Given a string like:
# # 4 6 # # 7 # 45 # 43 # 65 56 2 # 4345 # # 23
Count how many numbers there are in this string
There are a few ways to approach this problem.
In all of them, we need a way to capture the numeric parts of the string. We’ve done that before, using something like:
We can then apply that repeatedly, with code that looks something like this:
Regex regex = new Regex(“\d+”);
Match match = regex.Match(inputString);
That’s a bit ugly, however. There’s a shortcut, however, using:
MatchCollection matches = regex.Matches(inputString);
That gives the same result.
There’s another, more “advanced” approach we can use. The regex is more complex, and the code that you write is harder to understand, so I probably wouldn’t prefer it over the last approach.
To use it, you need to know a new piece of information about the Match class (where “new” means “something I haven’t talked about”).
In earlier examples, we used the “Groups” indexer to pull out values that we had captured. So, if we wrote something like:
We would use:
to get the string.
It is possible to write a regex in which a given capture is used more that one time, and therefore corresponds to multiple strings. If we write:
( # Start up repeating section
(\D+|$) # not digits or end
)+ # repeat match
We have a single regex that will match a repeating series of digits follow by non-digits, and each match is stored using the “Digits” capture.
To get at these captures, we use:
which is a collection of captures, with each one containing the value from one of the captures. To solve our problem, we’d be interested in the length, which is:
If you want extra credit, you can also do this by using Regex.Split(), though I’ve found that Regex.Match() is easier to use for this sort of problem.