txt2regex man page

txt2regex — a Regular Expression Wizard, written with bash2 builtins



txt2regex --nocolor|--whitebg

txt2regex --all|--prog <p1,p2,...,pN>

txt2regex --showmeta|--showinfo <program>

txt2regex --make <target>

txt2regex --history <value>


txt2regex is a Regular Expression "wizard", all written with bash2 builtins, that converts human sentences to regexes.

With a simple interactive interface, you just answer to questions and build your own regex for a large variety of programs, like awk, emacs, grep, perl, php, procmail, python, sed and vim. There are more than 20 supported programs.

It's bash so download and run, no compilation needed.

Please visit the program homepage at http://txt2regex.sf.net.


works with all registered programs
prints the help message and quit
--history <value>
prints to STDOUT a regex from a history data
--make <target>
prints a ready regex for a common pattern
--prog <p1,p2,...>
choose which programs to use (separated by commas)
--showinfo <program>
prints regex info about the program
prints a complete metachar table for all programs
prints the program version and quit
colors adjusted to white background terminals

By default, all options are turned OFF. Just call it with no options to launch the default interactive interface.


--all is cool but requires lots of lines (~35)

--nocolor is strong, so it kills --whitebg

--showmeta rules, try it

--showinfo uses reverse video output, --nocolor turns it off

--history is getting useful, stay tunned

--make is a remedy for headaches

--prog is nice to use your favorite programs, mix it with --make and --history


Calling the program on the default interactive interface
$ txt2regex
Calling the program on a white terminal
$ xterm -fg black -bg white ; txt2regex --whitebg
Getting information
$ txt2regex --showmeta
Getting specific information
$ txt2regex --showinfo sed
Calling it for specific programs
$ txt2regex --prog vim,sed,grep,python
Applying a history data
$ txt2regex --history '16421¤:01¤:'
Getting ready regexes!
$ txt2regex --make hour
$ txt2regex --make number3 --prog perl
$ txt2regex --make date2 --all


The program interface is simple and easy to use. This is its contents:

| -> Top menu                           |
| -> Group menu                         |
|                                       |
| -> Regexes of the programs selected   |
|    ...                                |
|    ...                                |
|                                       |
| -> History                            |
| -> Your prompt                        |
|                                       |
| -> The question                       |
| -> The answers                        |
|    ...                                |
|    ...                                |

All the basic commands can be used on the numeric pad on the keyboard, but remember to turn ON the NumLock key.

.^Quit the program (with confirmation)
0^Reset the Regular Expression
1-9^Answers the questions
*^Toggles color ON/OFF
/^Add/remove programs on/from the list
|^Insert an alternation (where allowed)
(^Open a new group (where allowed)
)^Close the opened group (if any)


Bug reports and contributions are VERY welcome! Please send them to the author.


Written and maintained by Aurelio Marinho Jargas <verde@aurelio.net>


September, 28th 2004