Nikos Maravitsas

About Nikos Maravitsas

Nikos has graduated from the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications of The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. Currently, his main interests are system’s security, parallel systems, artificial intelligence, operating systems, system programming, telecommunications, web applications, human – machine interaction and mobile development.

How To Validate Hex Color Code With Regular Expression

In this tutorial we are going to see how to create a simple application that validates Hexadecimal Color Codes. The main policy abount Hex Color Codes denotes that it has to:

  • Start with ‘#’ tag.
  • Contain any lower case or uppercase characters from ‘a’ to ‘f’.
  • Contain digits from ’0′ to ’9′.
  • Have a length of 3 or 6 without including the ‘#’ tag.

So this is the regular expression we are going to use for hex color code validation:


You can take a look at the Pattern class documentation to learn how to construct your own regular expressions according to your policy.

1. Validator class

This is the class that we are going to use for hex color code validation.


import java.util.regex.Matcher;
import java.util.regex.Pattern;

public class HexColorValidator {

	private Pattern pattern;
	private Matcher matcher;

	private static final String HEX_PATTERN = "^#([A-Fa-f0-9]{6}|[A-Fa-f0-9]{3})$";

	public HexColorValidator() {
		pattern = Pattern.compile(HEX_PATTERN);

	public boolean validate(final String hexColorCode) {

		matcher = pattern.matcher(hexColorCode);
		return matcher.matches();


2. Unit Testing our HexColorValidator class

For unit testing we are going to use JUnit. Unit testing is very important in these situations because they provide good feedback about the correctness of our regular expressions. You can test your program and reassure that your regular expression meets the rules on your policy about the form of the hex color codes.

This is a basic test class:


import static org.junit.Assert.*;

import java.util.Arrays;
import java.util.Collection;

import org.junit.BeforeClass;
import org.junit.Test;
import org.junit.runner.RunWith;
import org.junit.runners.Parameterized;
import org.junit.runners.Parameterized.Parameters;

public class HexColorValidatorTest {

	private String arg;
	private static HexColorValidator hexColorValidator;
	private Boolean expectedValidation;

	public HexColorValidatorTest(String str, Boolean expectedValidation) {
		this.arg = str;
		this.expectedValidation = expectedValidation;

	public static void initialize() {
		hexColorValidator = new HexColorValidator();

	public static Collection<Object[]> data() {
		Object[][] data = new Object[][] {
				{"#FAFA",false },         // it's not either 6 or 3 characters long 
				{ "FAFAFA", false },      // it doesn't begin with a # tag
				{ "#abg*", false },       // g is not a valid character     

				// valid hex color codes

				{"#1a1aa1",true },                         
				{ "#BCBCBC", true },
				{ "#C99", true },
				{ "#009999", true } };

		return Arrays.asList(data);

	public void test() {
		Boolean res = hexColorValidator.validate(this.arg);
		String validv = (res) ? "valid" : "invalid";
		System.out.println("Hex Color Code "+arg+ " is " + validv);
		assertEquals("Result", this.expectedValidation, res);




Hex Color Code #FAFA is invalid
Hex Color Code FAFAFA is invalid
Hex Color Code #abg* is invalid
Hex Color Code #1a1aa1 is valid
Hex Color Code #BCBCBC is valid
Hex Color Code #C99 is valid
Hex Color Code #009999 is valid

This was an example on how to validate Hex Color Code With Regular Expressions in Java.

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