Split a string with multiple delimiters

I will describe in this post how to split a string with multiple delimiters.

To begin and to remind you how to split a string, you can use the Powershell method “split” :

$string = "part1-part2"
$string.split("-")
part1
part2

or

$string -split "-"
part1
part2

If you have a string you want to split but the delimiters are different from each other. For example, you have two delimiters : “.” and “;”. The string looks like :

$string = "part1.part2;part3"

To split the string above, you can do :

$string -Split {$_ -eq "." -or $_ -eq ";"}
part1
part2
part3

If you have more than two different delimiters, this method can be improved. The idea is to put all of your delimiters in an array. Try this :

#init delimiter array
$delim = ".",";"
$string -Split {$delim -contains $_}
part1
part2
part3

It is not finished 🙂 If you have two strings with both different delimiters, it will work as below :

$delim = ".",";","-"," "
$string1 = "part1.part2;part3"
$string2 = "part4-part5 part6"
$string1 -Split {$delim -contains $_}
part1
part2
part3

$string2 -Split {$delim -contains $_}
part4
part5
part6

So now, it is your turn… Have fun 🙂


Reference

Split method

SHORT DESCRIPTION

Explains how to use the Split operator to split one or more strings into
substrings.

LONG DESCRIPTION

The Split operator splits one or more strings into substrings. You can
change the following elements of the Split operation:

— Delimiter. The default is whitespace, but you can specify characters,
strings, patterns, or script blocks that specify the delimiter.

— Maximum number of substrings. The default is to return all substrings. If
you specify a number less than the number of substrings, the remaining
substrings are concatenated in the last substring.

— Options that specify the conditions under which the delimiter is matched,
such as SimpleMatch and Multiline.

SYNTAX

The following diagram shows the syntax for the -split operator.

The parameter names do not appear in the command. Include only the
parameter values. The values must appear in the order specified in the
syntax diagram.

-Split

-Split [,[,”“]]

-Split {} [,]

You can substitute -iSplit or -cSplit for -split in any binary Split statement
(a Split statement that includes a delimiter or script block). The -iSplit and
-split operators are case-insensitive. The -cSplit operator is case-sensitive,
meaning that case is considered when the delimiter rules are applied.

PARAMETERS


Specifies one or more strings to be split. If you submit multiple
strings, all the strings are split using the same delimiter rules.
Example:

-split "red yellow blue green"
    red
    yellow
    blue
    green


The characters that identify the end of a substring. The default
delimiter is whitespace, including spaces and non-printable characters, such
as newline (`n) and tab (`t). When the strings are split, the delimiter
is omitted from all the substrings. Example:

"Lastname:FirstName:Address" -split ":"
    Lastname
    FirstName
    Address

By default, the delimiter is omitted from the results. To preserve all or
part of the delimiter, enclose in parentheses the part that you want to
preserve. If the parameter is added, this takes precedence
when your command splits up the collection. If you opt to include a delimiter
as part of the output, the command returns the delimiter as part of the output;
however, splitting the string to return the delimiter as part of output does
not count as a split. .Examples:

"Lastname:FirstName:Address" -split "(:)"
    Lastname
          :
    FirstName
    :
          Address    


          "Lastname/:/FirstName/:/Address" -split "/(:)/"
    Lastname
          :
    FirstName
          :    
          Address

In the following example, is set to 3. This results in three
splits of the string values, but a total of five strings in the resulting
output; the delimiter is included after the splits, until the maximum of three
substrings is reached. Additional delimiters in the final substring become part
of the substring.

'Chocolate-Vanilla-Strawberry-Blueberry' -split '(-)', 3;
         
         Chocolate
         -
         Vanilla
         -
         Strawberry-Blueberry


Specifies the maximum number of times that a string is split. The default is
all the substrings split by the delimiter. If there are more substrings,
they are concatenated to the final substring. If there are fewer
substrings, all the substrings are returned. A value of 0 and negative values return
all the substrings.

Max-substrings does not specify the maximum number of objects that are returned;
its value equals the maximum number of times that a string is split.
If you submit more than one string (an array of strings) to the Split operator ,
the Max-substrings limit is applied to each string separately. Example:

$c = "Mercury,Venus,Earth,Mars,Jupiter,Saturn,Uranus,Neptune"
    $c -split ",", 5
    Mercury
    Venus
    Earth
    Mars
    Jupiter,Saturn,Uranus,Neptune


An expression that specifies rules for applying the delimiter. The
expression must evaluate to $true or $false. Enclose the script
block in braces. Example:

$c = "Mercury,Venus,Earth,Mars,Jupiter,Saturn,Uranus,Neptune"
    $c -split {$_ -eq "e" -or $_ -eq "p"}
    M
    rcury,V
    nus,Earth,Mars,Ju
    it
    r,Saturn,Uranus,N

    tun


Enclose the option name in quotation marks. Options are valid only
when the parameter is used in the statement.

The syntax for the Options parameter is:

“SimpleMatch [,IgnoreCase]”

“[RegexMatch] [,IgnoreCase] [,CultureInvariant]
[,IgnorePatternWhitespace] [,ExplicitCapture]
[,Singleline | ,Multiline]”

The SimpleMatch options are:

— SimpleMatch: Use simple string comparison when evaluating the
delimiter. Cannot be used with RegexMatch.

— IgnoreCase: Forces case-insensitive matching, even if the -cSplit
operator is specified.

The RegexMatch options are:

— RegexMatch: Use regular expression matching to evaluate the
delimiter. This is the default behavior. Cannot be used with
SimpleMatch.

— IgnoreCase: Forces case-insensitive matching, even if the -cSplit
operator is specified.

