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Use pattern matching to validate fields

Created by Contensis product team, last modified by r.saunders on 25 Aug 2020

The matches pattern validation method ensures that the value of a field matches a specific pattern defined by a regular expression.

A regular expression is a special text string for describing a search pattern. We use these expressions to validate the text that an author enters into a field of an entry.


An email field with an email pattern matching validation showing an error
An example of a text field with an email address regular expression validation applied.

How to set the validation

With a content type open for editing:

  1. Select the text field you want to set a validation rule for and pick the Validation tab from the Field Settings panel.
  2. Choose the required regular expression pattern you want to use from the Matches pattern dropdown, or define your own using the Custom option.
  3. You can add an alternative validation message by entering it in the Validation message text box. This will be displayed if the field fails validation when published.

Setting a custom expression

You can use the Custom option in the matches pattern dropdown to create your own. Using a handy library and expression checker, like Regular Expression 101, to test your expression makes things easier.

Note: Expressions need to be written using the full JavaScript syntax to be valid.

Predefined regular expressions

We've included some predefined expressions covering some standard scenarios.

Website address

Allowed valuesDisallowed values

Email address

Allowed valuesDisallowed values

UK postcodes

Allowed valuesDisallowed values
SY83EGsy8 £eg

12 hour time

Allowed valuesDisallowed values
10:20 am12:15
10.42.01 AM101603
09 26 03 PM12am
7:35 PM10:67

24 hour time

Allowed valuesDisallowed values
09 26 0312 am

Title casing

Allowed valuesDisallowed values
This Is A TitleThis is a title
This Is Another TitleThis is A title