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Regular expression help

Posted on 2009-07-09
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Last Modified: 2013-11-07
Hello

Given a string that is in capitals, how could i convert the string so that only the first letter of every word was a capital and the rest was lower case.

There is an added complication that a have a list of certain words which would need to be made all lower case: on, upon, in

Also any words that contain a number must remain in capitals. This last one might seem odd but the input string in question is an address. Sometimes the county where someone lives is not available and is given as an abbreviated postcode.

MAny thanks
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Question by:andieje
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Expert Comment

by:CodeCruiser
ID: 25042238
This is not done by regular expression. Regular expressions are used to match strings with patterns not to modify/process strings. You need to break up the address into individual words and then perform the manipulation. Let me know if you are still interested and i would try to produce some code.
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Expert Comment

by:PaulHews
ID: 25043683
A hybrid method using regex and StrConv (from the VisualBasic namespace)
Imports System.Text.RegularExpressions
Public Class Form1
 
    Private Sub Form1_Load(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load
        Debug.WriteLine(FormatCase("THIS IS MY STRING IN UPON BUT NOT UON CAPS."))
    End Sub
 
    Private Function FormatCase(ByVal Value As String) As String
        Dim Ret As String = StrConv(Value, VbStrConv.ProperCase)
        'Convert necessary words to lower case
        Ret = Regex.Replace(Ret, "\x20In|Upon|On\x20", AddressOf Eval)
        Return Ret
    End Function
 
    Private Function Eval(ByVal m As Match) As String
        Return m.Value.ToLower
    End Function
 
End Class

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Expert Comment

by:PaulHews
ID: 25043767
Nevermind there's some glaring problems with that.
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Accepted Solution

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PaulHews earned 500 total points
ID: 25043888
Better version:
Imports System.Text.RegularExpressions
Public Class Form1
 
    Private Sub Form1_Load(ByVal sender As System.Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles MyBase.Load
        Debug.WriteLine(FormatCase("3THIS IS MY 3STRING IN UPON INNIS BUT NOT UON CAPS IN."))
    End Sub
 
    Private Function FormatCase(ByVal Value As String) As String
        Dim Ret As String = StrConv(Value, VbStrConv.ProperCase)
        Debug.WriteLine(Ret)
        Ret = Regex.Replace(Ret, "\b\S*\d+\S*\b", AddressOf NumFix)
        'Convert necessary words to lower case
        Ret = Regex.Replace(Ret, "\b(In|Upon|On)\b", AddressOf Eval)
        Return Ret
    End Function
 
    Private Function Eval(ByVal m As Match) As String
        Return m.Value.ToLower
    End Function
    Private Function NumFix(ByVal m As Match) As String
        Return m.Value.ToUpper
    End Function
 
End Class

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Author Comment

by:andieje
ID: 25249714
sorry for delay, i've been away. I will look at this question over the next day or so and close it. I already have a terrible work backlog i have to get though.

thanks for your patience
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Author Comment

by:andieje
ID: 25249724
Please can i keep this open. I've been away but no i'm back. I have some things to catch up on but will give this my attention as soon as i can.
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Author Comment

by:andieje
ID: 25260756
Many thanks, will look at it over the weekend
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Author Comment

by:andieje
ID: 25268342
Hi Paul

That function looks great. What is that version of replace where you pass in the address of a function. I've never seen that before.

thanks
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:PaulHews
ID: 25270365
It's the Replace overload that takes a MatchEvaluator delegate.  The function must take a match parameter and return a string to fit the signature of the MatchEvaluator delegate.

Regex.Replace Method (String, String, MatchEvaluator)
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ht1sxswy.aspx

It gives you a lot more flexibility in the replacement of elements than a straight string replace.

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Author Closing Comment

by:andieje
ID: 31601510
many thanks
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