pcre_compile specification

Perl Compatible Regular Expressions

pcre_compile man page

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#include <pcre.h>

pcre *pcre_compile(const char *pattern, int options, const char **errptr, int *erroffset, const unsigned char *tableptr);


This function compiles a regular expression into an internal form. It is the same as pcre_compile2(), except for the absence of the errorcodeptr argument. Its arguments are:

  pattern       A zero-terminated string containing the
                  regular expression to be compiled
  options       Zero or more option bits
  errptr        Where to put an error message
  erroffset     Offset in pattern where error was found
  tableptr      Pointer to character tables, or NULL to
                  use the built-in default
The option bits are:
  PCRE_ANCHORED         Force pattern anchoring
  PCRE_AUTO_CALLOUT     Compile automatic callouts
  PCRE_CASELESS         Do caseless matching
  PCRE_DOLLAR_ENDONLY   $ not to match newline at end
  PCRE_DOTALL           . matches anything including NL
  PCRE_DUPNAMES         Allow duplicate names for subpatterns
  PCRE_EXTENDED         Ignore whitespace and # comments
  PCRE_EXTRA            PCRE extra features
                          (not much use currently)
  PCRE_FIRSTLINE        Force matching to be before newline
  PCRE_MULTILINE        ^ and $ match newlines within data
  PCRE_NEWLINE_ANY      Recognize any Unicode newline sequence
  PCRE_NEWLINE_ANYCRLF  Recognize CR, LF, and CRLF as newline sequences
  PCRE_NEWLINE_CR       Set CR as the newline sequence
  PCRE_NEWLINE_CRLF     Set CRLF as the newline sequence
  PCRE_NEWLINE_LF       Set LF as the newline sequence
  PCRE_NO_AUTO_CAPTURE  Disable numbered capturing paren-
                          theses (named ones available)
  PCRE_UNGREEDY         Invert greediness of quantifiers
  PCRE_UTF8             Run in UTF-8 mode
  PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK    Do not check the pattern for UTF-8
                          validity (only relevant if
                          PCRE_UTF8 is set)
PCRE must be built with UTF-8 support in order to use PCRE_UTF8 and PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK.

The yield of the function is a pointer to a private data structure that contains the compiled pattern, or NULL if an error was detected. Note that compiling regular expressions with one version of PCRE for use with a different version is not guaranteed to work and may cause crashes.

There is a complete description of the PCRE native API in the pcreapi page and a description of the POSIX API in the pcreposix page.

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