Kevin Ryde


Regexp::Common::ANSIescape -- regexps for ANSI terminal escapes


 use Regexp::Common 'ANSIescape', 'no_defaults';

 if ($str =~ /$RE{ANSIescape}/) {
    # ...

 my $re1 = $RE{ANSIescape}{-only7bit};
 my $re2 = $RE{ANSIescape}{-sepstring};


See Regexp::Common for the basics of Regexp::Common patterns. An ANSIescape pattern matches an ANSI terminal escape sequence like

    Esc[30;48m             # CSI sequence
    Esc[?1h                # CSI with private params
    EscU                   # C1 control
    Esc_ APPSTRING Esc\    # C1 with string param

    \x9B 30m               # ditto in 8-bit intro
    \x9B ?1h
    \x9F APPSTRING \x9C

Here "Esc" means \x1B ASCII escape character. The 7-bit forms are Esc followed by various combinations of printable ASCII "\x20" through "\x7E".

The 8-bit forms use bytes "\x80" through "\x9F". The -only7bit option below can omit the 8-bit patterns if they might have another meaning.

  • ISO-8859 character sets such as Latin-1 don't use \x80 through \x9F, so they're free to be the ANSI escapes.

  • Unicode code points \x80 through \x9F have the ANSI meaning, so Perl wide-char strings on ASCII systems are fine (but not EBCDIC systems).

  • UTF-8 encoding uses bytes \x80 through \x9F as intermediate parts of normal characters, so must either decode to code points first, or use -only7bit.

  • Other encodings may use \x80 through \x9F as characters, eg. DOS code page 1252 extension of Latin-1. Generally -only7bit should be used in that case.

The parameter part like "0" in "Esc[0m" can be any bytes 0x30 through 0x3F. This means "private parameter" values like the VT100 "DECSET" extensions are matched.



Match only the 7-bit forms like "\eE". Or match only the 8-bit forms like "\x{85}". The default is to match both. The 7-bit forms are the most common.


By default the string parameter to APC, DCS, OSC, PM and SOS is included in the match, for example an APC like the following is matched in its entirety.


With -sepstring the pattern instead matches the start "\x{9F}" and the terminator "\x{9C}" individually, with the Stringarg part unmatched.

In both cases the strings can be any characters through to the first ST form. The ANSI standard restricts the characters allowed in the "command string" of APC, DCS, OSC and PM, whereas anything can be a "character string" to SOS. The "command string" restrictions are not enforced by ANSIescape.


With the standard -keep option, grouping parens are included in the regexps to set the following capture variables


The entire escape sequence.


The parameters to a CSI sequence. For example

    \e[30;49m    ->   30;49      (SGR)
    \e[?5h       ->   ?5         (DECSCNM extension)

Intermediate characters (if any) and final character of a CSI escape. For example

    \e[30m       ->   m
    \e[30+P      ->   +P


ANSIescape should be loaded through the Regexp::Common mechanism, see "Loading specific sets of patterns." in Regexp::Common. Remember that loading a non-builtin pattern like ANSIescape also loads all the builtin patterns.

    # ANSIescape plus all builtins
    use Regexp::Common 'ANSIescape';

If you want only $RE{ANSIescape} then add no_defaults (or a specific set of desired builtins).

    # ANSIescape alone
    use Regexp::Common 'ANSIescape', 'no_defaults';



The ANSI standard can be obtained as ECMA-48 at



Copyright 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015 Kevin Ryde

Regexp-Common-Other is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3, or (at your option) any later version.

Regexp-Common-Other is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License along with Regexp-Common-Other. If not, see <>.