in both modes, and if
1050  .sp  .sp
1051  Outside a character class, a dot in the pattern matches any one character in  Outside a character class, a dot in the pattern matches any one character in
1052  the subject string except (by default) a character that signifies the end of a  the subject string except (by default) a character that signifies the end of a
1053  line. In UTF-8 mode, the matched character may be more than one byte long.  line.
1054  .P  .P
1055  When a line ending is defined as a single character, dot never matches that  When a line ending is defined as a single character, dot never matches that
1056  character; when the two-character sequence CRLF is used, dot does not match CR  character; when the two-character sequence CRLF is used, dot does not match CR
# Line 987  that signifies the end of a line. Perl a Line 1074  that signifies the end of a line. Perl a
1074  name; PCRE does not support this.  name; PCRE does not support this.
1075  .  .
1076  .  .
1077  .SH "MATCHING A SINGLE BYTE"  .SH "MATCHING A SINGLE DATA UNIT"
1078  .rs  .rs
1079  .sp  .sp
1080  Outside a character class, the escape sequence \eC matches any one byte, both  Outside a character class, the escape sequence \eC matches any one data unit,
1081  in and out of UTF-8 mode. Unlike a dot, it always matches line-ending  whether or not a UTF mode is set. In the 8-bit library, one data unit is one
1082  characters. The feature is provided in Perl in order to match individual bytes  byte; in the 16-bit library it is a 16-bit unit; in the 32-bit library it is
1083  in UTF-8 mode, but it is unclear how it can usefully be used. Because \eC  a 32-bit unit. Unlike a dot, \eC always
1084  breaks up characters into individual bytes, matching one byte with \eC in UTF-8  matches line-ending characters. The feature is provided in Perl in order to
1085  mode means that the rest of the string may start with a malformed UTF-8  match individual bytes in UTF-8 mode, but it is unclear how it can usefully be
1086  character. This has undefined results, because PCRE assumes that it is dealing  used. Because \eC breaks up characters into individual data units, matching one
1087  with valid UTF-8 strings (and by default it checks this at the start of  unit with \eC in a UTF mode means that the rest of the string may start with a
1088  processing unless the PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK option is used).  malformed UTF character. This has undefined results, because PCRE assumes that
1089    it is dealing with valid UTF strings (and by default it checks this at the
1090    start of processing unless the PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK, PCRE_NO_UTF16_CHECK or
1091    PCRE_NO_UTF32_CHECK option is used).
1092  .P  .P
1093  PCRE does not allow \eC to appear in lookbehind assertions  PCRE does not allow \eC to appear in lookbehind assertions
1094  .\" HTML <a href="#lookbehind">  .\" HTML <a href="#lookbehind">
1095  .\" </a>  .\" </a>
1096  (described below),  (described below)
1097  .\"  .\"
1098  because in UTF-8 mode this would make it impossible to calculate the length of  in a UTF mode, because this would make it impossible to calculate the length of
1099  the lookbehind.  the lookbehind.
1100  .P  .P
1101  In general, the \eC escape sequence is best avoided in UTF-8 mode. However, one  In general, the \eC escape sequence is best avoided. However, one
1102  way of using it that avoids the problem of malformed UTF-8 characters is to  way of using it that avoids the problem of malformed UTF characters is to use a
1103  use a lookahead to check the length of the next character, as in this pattern  lookahead to check the length of the next character, as in this pattern, which
1104  (ignore white space and line breaks):  could be used with a UTF-8 string (ignore white space and line breaks):
1105  .sp  .sp
1106    (?| (?=[\ex00-\ex7f])(\eC) |    (?| (?=[\ex00-\ex7f])(\eC) |
1107        (?=[\ex80-\ex{7ff}])(\eC)(\eC) |        (?=[\ex80-\ex{7ff}])(\eC)(\eC) |
# Line 1041  bracket causes a compile-time error. If Line 1131  bracket causes a compile-time error. If
1131  a member of the class, it should be the first data character in the class  a member of the class, it should be the first data character in the class
1132  (after an initial circumflex, if present) or escaped with a backslash.  (after an initial circumflex, if present) or escaped with a backslash.
1133  .P  .P
1134  A character class matches a single character in the subject. In UTF-8 mode, the  A character class matches a single character in the subject. In a UTF mode, the
1135  character may be more than one byte long. A matched character must be in the  character may be more than one data unit long. A matched character must be in
1136  set of characters defined by the class, unless the first character in the class  the set of characters defined by the class, unless the first character in the
1137  definition is a circumflex, in which case the subject character must not be in  class definition is a circumflex, in which case the subject character must not
1138  the set defined by the class. If a circumflex is actually required as a member  be in the set defined by the class. If a circumflex is actually required as a
1139  of the class, ensure it is not the first character, or escape it with a  member of the class, ensure it is not the first character, or escape it with a
1140  backslash.  backslash.
