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Regex.Replace Method (String, MatchEvaluator)

In a specified input string, replaces all strings that match a specified regular expression with a string returned by a MatchEvaluator delegate.

Namespace:  System.Text.RegularExpressions
Assembly:  System (in System.dll)

'Declaration
Public Function Replace ( _
	input As String, _
	evaluator As MatchEvaluator _
) As String

Parameters

input
Type: System.String

The string to search for a match.

evaluator
Type: System.Text.RegularExpressions.MatchEvaluator

A custom method that examines each match and returns either the original matched string or a replacement string.

Return Value

Type: System.String
A new string that is identical to the input string, except that a replacement string takes the place of each matched string. If the regular expression pattern is not matched in the current instance, the method returns the current instance unchanged.

ExceptionCondition
ArgumentNullException

input or evaluator is Nothing.

RegexMatchTimeoutException

A time-out occurred. For more information about time-outs, see the Remarks section.

The Regex.Replace(String, MatchEvaluator) method is useful for replacing a regular expression match if any of the following conditions is true:

  • The replacement string cannot readily be specified by a regular expression replacement pattern.

  • The replacement string results from some processing done on the matched string.

  • The replacement string results from conditional processing.

The method is equivalent to calling the Regex.Matches(String) method and passing each Match object in the returned MatchCollection collection to the evaluator delegate.

The regular expression is the pattern defined by the constructor for the current Regex object.

The evaluator parameter is the delegate for a custom method that you define and that examines each match. The custom method must have the following signature to match the MatchEvaluator delegate.

Public Function MatchEvaluatorMethod(match As Match) As String

Your custom method returns a string that replaces the matched input.

The RegexMatchTimeoutException exception is thrown if the execution time of the replacement operation exceeds the time-out interval specified by the Regex.Regex(String, RegexOptions, TimeSpan) constructor. If you do not set a time-out interval when you call the constructor, the exception is thrown if the operation exceeds any time-out value established for the application domain in which the Regex object is created. If no time-out is defined in the Regex constructor call or in the application domain's properties, or if the time-out value is Regex.InfiniteMatchTimeout, no exception is thrown

Because the method returns input unchanged if there is no match, you can use the Object.ReferenceEquals method to determine whether the method has made any replacements to the input string.

The following code example displays an original string, matches each word in the original string, converts the first character of each match to uppercase, then displays the converted string.

Imports System.Text.RegularExpressions

Module RegExSample
    Function CapText(ByVal m As Match) As String 
        ' Get the matched string. 
        Dim x As String = m.ToString()
        ' If the first char is lower case... 
        If Char.IsLower(x.Chars(0)) Then 
            ' Capitalize it. 
            Return Char.ToUpper(x.Chars(0)) & x.Substring(1, x.Length - 1)
        End If 
        Return x
    End Function 

    Sub Main()
        Dim text As String = "four score and seven years ago"

        System.Console.WriteLine("text=[" & text & "]")

        Dim rx As New Regex("\w+")

        Dim result As String = rx.Replace(text, AddressOf RegExSample.CapText)

        System.Console.WriteLine("result=[" & result & "]")
    End Sub 
End Module 
' The example displays the following output: 
'       text=[four score and seven years ago] 
'       result=[Four Score And Seven Years Ago]

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Portable Class Library

Supported in: Portable Class Library

.NET for Windows Store apps

Supported in: Windows 8

.NET for Windows Phone apps

Supported in: Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Phone Silverlight 8.1, Windows Phone Silverlight 8

Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core Role not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core Role supported with SP1 or later; Itanium not supported)

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

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