Emacs: Regular Expression

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .

Regular Expression (aka regex) is a character sequence that represent a pattern for matching text. For example, you can use it to find all email addresses in a file by matching the email address pattern. Regex is used by many functions to check if a string contains certain pattern, or extract it, or replace it with other string.

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Regex Commands

The most commonly used commands that use regex are:


  1. Open a file with many lines.
  2. Alt+x list-matching-lines
  3. type th.t

It will list all lines that contains the regex pattern th.t, which includes โ€œthisโ€, โ€œthatโ€. The dot . character in regex is a wildcard, matching any character.

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