Regular Expression Syntax Summary

 

 

Regular expressions do not need to be all that confusing. In one sense, they are no more than more flexible extensions of the familiar DOS wild card characters '*' (which matches zero or more characters) and '?' (which matches one character) which are used for specifying filenames. They are, however, much more powerful and flexible than DOS wild cards.

 

Regular expressions consist of a combination of literal text characters and regular expression "metacharacters". To conduct a search on the Command Line using regular expressions, begin by entering a tilde (~) on the Command Line. A full list of the regular expression metacharacters recognized by BibleWorks follows:

 

Symbol

Name

\

Escape

"

Quotation

.

Any

^

Line begin (or character class negation)

$

Line end

[

Character class begin

-

Character class range separator

]

Character class end

(

Group begin

)

Group end

?

Option

*

Closure

+

Positive closure

 |

Alternation


In the following examples, "s" represents a literal character string and "r" represents a regular expression:

 

Expression

Matches

Example

c

Any literal character

a

\c

Character c literally

\*

"s"

String s literally

"**"

.

Any character but newline

a.b

^

Beginning of line

^abc

$

End of line

abc$

[s]

Any character in s

[abc]

[^s

Any character not in s

[^abc]

r1r2

r1 followed by r2

ab

r?

Zero or one r's

a?

r*

Zero or more r's

a*

r+

One or more r's

a+

r1 | r2

r1 or r2

a | b

(r)

r

(a | b)