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Need Regular Expression that allows letters, numbers, and standard puctuation

Posted on 2008-10-19
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Last Modified: 2009-07-29
I am developing a web site in ASP.NET with VB.NET on MS Visual Web Developer.  I have a number of form fields requiring validation.  I have regualr expression, "^[a-zA-Z0-9]+(([\'\,\.\!\- ][a-zA-Z0-9 ])?[a-zA-Z0-9]*)*$", but I need one that allows numbers, letters, dash and standard punctuation (- . , ! ).  Can someone please help me with this?
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Question by:OVC-it-guy
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Expert Comment

by:Muhammad Kashif
ID: 22755158
What I understood that you want that your textbox should allow numbers, letters, dash and ... Not the regular expression with specific format.

Then you should use KeyDown and KeyPress event.

So use in following way It will allow only Numbers to be entered in TextBox1

In the same way you can add more checks.
e.g. for letters add check in KeyDown Event.

If e.KeyCode < Keys.A OrElse e.KeyCode > Keys.Z Then

Public EnteredText As Boolean
 
Private Sub TextBox1_KeyDown(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.Windows.Forms.KeyEventArgs) Handles TextBox1.KeyDown
    EnteredText = False
    If e.KeyCode < Keys.D0 OrElse e.KeyCode > Keys.D9 Then
        If e.KeyCode < Keys.NumPad0 OrElse e.KeyCode > Keys.NumPad9 Then
            If e.KeyCode <> Keys.Back And e.KeyCode <> Keys.Subtract Then
                EnteredText = True
            End If
        End If
    End If
End Sub
 
 
Private Sub TextBox1_KeyPress(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.Windows.Forms.KeyPressEventArgs) Handles TextBox1.KeyPress
    If EnteredText = True Then
        e.Handled = True
        EnteredText = False
    End If
End Sub

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Expert Comment

by:Muhammad Kashif
ID: 22755171
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Author Comment

by:OVC-it-guy
ID: 22755193
That's a lot more code than what I'm looking for.  I just need the validationExpression similar to something like ^[-a-zA-Z0-9.,! ]$ might do it.  I was looking for some with more experince on this type of expression.
<asp:RegularExpressionValidator ID="CommentsRegex" runat="server" ControlToValidate="txtComments" ValidationExpression="^[a-zA-Z0-9]+(([\'\,\.\!\- ][a-zA-Z0-9 ])?[a-zA-Z0-9]*)*$" ErrorMessage="Please enter only letters, numbers and punctuation." />

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Accepted Solution

by:
petiex earned 500 total points
ID: 22755376
^[a-zA-Z0-9\'\,\.\!\-\?]*$
Will match zero or more numbers, characters, and the following characters
' , . ! - ?

If you want it also to match space characters, put a space somewhere between the brackets:
^[a-zA-Z0-9\'\,\.\!\-\? ]*$

To match one or more characters, use + instead of *:
^[a-zA-Z0-9\'\,\.\!\-\? ]+$
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Expert Comment

by:petiex
ID: 22755385
To make sure you are matching what you want to match, there's a nice regex tester here that I like to use: http://www.regular-expressions.info/javascriptexample.html

That site also has everything you could possibly want to know about regular expressions if you click around.
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Author Comment

by:OVC-it-guy
ID: 22755553
Thanks, petiex.
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