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JavaScript Regular Expressions made easy

VerbalExpressions is a JavaScript library that helps construct difficult regular expressions.

How to get started

In the browser

<script src="VerbalExpressions.js"></script>

Or use the jsDelivr CDN.

On the server (node.js)


npm install verbal-expressions


const VerEx = require('verbal-expressions');

Or use ES6's import:

import VerEx from 'verbal-expressions';

Running tests

npm test


npm run test:verbose

Creating a minified version

npm run build

This will run Babel on VerbalExpressions.js and output the result to dist/verbalexpressions.js. A minified version of the same will also be written to dist/verbalexpressions.min.js.

A source map will also be created in dist, so you can use the original "un-babelified", unminified source file for debugging purposes.

Building the docs/ folder

The docs/ folder uses Jekyll for building the static HTML and is hosted at gh-pages.

To install the Ruby dependencies, run:

cd docs/
bundle install

This installs all needed Ruby dependencies locally

After you've installed dependencies, you can run:

bundle exec jekyll build

This builds all static files to docs/_site/ folder.

If you want to develop the files locally, you can run:

bundle exec jekyll serve

This starts a local development web server and starts watching your files for changes.

API documentation

You can find the API documentation at You can find the source code for the docs in docs.


Here are some 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
const tester = VerEx()
    .anythingBut(' ')

// Create an example URL
const testMe = '';

// Use RegExp object's native test() function
if (tester.test(testMe)) {
    alert('We have a correct URL'); // This output will fire
} else {
    alert('The URL is incorrect');

console.log(tester); // Outputs the actual expression used: /^(http)(s)?(\:\/\/)(www\.)?([^\ ]*)$/

Replacing strings

// Create a test string
const replaceMe = 'Replace bird with a duck';

// Create an expression that seeks for word "bird"
const expression = VerEx().find('bird');

// Execute the expression like a normal RegExp object
const result = expression.replace(replaceMe, 'duck');

// Outputs "Replace duck with a duck"

Shorthand for string replace

const result = VerEx().find('red').replace('We have a red house', 'blue');

// Outputs "We have a blue house"


Pull requests are warmly welcome!

Clone the repo and fork:

git clone

Style guide

The Airbnb style guide is loosely used as a basis for creating clean and readable JavaScript code. Check .eslintrc.

Check out these slide decks for handy Github & git tips:


Other Implementations

You can see an up to date list of all ports on

If you would like to contribute another port (which would be awesome!), please open an issue specifying the language in the VerbalExpressions/implementation repo. Please don't open PRs for other languages against this repo.

Similar projects

Here's a list of other similar projects that implement regular expression builders: