C++ regular expressions made easy
C++ CMake
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C++ Regular Expressions made easy

VerbalExpressions is a C++11 Header library that helps to construct difficult regular expressions.

This C++ lib is based off of the (original) Javascript VerbalExpressions library by jehna.

Other Implementations

You can see an up to date list of all ports on VerbalExpressions.github.io.

How to get started

In case you do not have C++11 compliant standard library you can still use boost.regex.


Here's a couple of simple examples to give an idea of how VerbalExpressions works:

Testing if we have a valid URL

// Create an example of how to test for correctly formed URLs
verex expr = verex()
            .then( "http" )
            .maybe( "s" )
            .then( "://" )
            .maybe( "www." )
            .anything_but( " " )

// Use verex's test() function to find if it matches
std::cout << expr.test("https://www.google.com") << std::endl;

// Ouputs the actual expression used: ^(?:http)(?:s)?(?:://)(?:www.)?(?:[^ ]*)$
std::cout << expr << std::endl;

Replacing strings

// Create a test string
std::string replaceMe = "Replace bird with a duck";
// Create an expression that seeks for word "bird"
verex expr2 = verex().find("bird");
// Execute the expression
std::cout << expr2.replace(replaceMe, "duck") << std::endl;

Shorthand for string replace:

std::cout << verex().find( "red" ).replace( "We have a red house", "blue" ) << std::endl;

Here you can find the API documentation for Verbal Expressions

Basic usage

Basic usage of Verbal Expressions starts from the expression verex(). You can chain methods afterwards. Those are described under the "terms" section.

auto expr = verex();



  • .anything()
  • .anything_but( const std::string & value )
  • .something()
  • .something_but(const std::string & value)
  • .end_of_line()
  • .find( const std::string & value )
  • .maybe( const std::string & value )
  • .start_of_line()
  • .then( const std::string & value )

Special characters and groups

  • .any( const std::string & value )
  • .any_of( const std::string & value )
  • .br()
  • .linebreak()
  • .range( const std::vector<std::pair<std::string, std::string>> & args )
  • .range( const std::std::string & a, const & std::string b )
  • .tab()
  • .word()


  • .with_any_case()
  • .search_one_line()
  • .search_global()


  • .replace( const std::string & source, const std::string & value )
  • .test()


  • .add( expression )
  • .multiple( const std::string & value )
  • .alt()