regex (in PHP) to match & that aren't HTML entities

Here's the goal: to replace all standalone ampersands with & but NOT replace those that are already part of an HTML entity such as  .

I think I need a regular expression for PHP (preferably for preg_ functions) that will match only standalone ampersands. I just don't know how to do that with preg_replace.


You could always run html_entity_decode before you run htmlentities? Works unless you only want to do ampersands (and even then you can play with the charset parameters).

Much easier and faster than a regex.

PHP's htmlentities() has double_encode argument for this.

If you want to do things like that in regular expressions, then negative assertions come useful:


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