Click here to Skip to main content
11,920,211 members (48,111 online)
Click here to Skip to main content
Add your own
alternative version


94 bookmarked

Wildcard string compare (globbing)

, 15 Feb 2005
Rate this:
Please Sign up or sign in to vote.
Matches a string against a wildcard string such as "*.*" or "bl?h.*" etc. This is good for file globbing or to match hostmasks.


This is a fast, lightweight, and simple pattern matching function.

if (wildcmp("bl?h.*", "blah.jpg")) {
  //we have a match!
} else {
  //no match =(


int wildcmp(const char *wild, const char *string) {
  // Written by Jack Handy - <A href=""></A>
  const char *cp = NULL, *mp = NULL;

  while ((*string) && (*wild != '*')) {
    if ((*wild != *string) && (*wild != '?')) {
      return 0;

  while (*string) {
    if (*wild == '*') {
      if (!*++wild) {
        return 1;
      mp = wild;
      cp = string+1;
    } else if ((*wild == *string) || (*wild == '?')) {
    } else {
      wild = mp;
      string = cp++;

  while (*wild == '*') {
  return !*wild;


This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


About the Author

Jack Handy
Web Developer
United States United States
No Biography provided

You may also be interested in...

Comments and Discussions

GeneralRe: too complicated Pin
douglashogan25-Jan-04 13:50
memberdouglashogan25-Jan-04 13:50 
GeneralRe: too complicated Pin
Jim Bob22-Mar-02 16:29
memberJim Bob22-Mar-02 16:29 
GeneralRe: too complicated Pin
Simon Capewell22-May-02 3:48
memberSimon Capewell22-May-02 3:48 
GeneralRe: too complicated Pin
Targys8-Jan-03 2:57
memberTargys8-Jan-03 2:57 
GeneralRe: too complicated Pin
The C++ Guru24-Feb-03 11:43
sussThe C++ Guru24-Feb-03 11:43 
GeneralRe: too complicated Pin
Jack Handy24-Feb-03 17:52
memberJack Handy24-Feb-03 17:52 
GeneralRe: too complicated Pin
hector santos1-Mar-03 2:49
memberhector santos1-Mar-03 2:49 
GeneralRe: too complicated Pin
Kent C. Dorner2-Mar-03 6:26
sussKent C. Dorner2-Mar-03 6:26 
I think some of you guys like complicated code that other people wouldn't want to read or learn from. In a large programmer team this is useless. Jack's code would not stand a minute of our code reviews.
"The C++ Guru"s code is not the solution I would prefer, but it is by far more readable, and a fairly good starting point least for non-time-critical end user apps.

Besides, i can't see any checks for NULL pointers in Jack's code. can you?

Kent C. Dorner
IBM Billing Solutions
GeneralRe: too complicated Pin
hector santos2-Mar-03 11:05
memberhector santos2-Mar-03 11:05 
GeneralRe: too complicated Pin
Jack Handy2-Jun-03 14:56
memberJack Handy2-Jun-03 14:56 
GeneralRe: too complicated Pin
Anonymous2-Jun-03 15:48
sussAnonymous2-Jun-03 15:48 
GeneralRe: too complicated Pin
Anonymous4-Dec-03 19:29
sussAnonymous4-Dec-03 19:29 
GeneralRe: too complicated Pin
olegxxx4-Mar-05 20:24
memberolegxxx4-Mar-05 20:24 
GeneralSweet! Pin
EpicBoy1-Feb-02 17:08
memberEpicBoy1-Feb-02 17:08 
GeneralRe: Sweet! Pin
Michael Dunn1-Feb-02 18:10
memberMichael Dunn1-Feb-02 18:10 
GeneralRe: Sweet! Pin
Steve Mallam13-May-02 1:29
memberSteve Mallam13-May-02 1:29 
GeneralI found this very useful. Pin
Todd Smith4-Jan-02 15:40
memberTodd Smith4-Jan-02 15:40 
GeneralTest Cases Pin
Paul McGuire4-Dec-01 13:00
memberPaul McGuire4-Dec-01 13:00 
GeneralRe: Test Cases Pin
Lee Elenbaas10-Sep-08 0:05
memberLee Elenbaas10-Sep-08 0:05 
GeneralSuper fast code - super, but... Pin
Rene Rassnitzer23-Aug-01 7:24
memberRene Rassnitzer23-Aug-01 7:24 
GeneralGreat Code Pin
mediamaster404-Jul-01 21:18
membermediamaster404-Jul-01 21:18 
GeneralRe: Great Code Pin
Anonymous5-Jul-01 11:24
memberAnonymous5-Jul-01 11:24 
GeneralRe: Great Code Pin
siukurnin4-Jul-02 3:15
membersiukurnin4-Jul-02 3:15 
GeneralRe: Great Code Pin
The C++ Guru8-Sep-02 8:22
sussThe C++ Guru8-Sep-02 8:22 
GeneralRe: Great Code Pin
Anonymous4-Dec-03 19:53
sussAnonymous4-Dec-03 19:53 

General General    News News    Suggestion Suggestion    Question Question    Bug Bug    Answer Answer    Joke Joke    Praise Praise    Rant Rant    Admin Admin   

Use Ctrl+Left/Right to switch messages, Ctrl+Up/Down to switch threads, Ctrl+Shift+Left/Right to switch pages.

| Advertise | Privacy | Terms of Use | Mobile
Web01 | 2.8.151120.1 | Last Updated 15 Feb 2005
Article Copyright 2001 by Jack Handy
Everything else Copyright © CodeProject, 1999-2015
Layout: fixed | fluid