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ASP.NET / VB / REGEX: Bold first part with colon

Posted on 2012-03-29
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Last Modified: 2012-03-30
Using REGEX with ASP.NET / VB, how can I format this:

Any text that is immediately after a line break (or at the very beginning) should be bold if there is a colon in the first sentence, from the beginning to the colon.

This  should be bold: this should not be bold -- this should not be bold: it it comes after a bold part.
This should also be bold: it is at the beginning.
Nothing in this line should be bold.  This is a colon: however there is a period before the colon.

My code below does not work.
input = RegularExpressions.Regex.Replace(input, VbNewLine + "\W:", VbNewLine + "<strong>$1</strong>")

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Question by:hankknight
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Expert Comment

by:PaulHews
ID: 37783261
Pattern: ^([\w\d\s]*:)
Code, must use multiline:
Input = System.Text.RegularExpressions.Regex.Replace(Input, "^([\w\d\s]*:)", "<strong>$1</strong>", System.Text.RegularExpressions.RegexOptions.Multiline)

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Assisted Solution

by:käµfm³d 👽
käµfm³d   👽 earned 150 total points
ID: 37783416
Use a literal space instead of the "\s" in PaulHews', I think.
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Accepted Solution

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PaulHews earned 350 total points
ID: 37783499
Good catch.  Otherwise it will include line break as a space character.

Input = System.Text.RegularExpressions.Regex.Replace(Input, "^([\w\d ]*:)", "<strong>$1</strong>", System.Text.RegularExpressions.RegexOptions.Multiline)

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by:hankknight
ID: 37784081
Thanks.

What is the purpose of
System.Text.RegularExpressions.
and
System.Text.RegularExpressions.RegexOptions.Multiline
?

My other expressions do not have those:
input = RegularExpressions.Regex.Replace(input, VbNewLine + "- ", VbNewLine + "&#8226; ")
input = RegularExpressions.Regex.Replace(input, VbNewLine, VbNewLine +"<br />")
input = RegularExpressions.Regex.Replace(input, "(https?://\S+[^\s@,.""']+)", "<a href=""$1"">$1</a>")
input = RegularExpressions.Regex.Replace(input, "([^\s@,.""']+\@\S+\.[^\s@,.""']+)", "<a href=""mailto:$1"">$1</a>")
input = RegularExpressions.Regex.Replace(input, "(?<!\S)(\www\.\S+[^\s@,.""']+)", "<a href=""http://$1"">$1</a>")
input = RegularExpressions.Regex.Replace(input, "  ", " &nbsp;")

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Expert Comment

by:PaulHews
ID: 37784184
If you have imported the namespace then you don't need System.Text in front.   (The full namespace for the Regex class is System.Text.RegularExpressions.  Your code above calls functions in the Regex class using only the RegularExpressions part of the namespace.)   I had not imported the namespace when I tested the code.

System.Text.RegularExpressions.RegexOptions.Multiline is an option.  This is required because I use a caret ^ in the expression to indicate the beginning of each line.  If I did not specify "multiline" option, then the caret would instead match the beginning of the entire input string, and so would only replace the first instance with the bold text.

Regular Expression Options
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/yd1hzczs.aspx
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