var="<string> 1.11 </string>"

I want to get rid of <string> and </string>

How can I do it?

For now i got this:



You could use sed for string manipulation:

echo '$var = <string> 1.11 </string>' | sed -r 's/<string>(.*)<\/string>/\1/g'


$var =  1.11 

Explanation of the sed construct:

sed -r                       # call sed with regex-option (-r)
  's/                        # begin of regex (s means "replace, / is the seperator)
     <string>(.*)<\/string>  # construct that should be replaced (the / has to be escaped with \ here)
   /                         # seperator
     \1                      # replacement string (\1 means "whatever is matched between the () before")
   /g'                       # apply replacement globally (in case it occurs multiple times in the string)

I'm using another solution:

echo '$var = <string> 1.11 </string>' | awk -F'> | <' '{print $1,$3}'

What I did was defining > and < as delimiters and printing certain fields between the delimiters.

  • My pleasure, really :) – Yaron Jun 20 '16 at 7:15

Bash has also its own regular expressions. However, they are not so powerful as in sed. The following code does the magic without calling external programs:

var="<string> 1.11 </string>"


#echo $first
echo $second

I tried to do it in one step too, but didn't succeed because bash regular expressions do not support non-greedy regular expressions. I tried something like this:


The code removes everything from the first < to the last >. :(

I am sure it can be done in one step with


but I don't have time to experiment right now. For details take a look here: http://www.tldp.org/LDP/abs/html/string-manipulation.html

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