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Regex.Split Method (String, Int32)

Splits the specified input string a specified maximum number of times at the positions defined by a regular expression specified in the Regex constructor.

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

public string[] Split(
	string input,
	int count


Type: System.String

The string to be split.

Type: System.Int32

The maximum number of times the split can occur.

Return Value

Type: System.String[]
An array of strings.


input is null.

The Regex.Split methods are similar to the String.Split method, except this method splits the string at a delimiter determined by a regular expression instead of a set of characters. The count parameter specifies the maximum number of substrings into which the input string can be split; the last string contains the unsplit remainder of the string. A count value of zero provides the default behavior of splitting as many times as possible.

If multiple matches are adjacent to one another and the number of matches found is at least two less than count, an empty string is inserted into the array. That is, empty strings that result from adjacent matches are counted in determining whether the number of matched substrings equals count.

If capturing parentheses are used in a regular expression, any captured text is included in the array of split strings. However, any array elements that contain captured text are not counted in determining whether the number of matches has reached count. For example, splitting the string "apple-apricot-plum-pear-banana" into a maximum of four substrings results in a seven-element array, as the following code shows.

string pattern = "(-)";
string input = "apple-apricot-plum-pear-banana";
Regex regex = new Regex(pattern);         // Split on hyphens.
string[] substrings = regex.Split(input, 4);
foreach (string match in substrings)
   Console.WriteLine("'{0}'", match);
// The method writes the following to the console: 
// 'apple' 
// '-' 
// 'apricot' 
// '-' 
// 'plum' 
// '-' 
// 'pear-banana'      

However, when the regular expression pattern includes multiple sets of capturing parentheses, the behavior of this method depends on the version of the .NET Framework. In the .NET Framework versions 1.0 and 1.1, only captured text from the first set of capturing parentheses is included in the returned array. In the .NET Framework version 2.0, all captured text is added to the returned array. However, elements in the returned array that contain captured text are not counted in determining whether the number of matched substrings equals count. For example, in the following code, a regular expression uses two sets of capturing parentheses to extract the elements of a date from a date string. The first set of capturing parentheses captures the hyphen, while the second set captures the forward slash. The call to the Split(String, Int32) method then specifies a maximum of two elements in the returned array. If the sample code is compiled and run under the .NET Framework 1.0 or 1.1, the method returns a two-element string array. If it is compiled and run under the .NET Framework 2.0, the method returns a three-element string array.

string input = @"07/14/2007";   
string pattern = @"(-)|(/)";
Regex regex = new Regex(pattern);
foreach (string result in regex.Split(input, 2)) 
   Console.WriteLine("'{0}'", result);
// Under .NET 1.0 and 1.1, the method returns an array of 
// 2 elements, as follows: 
//    '07' 
//    '14/2007' 
// Under .NET 2.0, the method returns an array of 
// 3 elements, as follows: 
//    '07' 
//    '/' 
//    '14/2007' 

If the regular expression can match the empty string, Split(String, Int32) will split the string into an array of single-character strings because the empty string delimiter can be found at every location. The following example splits the string "characters" into as many elements as there are in the input string. Because the null string matches the beginning of the input string, a null string is inserted at the beginning of the returned array. This causes the tenth element to consist of the two characters at the end of the input string.

string input = "characters";
Regex regex = new Regex("");
string[] substrings = regex.Split(input, input.Length);
for(int ctr = 0; ctr < substrings.Length; ctr++)
   if (ctr < substrings.Length - 1)
      Console.Write(", ");
// The example produces the following output:    
//    {, c, h, a, r, a, c, t, e, rs}

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Xbox 360, Zune

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

.NET Framework

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

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0, 1.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0