1141  .P  .P
1142  For example, the character class [aeiou] matches any lower case vowel, while  For example, the character class [aeiou] matches any lower case vowel, while
# Line 1057  circumflex is not an assertion; it still Line 1147  circumflex is not an assertion; it still
1147  string, and therefore it fails if the current pointer is at the end of the  string, and therefore it fails if the current pointer is at the end of the
1148  string.  string.
1149  .P  .P
1150  In UTF-8 mode, characters with values greater than 255 can be included in a  In UTF-8 (UTF-16, UTF-32) mode, characters with values greater than 255 (0xffff)
1151  class as a literal string of bytes, or by using the \ex{ escaping mechanism.  can be included in a class as a literal string of data units, or by using the
1152    \ex{ escaping mechanism.
1153  .P  .P
1154  When caseless matching is set, any letters in a class represent both their  When caseless matching is set, any letters in a class represent both their
1155  upper case and lower case versions, so for example, a caseless [aeiou] matches  upper case and lower case versions, so for example, a caseless [aeiou] matches
1156  "A" as well as "a", and a caseless [^aeiou] does not match "A", whereas a  "A" as well as "a", and a caseless [^aeiou] does not match "A", whereas a
1157  caseful version would. In UTF-8 mode, PCRE always understands the concept of  caseful version would. In a UTF mode, PCRE always understands the concept of
1158  case for characters whose values are less than 128, so caseless matching is  case for characters whose values are less than 128, so caseless matching is
1159  always possible. For characters with higher values, the concept of case is  always possible. For characters with higher values, the concept of case is
1160  supported if PCRE is compiled with Unicode property support, but not otherwise.  supported if PCRE is compiled with Unicode property support, but not otherwise.
1161  If you want to use caseless matching in UTF8-mode for characters 128 and above,  If you want to use caseless matching in a UTF mode for characters 128 and
1162  you must ensure that PCRE is compiled with Unicode property support as well as  above, you must ensure that PCRE is compiled with Unicode property support as
1163  with UTF-8 support.  well as with UTF support.
1164  .P  .P
1165  Characters that might indicate line breaks are never treated in any special way  Characters that might indicate line breaks are never treated in any special way
1166  when matching character classes, whatever line-ending sequence is in use, and  when matching character classes, whatever line-ending sequence is in use, and
# Line 1091  followed by two other characters. The oc Line 1182  followed by two other characters. The oc
1182  "]" can also be used to end a range.  "]" can also be used to end a range.
1183  .P  .P
1184  Ranges operate in the collating sequence of character values. They can also be  Ranges operate in the collating sequence of character values. They can also be
1185  used for characters specified numerically, for example [\e000-\e037]. In UTF-8  used for characters specified numerically, for example [\e000-\e037]. Ranges
1186  mode, ranges can include characters whose values are greater than 255, for  can include any characters that are valid for the current mode.
 example [\ex{100}-\ex{2ff}].  
1187  .P  .P
1188  If a range that includes letters is used when caseless matching is set, it  If a range that includes letters is used when caseless matching is set, it
1189  matches the letters in either case. For example, [W-c] is equivalent to  matches the letters in either case. For example, [W-c] is equivalent to
1190  [][\e\e^_`wxyzabc], matched caselessly, and in non-UTF-8 mode, if character  [][\e\e^_`wxyzabc], matched caselessly, and in a non-UTF mode, if character
1191  tables for a French locale are in use, [\exc8-\excb] matches accented E  tables for a French locale are in use, [\exc8-\excb] matches accented E
1192  characters in both cases. In UTF-8 mode, PCRE supports the concept of case for  characters in both cases. In UTF modes, PCRE supports the concept of case for
1193  characters with values greater than 128 only when it is compiled with Unicode  characters with values greater than 128 only when it is compiled with Unicode
1194  property support.  property support.
1195  .P  .P
1196  The character escape sequences \ed, \eD, \eh, \eH, \ep, \eP, \es, \eS, \ev,  The character escape sequences \ed, \eD, \eh, \eH, \ep, \eP, \es, \eS, \ev,
1197  \eV, \ew, and \eW may appear in a character class, and add the characters that  \eV, \ew, and \eW may appear in a character class, and add the characters that
1198  they match to the class. For example, [\edABCDEF] matches any hexadecimal  they match to the class. For example, [\edABCDEF] matches any hexadecimal
1199  digit. In UTF-8 mode, the PCRE_UCP option affects the meanings of \ed, \es, \ew  digit. In UTF modes, the PCRE_UCP option affects the meanings of \ed, \es, \ew
1200  and their upper case partners, just as it does when they appear outside a  and their upper case partners, just as it does when they appear outside a
1201  character class, as described in the section entitled  character class, as described in the section entitled
1202  .\" HTML <a href="#genericchartypes">  .\" HTML <a href="#genericchartypes">
# Line 1176  matches "1", "2", or any non-digit. PCRE Line 1266  matches "1", "2", or any non-digit. PCRE
1266  syntax [.ch.] and [=ch=] where "ch" is a "collating element", but these are not  syntax [.ch.] and [=ch=] where "ch" is a "collating element", but these are not
1267  supported, and an error is given if they are encountered.  supported, and an error is given if they are encountered.
1268  .P  .P
1269  By default, in UTF-8 mode, characters with values greater than 128 do not match  By default, in UTF modes, characters with values greater than 128 do not match
1270  any of the POSIX character classes. However, if the PCRE_UCP option is passed  any of the POSIX character classes. However, if the PCRE_UCP option is passed
1271  to \fBpcre_compile()\fP, some of the classes are changed so that Unicode  to \fBpcre_compile()\fP, some of the classes are changed so that Unicode
1272  character properties are used. This is achieved by replacing the POSIX classes  character properties are used. This is achieved by replacing the POSIX classes
# Line 1264  option settings happen at compile time. Line 1354  option settings happen at compile time.
1354  behaviour otherwise.  behaviour otherwise.
1355  .P  .P
1356  \fBNote:\fP There are other PCRE-specific options that can be set by the  \fBNote:\fP There are other PCRE-specific options that can be set by the
1357  application when the compile or match functions are called. In some cases the  application when the compiling or matching functions are called. In some cases
1358  pattern can contain special leading sequences such as (*CRLF) to override what  the pattern can contain special leading sequences such as (*CRLF) to override
1359  the application has set or what has been defaulted. Details are given in the  what the application has set or what has been defaulted. Details are given in
1360  section entitled  the section entitled
1361  .\" HTML <a href="#newlineseq">  .\" HTML <a href="#newlineseq">
1362  .\" </a>  .\" </a>
1363  "Newline sequences"  "Newline sequences"
1364  .\"  .\"
1365  above. There are also the (*UTF8) and (*UCP) leading sequences that can be used  above. There are also the (*UTF8), (*UTF16),(*UTF32), and (*UCP) leading
1366  to set UTF-8 and Unicode property modes; they are equivalent to setting the  sequences that can be used to set UTF and Unicode property modes; they are
1367  PCRE_UTF8 and the PCRE_UCP options, respectively.  equivalent to setting the PCRE_UTF8, PCRE_UTF16, PCRE_UTF32 and the PCRE_UCP
1368    options, respectively. The (*UTF) sequence is a generic version that can be
1369    used with any of the libraries.
1370  .  .
1371  .  .
1372  .\" HTML <a name="subpattern"></a>  .\" HTML <a name="subpattern"></a>
# Line 1293  match "cataract", "erpillar" or an empty Line 1385  match "cataract", "erpillar" or an empty
1385  .sp  .sp
1386  2. It sets up the subpattern as a capturing subpattern. This means that, when  2. It sets up the subpattern as a capturing subpattern. This means that, when
1387  the whole pattern matches, that portion of the subject string that matched the  the whole pattern matches, that portion of the subject string that matched the
1388  subpattern is passed back to the caller via the \fIovector\fP argument of  subpattern is passed back to the caller via the \fIovector\fP argument of the
1389  \fBpcre_exec()\fP. Opening parentheses are counted from left to right (starting  matching function. (This applies only to the traditional matching functions;
1390  from 1) to obtain numbers for the capturing subpatterns. For example, if the  the DFA matching functions do not support capturing.)
