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Regex.Replace Method (String, String, Int32)

Updated: December 2009

Within a specified input string, replaces a specified maximum number of strings that match a regular expression pattern with a specified replacement string.

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

public string Replace(
	string input,
	string replacement,
	int count


Type: System.String

The string to search for a match.

Type: System.String

The replacement string.

Type: System.Int32

The maximum number of times the replacement can occur.

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.


input is null.


replacement is null.

The search for matches starts at the beginning of the input parameter string. The regular expression is the pattern defined by the constructor for the current Regex object. If count is negative, replacements continue to the end of the string. If count exceeds the number of matches, all matches are replaced.

The replacement parameter specifies the string that is to replace the first count matches in input. replacement can consist of any combination of literal text and substitutions. For example, the replacement pattern a*${test}b inserts the string "a*" followed by the substring that is matched by the test capturing group, if any, followed by the string "b". The * character is not recognized as a metacharacter within a replacement pattern.


Substitutions are the only regular expression language elements that are recognized in a replacement pattern. All other regular expression language elements, including character escapes, are allowed in regular expression patterns only and are not recognized in replacement patterns.

The following example replaces the first five occurrences of duplicated characters with a single character. The regular expression pattern (\w)\1 matches consecutive occurrences of a single character and assigns the first occurrence to the first capturing group. The replacement pattern $1 replaces the entire match with the first captured group.

using System;
using System.Text.RegularExpressions;

public class Example
   public static void Main()
      string str = "aabccdeefgghiijkklmm";
      string pattern = "(\\w)\\1"; 
      string replacement = "$1"; 
      Regex rgx = new Regex(pattern);

      string result = rgx.Replace(str, replacement, 5);
      Console.WriteLine("Original String:    '{0}'", str);
      Console.WriteLine("Replacement String: '{0}'", result); 
// The example displays the following output: 
//       Original String:    'aabccdeefgghiijkklmm' 
//       Replacement String: 'abcdefghijkklmm'

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




December 2009

Expanded the Remarks section and added an example.

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