RegEx: \w - "_" + "-" in UTF-8


I need a regular expression that matches UTF-8 letters and digits, the dash sign (-) but doesn't match underscores (_), I tried these silly attempts without success:

  • ([\w-^_])+
  • ([\w^_]-?)+
  • (\w[^_]-?)+

The \w is shorthand for [A-Za-z0-9_], but it also matches UTF-8 chars if I have the u modifier set.

Can anyone help me out with this one?

1/14/2010 4:46:28 AM

Accepted Answer

Try this:


It does a simple match on anything that is encoded as a \w (or a dash) and then has a zero-width lookbehind that ensures that the character that was just matched is not a underscore.

Otherwise you could pick this one:


which is a more set-based approach (note the uppercase W)

OK, I had a lot of fun with unicode in php's flavor of PCREs :D Peekaboo says there is a simple solution available:


\p{L} matches anything unicode that qualifies as a Letter (note: not a word character, thus no underscores), while \p{N} matches anything that looks like a number (including roman numerals and more exotic things).
\- is just an escaped dash. Although not strictly necessary, I tend to make it a point to escape dashes in character classes... Note, that there are dozens of different dashes in unicode, thus giving rise to the following version:


Where "Pd" is Punctuation Dash, including, but not limited to our minus-dash-thingy. (Note, again no underscore here).

7/6/2013 8:56:24 AM

I am not sure which language you use, but in PERL you can simply write: [[:alnum:]-]+ when the correct locale is set.

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