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pcre_exec man page

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This page is part of the PCRE HTML documentation. It was generated automatically from the original man page. If there is any nonsense in it, please consult the man page, in case the conversion went wrong.


#include <pcre.h>

int pcre_exec(const pcre *code, const pcre_extra *extra, const char *subject, int length, int startoffset, int options, int *ovector, int ovecsize);


This function matches a compiled regular expression against a given subject string, using a matching algorithm that is similar to Perl's. It returns offsets to captured substrings. Its arguments are:

  code         Points to the compiled pattern
  extra        Points to an associated pcre_extra structure,
                 or is NULL
  subject      Points to the subject string
  length       Length of the subject string, in bytes
  startoffset  Offset in bytes in the subject at which to
                 start matching
  options      Option bits
  ovector      Points to a vector of ints for result offsets
  ovecsize     Number of elements in the vector (a multiple of 3)

The options are:

  PCRE_ANCHORED      Match only at the first position
  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_NOTBOL        Subject is not the beginning of a line
  PCRE_NOTEOL        Subject is not the end of a line
  PCRE_NOTEMPTY      An empty string is not a valid match
  PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK Do not check the subject for UTF-8
                       validity (only relevant if PCRE_UTF8
                       was set at compile time)
  PCRE_PARTIAL       Return PCRE_ERROR_PARTIAL for a partial match

There are restrictions on what may appear in a pattern when partial matching is requested.

A pcre_extra structure contains the following fields:

  flags        Bits indicating which fields are set
  study_data   Opaque data from pcre_study()
  match_limit  Limit on internal resource use
  match_limit_recursion  Limit on internal recursion depth
  callout_data Opaque data passed back to callouts
  tables       Points to character tables or is NULL


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.
Return to the PCRE index page.

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