1391  string "the red king" is matched against the pattern  .P
1392    Opening parentheses are counted from left to right (starting from 1) to obtain
1393    numbers for the capturing subpatterns. For example, if the string "the red
1394    king" is matched against the pattern
1395  .sp  .sp
1396    the ((red|white) (king|queen))    the ((red|white) (king|queen))
1397  .sp  .sp
# Line 1472  items: Line 1567  items:
1567    a literal data character    a literal data character
1568    the dot metacharacter    the dot metacharacter
1569    the \eC escape sequence    the \eC escape sequence
1570    the \eX escape sequence (in UTF-8 mode with Unicode properties)    the \eX escape sequence
1571    the \eR escape sequence    the \eR escape sequence
1572    an escape such as \ed or \epL that matches a single character    an escape such as \ed or \epL that matches a single character
1573    a character class    a character class
# Line 1503  where a quantifier is not allowed, or on Line 1598  where a quantifier is not allowed, or on
1598  quantifier, is taken as a literal character. For example, {,6} is not a  quantifier, is taken as a literal character. For example, {,6} is not a
1599  quantifier, but a literal string of four characters.  quantifier, but a literal string of four characters.
1600  .P  .P
1601  In UTF-8 mode, quantifiers apply to UTF-8 characters rather than to individual  In UTF modes, quantifiers apply to characters rather than to individual data
1602  bytes. Thus, for example, \ex{100}{2} matches two UTF-8 characters, each of  units. Thus, for example, \ex{100}{2} matches two characters, each of
1603  which is represented by a two-byte sequence. Similarly, when Unicode property  which is represented by a two-byte sequence in a UTF-8 string. Similarly,
1604  support is available, \eX{3} matches three Unicode extended sequences, each of  \eX{3} matches three Unicode extended grapheme clusters, each of which may be
1605  which may be several bytes long (and they may be of different lengths).  several data units long (and they may be of different lengths).
1606  .P  .P
1607  The quantifier {0} is permitted, causing the expression to behave as if the  The quantifier {0} is permitted, causing the expression to behave as if the
1608  previous item and the quantifier were not present. This may be useful for  previous item and the quantifier were not present. This may be useful for
# Line 1593  In cases where it is known that the subj Line 1688  In cases where it is known that the subj
1688  worth setting PCRE_DOTALL in order to obtain this optimization, or  worth setting PCRE_DOTALL in order to obtain this optimization, or
1689  alternatively using ^ to indicate anchoring explicitly.  alternatively using ^ to indicate anchoring explicitly.
1690  .P  .P
1691  However, there is one situation where the optimization cannot be used. When .*  However, there are some cases where the optimization cannot be used. When .*
1692  is inside capturing parentheses that are the subject of a back reference  is inside capturing parentheses that are the subject of a back reference
1693  elsewhere in the pattern, a match at the start may fail where a later one  elsewhere in the pattern, a match at the start may fail where a later one
1694  succeeds. Consider, for example:  succeeds. Consider, for example:
# Line 1603  succeeds. Consider, for example: Line 1698  succeeds. Consider, for example:
1698  If the subject is "xyz123abc123" the match point is the fourth character. For  If the subject is "xyz123abc123" the match point is the fourth character. For
1699  this reason, such a pattern is not implicitly anchored.  this reason, such a pattern is not implicitly anchored.
1700  .P  .P
1701    Another case where implicit anchoring is not applied is when the leading .* is
1702    inside an atomic group. Once again, a match at the start may fail where a later
1703    one succeeds. Consider this pattern:
1704    .sp
1705      (?>.*?a)b
1706    .sp
1707    It matches "ab" in the subject "aab". The use of the backtracking control verbs
1708    (*PRUNE) and (*SKIP) also disable this optimization.
1709    .P
1710  When a capturing subpattern is repeated, the value captured is the substring  When a capturing subpattern is repeated, the value captured is the substring
1711  that matched the final iteration. For example, after  that matched the final iteration. For example, after
1712  .sp  .sp
# Line 1817  Because there may be many capturing pare Line 1921  Because there may be many capturing pare
1921  following a backslash are taken as part of a potential back reference number.  following a backslash are taken as part of a potential back reference number.
1922  If the pattern continues with a digit character, some delimiter must be used to  If the pattern continues with a digit character, some delimiter must be used to
1923  terminate the back reference. If the PCRE_EXTENDED option is set, this can be  terminate the back reference. If the PCRE_EXTENDED option is set, this can be
1924  whitespace. Otherwise, the \eg{ syntax or an empty comment (see  white space. Otherwise, the \eg{ syntax or an empty comment (see
1925  .\" HTML <a href="#comments">  .\" HTML <a href="#comments">
1926  .\" </a>  .\" </a>
1927  "Comments"  "Comments"
# Line 1970  temporarily move the current position ba Line 2074  temporarily move the current position ba
2074  match. If there are insufficient characters before the current position, the  match. If there are insufficient characters before the current position, the
2075  assertion fails.  assertion fails.
