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VB.NET Remove Punctuation From String

This VB.NET example removes all punctuation characters from the start and end of strings. It uses Char.IsPunctuation.
Remove punctuation. Strings often contain unneeded characters. In VB.NET there are many ways to remove punctuation characters from strings. Here we use the Char.IsPunctuation function. It handles all punctuation characters.
Example. We introduce a function called TrimPunctuation. In this function, we count the number of punctuation characters at the start and the end. We use two for-loops to do this. We call Char.IsPunctuation to check each character.

Substring: We use the Substring method to eliminate all the punctuation characters we counted. We use the counts as offsets.

Finally: We loop over the string values and display the trimmed version. This helps us check correctness of the method.

VB.NET program that removes punctuation Module Module1 Sub Main() Dim values() As String = {"One?", "--two--", "...three!", "four", "", "five*"} ' Loop over strings and call TrimPunctuation. For Each value As String In values Console.WriteLine(TrimPunctuation(value)) Next End Sub Function TrimPunctuation(ByVal value As String) ' Count leading punctuation. Dim removeFromStart As Integer = 0 For i As Integer = 0 To value.Length - 1 Step 1 If Char.IsPunctuation(value(i)) Then removeFromStart += 1 Else Exit For End If Next ' Count trailing punctuation. Dim removeFromEnd As Integer = 0 For i As Integer = value.Length - 1 To 0 Step -1 If Char.IsPunctuation(value(i)) Then removeFromEnd += 1 Else Exit For End If Next ' Remove leading and trailing punctuation. Return value.Substring(removeFromStart, value.Length - removeFromEnd - removeFromStart) End Function End Module Output One two three four five
Discussion. There are other ways to remove punctuation. The Trim method, for example, can remove a set of characters. You can call Trim with an array of punctuation characters and it will work in the same way.

However: Using a large array may be inefficient. And you may omit characters that Char.IsPunctuation detects.

Char

Regex: Another option is to use the Regex type. This too will often require custom code. It will likely be slower than the example method.

Regex.Match
In my experience, an iterative method that tests characters individually is often the fastest one. Regex methods usually have some overhead. The downside to using For-loops is that it involves more lines of code.For Each, For
Summary. One joy of programming is its variety. There are many ways to accomplish a task. Some ways are better than others, but often the differences are more subtle. This function removes punctuation, is efficient, but has more lines of code.
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