Regular Expressions for Filters

A regular expression is a text model formed of ordinary characters (for example, letters from a to z) and special characters known as metacharacters. The model describes one or several strings that coincide when searching a text body. The regular expression is used as a template to collate a model of characters with the string being searched.

The table below includes a complete list of metacharacters and their behavior in the context of the regular expressions:

Expression Matches
X The character x
\ The character \
[abc] a, b, or c
[^abc] Any character except a, b, or c (negation)
[A-Z] From A to Z inclusive
. Any character
^ Line start
$ Line end
X? X, once or never
X* X, zero or more times
X+ X, once or more times
XY X followed by Y
X|Y X or Y
(X) X, as a group

Groups are enumerated by counting the brackets open from left to right. The zero group refers to the complete expression.

The \ character can be used to escape the metacharacters used in the expressions. For instance, the \\ expression represents a single \, and \( represents a parenthesis.