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  1. #1
    Daedalus is offline Member
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    Question remove all punctuation except dots hyphens and spaces with a regular expression

    Hi

    I would like to remove all punctuation from an article that is a string but retain the spaces, hyphens and dots so I can still determine word and sentence boundarys.

    I have tried

    txt = txt.replaceAll("\\W([^\\.]|[^\\s]|[^\\-])", "");

    however its matching a non word character followed by some thing that's not a dot or space or hyphen rather than a non word character except a dot or space or hyphen.

    How do you do exceptions?, are they supported? If not how would I go about solving this problem with out specifying every single possible punctuation character (including non ascii characters)?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    toadaly is offline Senior Member
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    Well, it's doing exactly what your regex says "a non word character followed by (not a '.' or not a space or not a hyphen"). I think what you want is "not a word character and not a dot and not a space and not a hyphen", which is the same as "not [ a word character or a dot or a space or a hyphen], which would be...

    "^[\\w\\.\\s\\-]"


    ...hope I got it right. ;p

  3. #3
    Daedalus is offline Member
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    yes it was almost right except that the "^" character at the beginning has a different meaning when it is outside the brackets (matches at start of word or something I think) if you put it inside the brackets it works fine>

    [^\\w\\.\\s\\-]

    Thanks for the help
    Last edited by Daedalus; 01-05-2011 at 06:19 PM.

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