Programming, Regular Expressions, Web Development

Regular Expressions: What are the best Regular Expression testing tools?

Personally, I love Regular Expressions. They are incredibly useful and can quickly turn a task that would take many lines of code into a single statement. They are perfect for text manipulation and forms processing & validation. In general they simplify the everyday coding lives of developers world-wide.

However, Regular Expressions do come with a down-side. They can be complex to read and difficult to get ‘just right’.

So for the past six years I have been using a great tool called RegEx Buddy. It is a recommended tool on my favorite Regular Expressions Web site:

Learn, Create, Understand, Test, Use and Save Regular Expressions with RegexBuddy
RegEx Buddy

RegEx Buddy has been my staple for many years now and let’s me quickly and easily create and/or debug Regular Expressions. It’s actually also great since one can use it to manipulate text quickly which can save a lot of unnecessary cutting and pasting.

Recently I’ve been wondering what else is out there that can help me out when I’m working with Regular Expressions. When I did a search I came up with a few alternatives.

My favorite so far is a free online service called  RegEx Hero. Check it out at:

RegEx Hero: The Online .NET Regex Tester
RegEx Hero: The Online .NET Regex Tester

Their tool is written using the Silverlight .NET RegEx class library, which appeals to me since I do most of my programming in .NET.

The RegEx Hero Web site also has a great Regular Expressions syntax reference library, as well as a library of pre-built regular expressions that are ranked by user votes. All in all I’d say this is a great tool and I love that it’s online but lets you save your queries, and if you click the .NET option, the site will actually auto-generate the .NET code you need.

There are certainly many other options out there, but in my opinion RegEx Buddy and  RegEx Hero seem to be the best.

Wikipedia has a list of Regular Expression software, but many of the tools listed do not seem as useful for writing or debugging.

I found a useful discussion thread at stackoverflow on the subject. Although the thread is a bit old, I think the comments are still very helpful. I intend to take a look at some of the tools people have suggested.

I’d also appreciate if people who read this post could let me know what their preferred Regular Expression testing tool is!


4 thoughts on “Regular Expressions: What are the best Regular Expression testing tools?”

    1. I’m glad you found the article useful! I’m always on the lookout for software that helps with Regular Expressions and I’ve been using Regex hero a lot lately!

  1. I’m not sure exactly why but this website is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end? I’ll check back
    later and see if the problem still exists.

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