pcreunicode


       As well as UTF-8 support, PCRE also supports UTF-16 (from release 8.30)
       and UTF-32 (from release 8.32), by means of two  additional  libraries.
       They can be built as well as, or instead of, the 8-bit library.

UTF-8 SUPPORT

       In  order  process  UTF-8  strings, you must build PCRE's 8-bit library
       with UTF support, and, in addition, you must call  pcre_compile()  with
       the  PCRE_UTF8 option flag, or the pattern must start with the sequence
       (*UTF8) or (*UTF). When either of these is the case, both  the  pattern
       and  any  subject  strings  that  are matched against it are treated as
       UTF-8 strings instead of strings of individual 1-byte characters.

UTF-16 AND UTF-32 SUPPORT

       In order process UTF-16 or UTF-32 strings, you must build PCRE's 16-bit
       or  32-bit  library  with  UTF support, and, in addition, you must call
       pcre16_compile() or pcre32_compile() with the PCRE_UTF16 or  PCRE_UTF32
       option flag, as appropriate. Alternatively, the pattern must start with
       the sequence (*UTF16), (*UTF32), as appropriate, or (*UTF),  which  can
       be used with either library. When UTF mode is set, both the pattern and
       any subject strings that are matched against it are treated  as  UTF-16
       or  UTF-32  strings  instead  of strings of individual 16-bit or 32-bit
       characters.

UTF SUPPORT OVERHEAD

       If you compile PCRE with UTF support, but do not use it  at  run  time,
       the  library will be a bit bigger, but the additional run time overhead
       is limited to  testing  the  PCRE_UTF[8|16|32]  flag  occasionally,  so
       should not be very big.

UNICODE PROPERTY SUPPORT

       If PCRE is built with Unicode character property support (which implies
       UTF support), the escape sequences \p{..}, \P{..}, and \X can be  used.
       The  available properties that can be tested are limited to the general
       category properties such as Lu for an upper case letter  or  Nd  for  a
       decimal number, the Unicode script names such as Arabic or Han, and the
       derived properties Any and L&. Full lists is given in  the  pcrepattern
       and  pcresyntax  documentation. Only the short names for properties are
       supported. For example, \p{L}  matches  a  letter.  Its  Perl  synonym,
       \p{Letter},  is  not  supported.  Furthermore, in Perl, many properties
       may optionally be prefixed by "Is", for compatibility  with  Perl  5.6.
       PCRE does not support this.

   Validity of UTF-8 strings

       When  you  set  the PCRE_UTF8 flag, the byte strings passed as patterns
       and subjects are (by default) checked for validity on entry to the rel-
       evant functions. The entire string is checked before any other process-
       ing takes place. From release 7.3 of PCRE, the check is  according  the
       rules of RFC 3629, which are themselves derived from the Unicode speci-
       unfortunately messes up UTF-8 and UTF-32.)

       If an invalid UTF-8 string is passed to PCRE, an error return is given.
       At  compile  time, the only additional information is the offset to the
       first byte of the failing character. The run-time functions pcre_exec()
       and  pcre_dfa_exec() also pass back this information, as well as a more
       detailed reason code if the caller has provided memory in which  to  do
       this.

       In  some  situations, you may already know that your strings are valid,
       and therefore want to skip these checks in  order  to  improve  perfor-
       mance,  for  example in the case of a long subject string that is being
       scanned repeatedly.  If you set the PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK flag at  compile
       time  or  at  run  time, PCRE assumes that the pattern or subject it is
       given (respectively) contains only valid UTF-8 codes. In this case,  it
       does not diagnose an invalid UTF-8 string.

       Note  that  passing  PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK to pcre_compile() just disables
       the check for the pattern; it does not also apply to  subject  strings.
       If  you  want  to  disable the check for a subject string you must pass
       this option to pcre_exec() or pcre_dfa_exec().

       If you pass an invalid UTF-8 string when PCRE_NO_UTF8_CHECK is set, the
       result is undefined and your program may crash.

   Validity of UTF-16 strings

       When you set the PCRE_UTF16 flag, the strings of 16-bit data units that
       are passed as patterns and subjects are (by default) checked for valid-
       ity  on entry to the relevant functions. Values other than those in the
       surrogate range U+D800 to U+DFFF are independent code points. Values in
       the surrogate range must be used in pairs in the correct manner.

