How do I write negated character class regex?

A negation class is a character class that begins with a "^" metacharacter which will exclude a set of defined characters within a square brackets. For example the negation class h[^ao]t in the example below match only the word hit and exclude the words hat and hot.

package org.kodejava.example.util.regex;

import java.util.regex.Matcher;
import java.util.regex.Pattern;

public class CharacterClassesNegationClassDemo {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        // Defines a regular expression that will search all
        // sequences of string that begin with 'h' and end with 't'
        // and have a middle letter except those appearing to the
        // right of the ^ character within the square brackets
        // ('a' and 'o')
        String regex = "h[^ao]t";

        // Compiles the pattern and obtains the matcher object.
        Pattern pattern = Pattern.compile(regex);
        Matcher matcher =
                pattern.matcher("Wow, that hot hat will make a hit");

        // Find every matches and prints it.
        while (matcher.find()) {
            System.out.format("Text "%s" found at %d to %d.%n",
          , matcher.start(), matcher.end());

The program output the following result:

Text "hit" found at 30 to 33.

Wayan Saryada

Programmer, runner, recreational diver, live in the island of Bali, Indonesia. Mostly programming in Java, creating web based application with Spring Framework, Hibernate / JPA.

Leave a Reply