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Regular Expression Tools Reviews

As an avid user of regular expressions, I find any RegEx tool very very handy.

Here are some that I have used and like and a short review of each. I rate Expresso as the best tool I have used!

Expresso ( http://www.ultrapico.com/Expresso.htm )
A powerful tool for both beginners and advanced RegEx programmers alike!

  • Very powerful visual expression builder including hex expressions (for those people like myself who always seem to get the syntax wrong!)
  • RegEx Analyser to show you visually what your expression means
  • RegEx Validator to show your expression parsing visually
  • Timing tests to help you optimize very complex expressions
  • Export results to XML, CSV, TAB delimited and plain text
  • Expression Library for common expressions
  • Recently used expression list
  • Code generator(C#, c++ and VB.net)
  • Compile to Assembly DLL
  • Load test data from file or load expression from file
  • Hints at startup
  • Lots of built in help and RegEx guide
  • Freeware registration
  • None so far

The Regulator ( http://tools.osherove.com/CoolTools/TheRegulator/tabid/185/Default.aspx )
Not a bad tool with a few unique features.

  • Plugin Support
  • Built in support for http://regexlib.com/ online RegEx repository
  • Generate Code (C# and VB.NET)
  • Compile to Assembly DLL
  • Javascript or JScript support
  • Online search of repository did not work for me
  • None of the advance analysis and testing features of Expresso
  • No clear visual feedback of expression results
  • Not as polished as Expresso
RegExDesigner.NET ( http://www.sellsbrothers.com/tools/#regexd )
A lightweight tool to perform basic regular expression operations.
  • .NET (C# and vb.net) Code Generator and Compile to Assembly DLL
  • Really small download (260Kb)
  • Nice and small and quick to use
  • Freeware
  • Not very feature rich
  • No advanced features
  • No "debugging" of RegEx

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  1. Blogger Andrew Jackson | December 5, 2007 at 9:53 AM |  

    Ooo... Ahhh...

  2. Anonymous Anonymous | December 6, 2007 at 12:21 AM |  

    I will have to check one or more of these out. I was considering writing my own, just to see how easy it would be.

  3. Blogger RexMan | December 6, 2007 at 8:23 AM |  

    Yeah these tools are more advanced than a little tool most people can write in an evening. Especially Expresso!

  4. Blogger Stii | December 6, 2007 at 2:07 PM |  

    Expresso looks awesome! Pity it is for Windows only. Maybe I should review some OSX regex apps.

  5. Blogger RexMan | December 13, 2007 at 8:53 AM |  

    Hi Stii,
    For MacOSX there are the following tools:
    Obviously I have not tested them.


    RegexWidget (Quite a simply applet)

    Eclipse Plugin


  6. Anonymous Robert MacLean | August 27, 2008 at 10:21 AM |  

    I found expresso about two weeks back and loved it. definitely best out there.

  7. Blogger RexMan | August 27, 2008 at 10:39 AM |  

    I agree Robert, I just used Expresso about five mins ago to locate Unicode characters in a import file.

  8. Blogger waren | October 24, 2008 at 3:13 AM |  

    I've never used Expresso (maybe I should give a try), but I think RegexBuddy is great also. I've been using it for quite a long time.

  9. Blogger RexMan | October 24, 2008 at 8:27 AM |  

    RegexBuddy does look very cool, however it is not freeware. :( Thansk for the heads up Warren.