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Oracle® Database SQL Reference
10g Release 2 (10.2)

B14200-02
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REGEXP_REPLACE

Syntax

Description of regexp_replace.gif follows
Description of the illustration regexp_replace.gif

Purpose

REGEXP_REPLACE extends the functionality of the REPLACE function by letting you search a string for a regular expression pattern. By default, the function returns source_char with every occurrence of the regular expression pattern replaced with replace_string. The string returned is in the same character set as source_char. The function returns VARCHAR2 if the first argument is not a LOB and returns CLOB if the first argument is a LOB.

This function complies with the POSIX regular expression standard and the Unicode Regular Expression Guidelines. For more information, please refer to Appendix C, "Oracle Regular Expression Support".

Examples

The following example examines phone_number, looking for the pattern xxx.xxx.xxxx. Oracle reformats this pattern with (xxx) xxx-xxxx.

SELECT
  REGEXP_REPLACE(phone_number,
                 '([[:digit:]]{3})\.([[:digit:]]{3})\.([[:digit:]]{4})',
                 '(\1) \2-\3') "REGEXP_REPLACE"
  FROM employees;

REGEXP_REPLACE
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(515) 123-4567
(515) 123-4568
(515) 123-4569
(590) 423-4567
. . .

The following example examines country_name. Oracle puts a space after each non-null character in the string.

SELECT
  REGEXP_REPLACE(country_name, '(.)', '\1 ') "REGEXP_REPLACE"
  FROM countries;

REGEXP_REPLACE
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A r g e n t i n a
A u s t r a l i a
B e l g i u m
B r a z i l
C a n a d a
. . .

The following example examines the string, looking for two or more spaces. Oracle replaces each occurrence of two or more spaces with a single space.

SELECT
  REGEXP_REPLACE('500   Oracle     Parkway,    Redwood  Shores, CA',
                 '( ){2,}', ' ') "REGEXP_REPLACE"
  FROM DUAL;

REGEXP_REPLACE
--------------------------------------
500 Oracle Parkway, Redwood Shores, CA