— CultureInvariant: Ignores cultural differences in language
when evaluting the delimiter. Valid only with RegexMatch.

— IgnorePatternWhitespace: Ignores unescaped whitespace and
comments marked with the number sign (#). Valid only with
RegexMatch.

— Multiline: Multiline mode recognizes the start and end of lines
and strings. Valid only with RegexMatch. Singleline is the default.

— Singleline: Singleline mode recognizes only the start and end of
strings. Valid only with RegexMatch. Singleline is the default.

— ExplicitCapture: Ignores non-named match groups so that only
explicit capture groups are returned in the result list. Valid
only with RegexMatch.

UNARY and BINARY SPLIT OPERATORS

The unary split operator (-split ) has higher precedence than a
comma. As a result, if you submit a comma-separated list of strings to the
unary split operator, only the first string (before the first comma) is
split.

To split more than one string, use the binary split operator
( -split ). Enclose all the strings in parentheses,
or store the strings in a variable, and then submit the variable to the
split operator.

Consider the following example:

-split "1 2", "a b"
1
2
a b
"1 2", "a b" -split " "
1
2
a
b
-split ("1 2", "a b")
1
2
a
b
$a = "1 2", "a b"
-split $a
1
2
a
b
EXAMPLES

The following statement splits the string at whitespace.

C:\PS> -split "Windows PowerShell 2.0`nWindows PowerShell with remoting"

Windows
PowerShell
2.0
Windows
PowerShell
with
remoting

The following statement splits the string at any comma.

C:\PS> "Mercury,Venus,Earth,Mars,Jupiter,Saturn,Uranus,Neptune" -split ','

        Mercury
        Venus
        Earth 
        Mars
        Jupiter
        Saturn
        Uranus
        Neptune

The following statement splits the string at the pattern “er”.

C:\PS>"Mercury,Venus,Earth,Mars,Jupiter,Saturn,Uranus,Neptune" -split 'er'

M
cury,Venus,Earth,Mars,Jupit
,Saturn,Uranus,Neptune

The following statement performs a case-sensitive split at the
letter “N”.

C:\PS> "Mercury,Venus,Earth,Mars,Jupiter,Saturn,Uranus,Neptune" -cSplit 'N'

Mercury,Venus,Earth,Mars,Jupiter,Saturn,Uranus,
eptune

The following statement splits the string at “e” and “t”.

C:\PS> "Mercury,Venus,Earth,Mars,Jupiter,Saturn,Uranus,Neptune" -split '[et]'

        M
        rcury,V
        nus,
        ar
        h,Mars,Jupi

        r,Sa
        urn,Uranus,N
        p
        un

The following statement splits the string at “e” and “r”, but limits the
resulting substrings to six substrings.

C:\PS> "Mercury,Venus,Earth,Mars,Jupiter,Saturn,Uranus,Neptune" -split '[er]', 6

M

cu
y,V
nus,
arth,Mars,Jupiter,Saturn,Uranus,Neptune

The following statement splits a string into three substrings.

C:\PS> "a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h" -split ",", 3

a
b
c,d,e,f,g,h

The following statement splits two strings into three substrings.
(The limit is applied to each string independently.)

C:\PS> "a,b,c,d", "e,f,g,h" -split ",", 3

a
b
c,d
e
f
g,h

The following statement splits each line in the here-string at the
first digit. It uses the Multiline option to recognize the beginning
of each line and string.

The 0 represents the “return all” value of the Max-substrings parameter. You can
use options, such as Multiline, only when the Max-substrings value
is specified.

C:\PS> $a = @'
1The first line.
2The second line.
3The third of three lines.
'@
        
        C:\PS> $a -split "^\d", 0, "multiline"

The first line.


The second line.


The third of three lines.

The following statement uses the SimpleMatch option to direct the -split
operator to interpret the dot (.) delimiter literally.

With the default, RegexMatch, the dot enclosed in quotation marks (“.”) is
interpreted to match any character except for a newline character. As a
result, the Split statement returns a blank line for every character except
newline.

The 0 represents the “return all” value of the Max-substrings parameter.
You can use options, such as SimpleMatch, only when the Max-substrings
value is specified.

C:\PS> "This.is.a.test" -split ".", 0, "simplematch"

This
        is
        a 
test

The following statement splits the string at one of two delimiters,
depending on the value of a variable.

C:\PS> $i = 1
        C:\PS> $c = "LastName, FirstName; Address, City, State, Zip"
        C:\PS> $c -split {if ($i -lt 1) {$_ -eq ","} else {$_ -eq ";"}}

LastName, FirstName
 Address, City, State, Zip

The following split statements split an XML file first at the angle bracket
and then at the semicolon. The result is a readable version of the XML
file.

C:\PS> get-process PowerShell | export-clixml ps.xml
        C:\PS> $x = import-clixml ps.xml
        C:\PS> $x = $x -split "<"
        C:\PS> $x = $x -split ";"

To display the result, type “$x”.

C:\PS> $x

        @{__NounName=Process
Name=PowerShell
Handles=428
VM=150081536
WS=34840576
PM=36253696
...
Split a string with multiple delimiters

2 thoughts on “Split a string with multiple delimiters

  • December 12, 2014 at 10:14 am
    Permalink

    Hi, nice site here 😉 !
    You can also directly pass an array of delimiter to the split function :

    $string = "part1.part2;part3"
    $string.Split(@('.',';')) 
    
    
    						Reply					
  • December 12, 2014 at 10:14 am
    Permalink

    Hi, nice site here 😉 !
    You can also directly pass an array of delimiter to the split function :

    $string = "part1.part2;part3"
    $string.Split(@('.',';')) 
    
    
    						Reply					

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