One ReplaceAll Statement to Rule Them All!

Well, sort of.

In reviewing my code to make it more efficient, I noticed I have several variations on the .replaceAll() statement. In some case I'm trying to remove the $ and , from a value. In others I'm trying to remove the newline and CRLF characters. For another the goal was to remove the ( and ) from a value. And yet another was for the \ in a date. On top of this, I called replace several times in a row in order to remove specific characters or a string.

While those work, there is a way to accomplish this in a single call and return just the number I'm really looking for.

For example, I have the value $5,573,127 and want just the integer value. That can be done with:

tempText=tempText.replaceAll("[^0-9]","").toInteger()

Everything that isn't a number will be removed and I'll have 5573127 as an Integer. This includes ()[]$,. and -.

If the value is -$5,573,127.35 and I need to keep the decimal or the negative, it's a simple change to add them at the end as values to keep.

tempText=tempText.replaceAll("[^0-9.-]","").toDouble()

Now, if there is additional text, such as "Showing 1 to 8 of 2,056 entries", that can be handled by passing the text string to remove to the .replaceAll(). We then use the pipe | delimiter to indicate there is more conversion we wish to make.

tempText="Showing 1 to 8 of 2,056 entries"
removeText="Showing 1 to 8 of"
tempText=tempText.replaceAll(removeText + "|[^0-9]","").toInteger()
or
tempText=tempText.replaceAll("1 to 8|[^0-9]","").toInteger()

We now have 2056 as the number of entries. We specifically need to remove the 1 to 8 text or else the 1 and 8 will be retained giving us 182056 as a result, which is incorrect.

This will save quite a few lines of codes and make the .replaceAll() much more consistent across my projects. It pretty much won't matter what I'm reading, it'll be easy to get back just the number with one command.

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