2076  .P  .P
2077  PCRE does not allow the \eC escape (which matches a single byte in UTF-8 mode)  In a UTF mode, PCRE does not allow the \eC escape (which matches a single data
2078  to appear in lookbehind assertions, because it makes it impossible to calculate  unit even in a UTF mode) to appear in lookbehind assertions, because it makes
2079  the length of the lookbehind. The \eX and \eR escapes, which can match  it impossible to calculate the length of the lookbehind. The \eX and \eR
2080  different numbers of bytes, are also not permitted.  escapes, which can match different numbers of data units, are also not
2081    permitted.
2082  .P  .P
2083  .\" HTML <a href="#subpatternsassubroutines">  .\" HTML <a href="#subpatternsassubroutines">
2084  .\" </a>  .\" </a>
# Line 2173  subroutines that can be referenced from Line 2278  subroutines that can be referenced from
2278  subroutines  subroutines
2279  .\"  .\"
2280  is described below.) For example, a pattern to match an IPv4 address such as  is described below.) For example, a pattern to match an IPv4 address such as
2281  "192.168.23.245" could be written like this (ignore whitespace and line  "192.168.23.245" could be written like this (ignore white space and line
2282  breaks):  breaks):
2283  .sp  .sp
2284    (?(DEFINE) (?<byte> 2[0-4]\ed | 25[0-5] | 1\ed\ed | [1-9]?\ed) )    (?(DEFINE) (?<byte> 2[0-4]\ed | 25[0-5] | 1\ed\ed | [1-9]?\ed) )
# Line 2220  closing parenthesis. Nested parentheses Line 2325  closing parenthesis. Nested parentheses
2325  option is set, an unescaped # character also introduces a comment, which in  option is set, an unescaped # character also introduces a comment, which in
2326  this case continues to immediately after the next newline character or  this case continues to immediately after the next newline character or
2327  character sequence in the pattern. Which characters are interpreted as newlines  character sequence in the pattern. Which characters are interpreted as newlines
2328  is controlled by the options passed to \fBpcre_compile()\fP or by a special  is controlled by the options passed to a compiling function or by a special
2329  sequence at the start of the pattern, as described in the section entitled  sequence at the start of the pattern, as described in the section entitled
2330  .\" HTML <a href="#newlines">  .\" HTML <a href="#newlines">
2331  .\" </a>  .\" </a>
# Line 2522  same pair of parentheses when there is a Line 2627  same pair of parentheses when there is a
2627  .P  .P
2628  PCRE provides a similar feature, but of course it cannot obey arbitrary Perl  PCRE provides a similar feature, but of course it cannot obey arbitrary Perl
2629  code. The feature is called "callout". The caller of PCRE provides an external  code. The feature is called "callout". The caller of PCRE provides an external
2630  function by putting its entry point in the global variable \fIpcre_callout\fP.  function by putting its entry point in the global variable \fIpcre_callout\fP
2631    (8-bit library) or \fIpcre[16|32]_callout\fP (16-bit or 32-bit library).
2632  By default, this variable contains NULL, which disables all calling out.  By default, this variable contains NULL, which disables all calling out.
2633  .P  .P
2634  Within a regular expression, (?C) indicates the points at which the external  Within a regular expression, (?C) indicates the points at which the external
# Line 2532  For example, this pattern has two callou Line 2638  For example, this pattern has two callou
2638  .sp  .sp
2639    (?C1)abc(?C2)def    (?C1)abc(?C2)def
2640  .sp  .sp
2641  If the PCRE_AUTO_CALLOUT flag is passed to \fBpcre_compile()\fP, callouts are  If the PCRE_AUTO_CALLOUT flag is passed to a compiling function, callouts are
2642  automatically installed before each item in the pattern. They are all numbered  automatically installed before each item in the pattern. They are all numbered
2643  255.  255.
2644  .P  .P
2645  During matching, when PCRE reaches a callout point (and \fIpcre_callout\fP is  During matching, when PCRE reaches a callout point, the external function is
2646  set), the external function is called. It is provided with the number of the  called. It is provided with the number of the callout, the position in the
2647  callout, the position in the pattern, and, optionally, one item of data  pattern, and, optionally, one item of data originally supplied by the caller of
2648  originally supplied by the caller of \fBpcre_exec()\fP. The callout function  the matching function. The callout function may cause matching to proceed, to
2649  may cause matching to proceed, to backtrack, or to fail altogether. A complete  backtrack, or to fail altogether. A complete description of the interface to
2650  description of the interface to the callout function is given in the  the callout function is given in the
2651  .\" HREF  .\" HREF
2652  \fBpcrecallout\fP  \fBpcrecallout\fP
2653  .\"  .\"
# Line 2559  production code should be noted to avoid Line 2665  production code should be noted to avoid
2665  remarks apply to the PCRE features described in this section.  remarks apply to the PCRE features described in this section.
