Some Basic Regular Expression Search Examples

Search & Replace regex2 shg General Search Examples

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Some Basic Regular Expression Search Examples

What to Match



Any single character


g?t finds get, got, gut, together

Any string of characters (one or more)


w+e finds wide, white, write but not we

Any string of characters (or none)


w*e matches wide, white, write and we

One of the specified characters


g[eo]t matches get and got but not gut

One of the characters in a range


[b-p]at matches bat, cat, fat, hat, mat but not rat or sat

All characters


l[] matches line, list, late

One expression or another


W(elcome to|indows 2000) matches
Welcome to or Windows 2000

One or more expressions


+(at) matches atat in catatonic and at in battle

All characters (perhaps on different lines)


h*[]d matches helped, Hello World, & Hello (cr lf) Win95 World. Use [] instead of complicated range expression such as [a-zA-Z0-9]. This will span across lines up to the limit set by Maximum Regular Expression Size (Search Options).

Two strings “nearby” (perhaps on different lines)


the*[-ÿ]first matches the first and the (cr lf) very first

Note: This is an older style syntax using Binary characters.

A string that doesn’t start with an expression


*: !(http) finds : in following: but not in

One of the characters not in a range


[a-z]at!([b-p]at) matches rat & sat but nothing in bat, cat, hat.

Note: Older syntax for this would be ![b-p]at

Find all words of length x


+x[a-z], e.g., +3[a-z] finds all 3 letter words.

Note: We previously supplied a ! operator example here. By way of example, to do this with a ! operator, the expression would be
?+3[a-z]?!(?[a-z]+3[a-z]?[a-z]). This would not be an efficient approach however.

An expression at the beginning of a line


^the finds the at the beginning of a line and The if case sensitive is turned off.

An expression at the end of a line


end$ finds end when it’s the last string on a line.

One or more column(s) before or after a string


[h]+4// finds http:// but not https://

General Search Examples