Character Set Expressions

The specification of character sets using unit code properties requires caution and a precise vision of the results of character set operations. In order to allow to user to see results of character set operations, quex provides a query mode where the character set corresponding to a specific property setting can be investigated. Additionally, whole character set expressions can be specified and quex displays the set of characters that results from it.

In order to display the character set related to a unicode property setting, call quex with the option --set-by-property followed by a string that specifies the setting in the same way as this is done in regular expressions with the \P{...} operation. Note, that binary properties have no value in the sense that they are specified in a manner as property-name=value. Instead, it is sufficient to give the name of the binary property and quex displays all characters that have that property, e.g.

> quex --set-by-property ASCII_Hex_Digit

displays all characters that have the property ASCII_Hex_Digit, i.e.

00020:                               0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
00040: A B C D E F
00060: a b c d e f

For non-binary properties the value of the property has to be specified. For example, the set of characters where the property Block is equal to Ethiopic can be displayed by calling

> quex --set-by-property Block=Ethiopic

Characters for unicode property Block=Ethiopic.

and the result is displayed in figure <<fig-screenshot-block-ethiopic.png>>. Naturally, sets specified with a simple property setting are not precisely what the user desires. To apply complex operations of character set, quex provides character set operations <<sec-formal/patterns/operations>>. Again, it is essential to know which character sets these expressions expand. Thus, quex provides a function to investigate set expressions with the command line option --set-by-expression. The following call

> quex --set-by-expression 'intersection(\P{Script=Arabic}, \G{Nd})'

Displays all characters that are numeric digits in the arabic script. Note that the display of characters on the screen is not always meaningful, so you might specify the one of the options:


in order to display numeric values of the characters.


prints out character intervals instead of each isolated character.


which prints out the character names.

Depending on the specific information required, these options allow to display the results appropriately.