2666  .P  .P
2667  Since these verbs are specifically related to backtracking, most of them can be  Since these verbs are specifically related to backtracking, most of them can be
2668  used only when the pattern is to be matched using \fBpcre_exec()\fP, which uses  used only when the pattern is to be matched using one of the traditional
2669  a backtracking algorithm. With the exception of (*FAIL), which behaves like a  matching functions, which use a backtracking algorithm. With the exception of
2670  failing negative assertion, they cause an error if encountered by  (*FAIL), which behaves like a failing negative assertion, they cause an error
2671  \fBpcre_dfa_exec()\fP.  if encountered by a DFA matching function.
2672  .P  .P
2673  If any of these verbs are used in an assertion or in a subpattern that is  If any of these verbs are used in an assertion or in a subpattern that is
2674  called as a subroutine (whether or not recursively), their effect is confined  called as a subroutine (whether or not recursively), their effect is confined
2675  to that subpattern; it does not extend to the surrounding pattern, with one  to that subpattern; it does not extend to the surrounding pattern, with one
2676  exception: a *MARK that is encountered in a positive assertion \fIis\fP passed  exception: the name from a *(MARK), (*PRUNE), or (*THEN) that is encountered in
2677  back (compare capturing parentheses in assertions). Note that such subpatterns  a successful positive assertion \fIis\fP passed back when a match succeeds
2678  are processed as anchored at the point where they are tested. Note also that  (compare capturing parentheses in assertions). Note that such subpatterns are
2679  Perl's treatment of subroutines is different in some cases.  processed as anchored at the point where they are tested. Note also that Perl's
2680    treatment of subroutines and assertions is different in some cases.
2681  .P  .P
2682  The new verbs make use of what was previously invalid syntax: an opening  The new verbs make use of what was previously invalid syntax: an opening
2683  parenthesis followed by an asterisk. They are generally of the form  parenthesis followed by an asterisk. They are generally of the form
2684  (*VERB) or (*VERB:NAME). Some may take either form, with differing behaviour,  (*VERB) or (*VERB:NAME). Some may take either form, with differing behaviour,
2685  depending on whether or not an argument is present. A name is any sequence of  depending on whether or not an argument is present. A name is any sequence of
2686  characters that does not include a closing parenthesis. If the name is empty,  characters that does not include a closing parenthesis. The maximum length of
2687  that is, if the closing parenthesis immediately follows the colon, the effect  name is 255 in the 8-bit library and 65535 in the 16-bit and 32-bit library.
2688  is as if the colon were not there. Any number of these verbs may occur in a  If the name is empty, that is, if the closing parenthesis immediately follows
2689  pattern.  the colon, the effect is as if the colon were not there. Any number of these
2690  .P  verbs may occur in a pattern.
2691    .
2692    .
2693    .\" HTML <a name="nooptimize"></a>
2694    .SS "Optimizations that affect backtracking verbs"
2695    .rs
2696    .sp
2697  PCRE contains some optimizations that are used to speed up matching by running  PCRE contains some optimizations that are used to speed up matching by running
2698  some checks at the start of each match attempt. For example, it may know the  some checks at the start of each match attempt. For example, it may know the
2699  minimum length of matching subject, or that a particular character must be  minimum length of matching subject, or that a particular character must be
# Line 2588  present. When one of these optimizations Line 2701  present. When one of these optimizations
2701  included backtracking verbs will not, of course, be processed. You can suppress  included backtracking verbs will not, of course, be processed. You can suppress
2702  the start-of-match optimizations by setting the PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE option  the start-of-match optimizations by setting the PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE option
2703  when calling \fBpcre_compile()\fP or \fBpcre_exec()\fP, or by starting the  when calling \fBpcre_compile()\fP or \fBpcre_exec()\fP, or by starting the
2704  pattern with (*NO_START_OPT).  pattern with (*NO_START_OPT). There is more discussion of this option in the
2705    section entitled
2706    .\" HTML <a href="pcreapi.html#execoptions">
2707    .\" </a>
2708    "Option bits for \fBpcre_exec()\fP"
2709    .\"
2710    in the
2711    .\" HREF
2712    \fBpcreapi\fP
2713    .\"
2714    documentation.
2715    .P
2716    Experiments with Perl suggest that it too has similar optimizations, sometimes
2717    leading to anomalous results.
