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Checking for "any character" using regular expressions in multiline text

By , 30 Jan 2012
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Suppose you have the string
Start this is a 
multiline string End
and you want to match everything between the "Start" and "End" using a regular expression. The obvious one to use is
Start(.*)End
but in multi-line strings (strings that contain newlines) this will fail because "." does not match against newlines.
 
The answer? Use "[\s\S]" (match and space character or non-space character) instead of "."
Start([\s\S]*)End

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This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

About the Author

Chris Maunder
Founder CodeProject
Canada Canada
Chris is the Co-founder, Administrator, Architect, Chief Editor and Shameless Hack who wrote and runs The Code Project. He's been programming since 1988 while pretending to be, in various guises, an astrophysicist, mathematician, physicist, hydrologist, geomorphologist, defence intelligence researcher and then, when all that got a bit rough on the nerves, a web developer. He is a Microsoft Visual C++ MVP both globally and for Canada locally.
 
His programming experience includes C/C++, C#, SQL, MFC, ASP, ASP.NET, and far, far too much FORTRAN. He has worked on PocketPCs, AIX mainframes, Sun workstations, and a CRAY YMP C90 behemoth but finds notebooks take up less desk space.
 
He dodges, he weaves, and he never gets enough sleep. He is kind to small animals.
 
Chris was born and bred in Australia but splits his time between Toronto and Melbourne, depending on the weather. For relaxation he is into road cycling, snowboarding, rock climbing, and storm chasing.
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GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberEdo Tzumer2-Mar-13 22:37 

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