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Finding the start and end character positions / indexes of a RegEx match.

Posted on 2008-10-14
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Last Modified: 2008-10-15
Given the code below, when the RegEx matches the incoming string to the incoming template string, I would like to somehow determine the start and end character inde of the exact match.

Obviously in this case, start would be 1. But how do you calcualte the last character position  of the match, which in this case in the incoming string is a single quotation ( ' ) ??

Bare in mind that even though this example contains an exact match, it is possible that the incoming string might be:

string incoming = @"UCS+21'
UCD+14+3'
MORETEXT+nothing'
ANDMORE+goes+here'";

Which is why I can't just use a simple function like Right() or something similar. I need to actually get the last position of the matched item in the incoming string.

Thanks.

using System;

using System.Text.RegularExpressions;

namespace retest

{

    class Program

    {

        static void Main(string[] args)

        {

            string incoming = @"UCS+21'

UCD+14+3'";

            string incomingTemplate = @"UCS+{UcmHeader}'

UCD+{UcmHeader}+{UcmSummary}'";

            string repattern = Regex.Replace(Regex.Replace(Regex.Replace(incomingTemplate, @"\+", @"\+"), @"\{", @"(?<"), @"\}", @">.*?)");

            Regex reParse = new Regex(repattern);

            if (reParse.IsMatch(incoming))

            {

                Match m = reParse.Match(incoming);

                for (int gIdx = 1; gIdx < m.Groups.Count; gIdx++)

                {

                    Console.WriteLine("[" + reParse.GetGroupNames()[gIdx] + "] = " + m.Groups[gIdx].Value);

                }

            }

            Console.ReadLine();

        }

    }

}

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Question by:djcheeky
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Expert Comment

by:ddrudik
ID: 22715973
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Expert Comment

by:ddrudik
ID: 22715985
That would show the start index of the match, add the string length to that value to get the ending index.
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:ddrudik
ID: 22715998
I guess you could always use the length property to add to the index property to get the ending index:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.text.regularexpressions.capture.length.aspx
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Accepted Solution

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ddrudik earned 500 total points
ID: 22716037
Console.WriteLine("[" + reParse.GetGroupNames()[gIdx] + "] = " + m.Groups[gIdx].Value);
Console.WriteLine("captures[0] value: " + m.Captures[0].Value);
Console.WriteLine("captures[0] index: " + m.Captures[0].Index);
Console.WriteLine("captures[0] length: " + m.Captures[0].Length);
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Author Comment

by:djcheeky
ID: 22718878
Thanks ddrudik

As you can tell, I have broken up all my little regex issues into smaller problems and then posted them here on the forums, with which you have helped the most (so thanks again for that).

What I am going to do now is try and combine them into one process, which will more than likely lead to more gray hairs - but let's see how it goes :)

I appreciate all your help.
Regards
Paolo
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LVL 27

Expert Comment

by:ddrudik
ID: 22720478
Glad I could help, thanks for the question and the points.
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