2718  .  .
2719  .  .
2720  .SS "Verbs that act immediately"  .SS "Verbs that act immediately"
# Line 2636  starting point (see (*SKIP) below). Line 2762  starting point (see (*SKIP) below).
2762  A name is always required with this verb. There may be as many instances of  A name is always required with this verb. There may be as many instances of
2763  (*MARK) as you like in a pattern, and their names do not have to be unique.  (*MARK) as you like in a pattern, and their names do not have to be unique.
2764  .P  .P
2765  When a match succeeds, the name of the last-encountered (*MARK) is passed back  When a match succeeds, the name of the last-encountered (*MARK) on the matching
2766  to the caller via the \fIpcre_extra\fP data structure, as described in the  path is passed back to the caller as described in the section entitled
2767  .\" HTML <a href="pcreapi.html#extradata">  .\" HTML <a href="pcreapi.html#extradata">
2768  .\" </a>  .\" </a>
2769  section on \fIpcre_extra\fP  "Extra data for \fBpcre_exec()\fP"
2770  .\"  .\"
2771  in the  in the
2772  .\" HREF  .\" HREF
2773  \fBpcreapi\fP  \fBpcreapi\fP
2774  .\"  .\"
2775  documentation. No data is returned for a partial match. Here is an example of  documentation. Here is an example of \fBpcretest\fP output, where the /K
2776  \fBpcretest\fP output, where the /K modifier requests the retrieval and  modifier requests the retrieval and outputting of (*MARK) data:
 outputting of (*MARK) data:  
2777  .sp  .sp
2778    /X(*MARK:A)Y|X(*MARK:B)Z/K      re> /X(*MARK:A)Y|X(*MARK:B)Z/K
2779    XY    data> XY
2780     0: XY     0: XY
2781    MK: A    MK: A
2782    XZ    XZ
# Line 2667  If (*MARK) is encountered in a positive Line 2792  If (*MARK) is encountered in a positive
2792  passed back if it is the last-encountered. This does not happen for negative  passed back if it is the last-encountered. This does not happen for negative
2793  assertions.  assertions.
2794  .P  .P
2795  A name may also be returned after a failed match if the final path through the  After a partial match or a failed match, the name of the last encountered
2796  pattern involves (*MARK). However, unless (*MARK) used in conjunction with  (*MARK) in the entire match process is returned. For example:
 (*COMMIT), this is unlikely to happen for an unanchored pattern because, as the  
 starting point for matching is advanced, the final check is often with an empty  
 string, causing a failure before (*MARK) is reached. For example:  
2797  .sp  .sp
2798    /X(*MARK:A)Y|X(*MARK:B)Z/K      re> /X(*MARK:A)Y|X(*MARK:B)Z/K
2799    XP    data> XP
   No match  
 .sp  
 There are three potential starting points for this match (starting with X,  
 starting with P, and with an empty string). If the pattern is anchored, the  
 result is different:  
 .sp  
   /^X(*MARK:A)Y|^X(*MARK:B)Z/K  
   XP  
2800    No match, mark = B    No match, mark = B
2801  .sp  .sp
2802  PCRE's start-of-match optimizations can also interfere with this. For example,  Note that in this unanchored example the mark is retained from the match
2803  if, as a result of a call to \fBpcre_study()\fP, it knows the minimum  attempt that started at the letter "X" in the subject. Subsequent match
2804  subject length for a match, a shorter subject will not be scanned at all.  attempts starting at "P" and then with an empty string do not get as far as the
2805  .P  (*MARK) item, but nevertheless do not reset it.
2806  Note that similar anomalies (though different in detail) exist in Perl, no  .P
2807  doubt for the same reasons. The use of (*MARK) data after a failed match of an  If you are interested in (*MARK) values after failed matches, you should
2808  unanchored pattern is not recommended, unless (*COMMIT) is involved.  probably set the PCRE_NO_START_OPTIMIZE option
2809    .\" HTML <a href="#nooptimize">
2810    .\" </a>
2811    (see above)
2812    .\"
2813    to ensure that the match is always attempted.
2814  .  .
2815  .  .