       If  an  invalid  UTF-16  string  is  passed to PCRE, an error return is
       given. At compile time, the only additional information is  the  offset
       to the first data unit of the failing character. The run-time functions
       pcre16_exec() and pcre16_dfa_exec() also pass back this information, as
       well  as  a more detailed reason code if the caller has provided memory
       in which to do this.

       In some situations, you may already know that your strings  are  valid,
       and  therefore  want  to  skip these checks in order to improve perfor-
       mance. If you set the PCRE_NO_UTF16_CHECK flag at compile  time  or  at
       run time, PCRE assumes that the pattern or subject it is given (respec-
       tively) contains only valid UTF-16 sequences. In this case, it does not
       diagnose  an  invalid  UTF-16 string.  However, if an invalid string is
       passed, the result is undefined.

   Validity of UTF-32 strings

       When you set the PCRE_UTF32 flag, the strings of 32-bit data units that
       are passed as patterns and subjects are (by default) checked for valid-
       ity on entry to the relevant functions.  This check allows only  values
       in  the  range  U+0 to U+10FFFF, excluding the surrogate area U+D800 to
       run time, PCRE assumes that the pattern or subject it is given (respec-
       tively) contains only valid UTF-32 sequences. In this case, it does not
       diagnose an invalid UTF-32 string.  However, if an  invalid  string  is
       passed, the result is undefined.

   General comments about UTF modes

       1.  Codepoints  less  than  256  can be specified in patterns by either
       braced or unbraced hexadecimal escape sequences (for example, \x{b3} or
       \xb3). Larger values have to use braced sequences.

       2.  Octal  numbers  up  to  \777 are recognized, and in UTF-8 mode they
       match two-byte characters for values greater than \177.

       3. Repeat quantifiers apply to complete UTF characters, not to individ-
       ual data units, for example: \x{100}{3}.

       4.  The dot metacharacter matches one UTF character instead of a single
       data unit.

       5. The escape sequence \C can be used to match a single byte  in  UTF-8
       mode,  or  a single 16-bit data unit in UTF-16 mode, or a single 32-bit
       data unit in UTF-32 mode, but its use can lead to some strange  effects
       because  it  breaks up multi-unit characters (see the description of \C
       in the pcrepattern documentation). The use of \C is  not  supported  in
       the  alternative  matching  function  pcre[16|32]_dfa_exec(), nor is it
       supported in UTF mode by the JIT optimization of pcre[16|32]_exec(). If
       JIT  optimization  is  requested for a UTF pattern that contains \C, it
       will not succeed, and so the matching will be carried out by the normal
       interpretive function.

       6.  The  character escapes \b, \B, \d, \D, \s, \S, \w, and \W correctly
       test characters of any code value, but, by default, the characters that
       PCRE  recognizes  as digits, spaces, or word characters remain the same
       set as in non-UTF mode, all with values less  than  256.  This  remains
       true  even  when  PCRE  is  built  to include Unicode property support,
       because to do otherwise would slow down PCRE in many common cases. Note
       in  particular that this applies to \b and \B, because they are defined
       in terms of \w and \W. If you really want to test for a wider sense of,
       say,  "digit",  you  can  use  explicit  Unicode property tests such as
       \p{Nd}. Alternatively, if you set the PCRE_UCP option, the way that the
       character  escapes  work is changed so that Unicode properties are used
       to determine which characters match. There are more details in the sec-
       tion on generic character types in the pcrepattern documentation.

       7.  Similarly,  characters that match the POSIX named character classes
       are all low-valued characters, unless the PCRE_UCP option is set.

       8. However, the horizontal and vertical white  space  matching  escapes
       (\h,  \H,  \v, and \V) do match all the appropriate Unicode characters,
       whether or not PCRE_UCP is set.

       9. Case-insensitive matching applies only to  characters  whose  values
       are  less than 128, unless PCRE is built with Unicode property support.

REVISION

       Last updated: 27 February 2013
       Copyright (c) 1997-2013 University of Cambridge.

PCRE 8.33                      27 February 2013                 PCREUNICODE(3)
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