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ereg_replace — Performs POSIX regular expression match and replaces the matches in the subject with the specified replacement.


string ereg_replace(pattern, replacement, subject);
string pattern: Regex pattern to match
string replacement: Replacement string
string subject: String to search using the pattern


Modified string if the pattern matched; unmodified string if not


This function replaces any matches for the pattern with a replacement in a specified subject string. The entire string is searched for the pattern and all the matches are replaced. This allows a global search and replace to be done quickly and easily.

The replacement string can contain references of the form \n, where n is a number from 0 to 9. Before the actual replacement is performed, the function looks for these references in the replacement string and substitutes them with the text matched by the corresponding parenthesized subpattern in the pattern parameter. \0 refers to the text matched by the whole pattern, \1 refers to the text matched by the first parenthesized subpattern, and so on.


If the replacement string is specified in double quotation marks, the backslash character must be doubled. For example, the following two statements are equivalent:

$fixed = ereg_replace("(fox) (brown)", '\2 \1', $sentence);
$fixed = ereg_replace("(fox) (brown)", "\\2 \\1", $sentence);

If no matches are found in the subject string, it's returned unchanged.

See also

See also eregi_replace() , preg_replace()


Example 1124. Keep quips up to date

$string = "Best way to dispose of the Borg: Give them Windows 3.1.";
echo ereg_replace("(Windows[ ]*)(3.1|95|98|Me|2000|NT)", '\1XP', $string);
This example produces the following result:
Best way to dispose of the Borg: Give them Windows XP.

PHP Functions Essential Reference. Copyright © 2002 by New Riders Publishing (Authors: Zak Greant, Graeme Merrall, Torben Wilson, Brett Michlitsch). This material may be distributed only subject to the terms and conditions set forth in the Open Publication License, v1.0 or later (the latest version is presently available at The authors of this book have elected not to choose any options under the OPL. This online book was obtained from and is designed to provide information about the PHP programming language, focusing on PHP version 4.0.4 for the most part. The information is provided on an as-is basis, and no warranty or fitness is implied. All persons and entities shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage arising from the information contained in this book.

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