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<?php $pattern = '~<a\s*(.*)\>(.*)</a>~'; $subject = '<a href="#">hello</a> <abbr href="#">FYI</abbr> <a title="goodbye">later</a>'; preg_match_all($pattern, $subject, $matches); print_r($matches[2]);
based on EHgQm
Output for 7.1.25 - 7.1.33, 7.2.0 - 7.2.33, 7.3.0 - 7.3.21, 7.4.0 - 7.4.9, 8.0.0alpha1 - beta1
Array ( [0] => later )