2816  .SS "Verbs that act after backtracking"  .SS "Verbs that act after backtracking"
# Line 2728  Note that (*COMMIT) at the start of a pa Line 2847  Note that (*COMMIT) at the start of a pa
2847  unless PCRE's start-of-match optimizations are turned off, as shown in this  unless PCRE's start-of-match optimizations are turned off, as shown in this
2848  \fBpcretest\fP example:  \fBpcretest\fP example:
2849  .sp  .sp
2850    /(*COMMIT)abc/      re> /(*COMMIT)abc/
2851    xyzabc    data> xyzabc
2852     0: abc     0: abc
2853    xyzabc\eY    xyzabc\eY
2854    No match    No match
# Line 2750  reached, or when matching to the right o Line 2869  reached, or when matching to the right o
2869  the right, backtracking cannot cross (*PRUNE). In simple cases, the use of  the right, backtracking cannot cross (*PRUNE). In simple cases, the use of
2870  (*PRUNE) is just an alternative to an atomic group or possessive quantifier,  (*PRUNE) is just an alternative to an atomic group or possessive quantifier,
2871  but there are some uses of (*PRUNE) that cannot be expressed in any other way.  but there are some uses of (*PRUNE) that cannot be expressed in any other way.
2872  The behaviour of (*PRUNE:NAME) is the same as (*MARK:NAME)(*PRUNE) when the  The behaviour of (*PRUNE:NAME) is the same as (*MARK:NAME)(*PRUNE). In an
2873  match fails completely; the name is passed back if this is the final attempt.  anchored pattern (*PRUNE) has the same effect as (*COMMIT).
 (*PRUNE:NAME) does not pass back a name if the match succeeds. In an anchored  
 pattern (*PRUNE) has the same effect as (*COMMIT).  
2874  .sp  .sp
2875    (*SKIP)    (*SKIP)
2876  .sp  .sp
# Line 2779  following pattern fails to match, the pr Line 2896  following pattern fails to match, the pr
2896  searched for the most recent (*MARK) that has the same name. If one is found,  searched for the most recent (*MARK) that has the same name. If one is found,
2897  the "bumpalong" advance is to the subject position that corresponds to that  the "bumpalong" advance is to the subject position that corresponds to that
2898  (*MARK) instead of to where (*SKIP) was encountered. If no (*MARK) with a  (*MARK) instead of to where (*SKIP) was encountered. If no (*MARK) with a
2899  matching name is found, normal "bumpalong" of one character happens (that is,  matching name is found, the (*SKIP) is ignored.
 the (*SKIP) is ignored).  
2900  .sp  .sp
2901    (*THEN) or (*THEN:NAME)    (*THEN) or (*THEN:NAME)
2902  .sp  .sp
# Line 2794  be used for a pattern-based if-then-else Line 2910  be used for a pattern-based if-then-else
2910  If the COND1 pattern matches, FOO is tried (and possibly further items after  If the COND1 pattern matches, FOO is tried (and possibly further items after
2911  the end of the group if FOO succeeds); on failure, the matcher skips to the  the end of the group if FOO succeeds); on failure, the matcher skips to the
2912  second alternative and tries COND2, without backtracking into COND1. The  second alternative and tries COND2, without backtracking into COND1. The
2913  behaviour of (*THEN:NAME) is exactly the same as (*MARK:NAME)(*THEN) if the  behaviour of (*THEN:NAME) is exactly the same as (*MARK:NAME)(*THEN).
2914  overall match fails. If (*THEN) is not inside an alternation, it acts like  If (*THEN) is not inside an alternation, it acts like (*PRUNE).
 (*PRUNE).  
2915  .P  .P
2916  Note that a subpattern that does not contain a | character is just a part of  Note that a subpattern that does not contain a | character is just a part of
2917  the enclosing alternative; it is not a nested alternation with only one  the enclosing alternative; it is not a nested alternation with only one
# Line 2857  overrides. Line 2972  overrides.
2972  .rs  .rs
2973  .sp  .sp
2974  \fBpcreapi\fP(3), \fBpcrecallout\fP(3), \fBpcrematching\fP(3),  \fBpcreapi\fP(3), \fBpcrecallout\fP(3), \fBpcrematching\fP(3),
2975  \fBpcresyntax\fP(3), \fBpcre\fP(3).  \fBpcresyntax\fP(3), \fBpcre\fP(3), \fBpcre16(3)\fP, \fBpcre32(3)\fP.
2976  .  .
2977  .  .
2978  .SH AUTHOR  .SH AUTHOR
# Line 2874  Cambridge CB2 3QH, England. Line 2989  Cambridge CB2 3QH, England.
2989  .rs  .rs
2990  .sp  .sp
2991  .nf  .nf
2992  Last updated: 14 November 2011  Last updated: 27 February 2013
2993  Copyright (c) 1997-2011 University of Cambridge.  Copyright (c) 1997-2013 University of Cambridge.
2994  .fi  .fi

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