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perlreref



DESCRIPTION

       This is a quick reference to Perl's regular expressions.
       For full information see perlre and perlop, as well as the
       "SEE ALSO" section in this document.

       OPERATORS

         =~ determines to which variable the regex is applied.
            In its absence, $_ is used.

               $var =~ /foo/;

         !~ determines to which variable the regex is applied,
            and negates the result of the match; it returns
            false if the match succeeds, and true if it fails.

              $var !~ /foo/;

         m/pattern/igmsoxc searches a string for a pattern match,
            applying the given options.

               i  case-Insensitive
               g  Global - all occurrences
               m  Multiline mode - ^ and $ match internal lines
               s  match as a Single line - . matches \n
               o  compile pattern Once
               x  eXtended legibility - free whitespace and comments
               c  don't reset pos on failed matches when using /g

            If 'pattern' is an empty string, the last I<successfully> matched
            regex is used. Delimiters other than '/' may be used for both this
            operator and the following ones.

         qr/pattern/imsox lets you store a regex in a variable,
            or pass one around. Modifiers as for m// and are stored
            within the regex.

         s/pattern/replacement/igmsoxe substitutes matches of
            'pattern' with 'replacement'. Modifiers as for m//
            with one addition:

               e  Evaluate replacement as an expression

            'e' may be specified multiple times. 'replacement' is interpreted
            as a double quoted string unless a single-quote (') is the delimiter.

         ?pattern? is like m/pattern/ but matches only once. No alternate
             delimiters can be used. Must be reset with L<reset|perlfunc/reset>.

       SYNTAX

          {...}   Specifies a range of occurrences for the element preceding it
          [...]   Matches any one of the characters contained within the brackets
          (...)   Groups subexpressions for capturing to $1, $2...
          (?:...) Groups subexpressions without capturing (cluster)
          |       Matches either the subexpression preceding or following it
          \1, \2 ...  The text from the Nth group

       ESCAPE SEQUENCES

       These work as in normal strings.

          \a       Alarm (beep)
          \e       Escape
          \f       Formfeed
          \n       Newline
          \r       Carriage return
          \t       Tab
          \038     Any octal ASCII value
          \x7f     Any hexadecimal ASCII value
          \x{263a} A wide hexadecimal value
          \cx      Control-x
          \N{name} A named character

          \l  Lowercase next character
          \u  Titlecase next character
          \L  Lowercase until \E
          \U  Uppercase until \E
          \Q  Disable pattern metacharacters until \E
          \E  End case modification

       For Titlecase, see "Titlecase".

       This one works differently from normal strings:

          \b  An assertion, not backspace, except in a character class

       CHARACTER CLASSES

          [amy]    Match 'a', 'm' or 'y'
          [f-j]    Dash specifies "range"
          [f-j-]   Dash escaped or at start or end means 'dash'
          [^f-j]   Caret indicates "match any character _except_ these"

       The following sequences work within or without a character
       class.  The first six are locale aware, all are Unicode
       aware.  The default character class equivalent are given.
       See perllocale and perlunicode for details.

          \d      A digit                     [0-9]
          \D      A nondigit                  [^0-9]
          \w      A word character            [a-zA-Z0-9_]
          \W      A non-word character        [^a-zA-Z0-9_]

       POSIX character classes and their Unicode and Perl equiva­
       lents:

          alnum   IsAlnum              Alphanumeric
          alpha   IsAlpha              Alphabetic
          ascii   IsASCII              Any ASCII char
          blank   IsSpace  [ \t]       Horizontal whitespace (GNU extension)
          cntrl   IsCntrl              Control characters
          digit   IsDigit  \d          Digits
          graph   IsGraph              Alphanumeric and punctuation
          lower   IsLower              Lowercase chars (locale and Unicode aware)
          print   IsPrint              Alphanumeric, punct, and space
          punct   IsPunct              Punctuation
          space   IsSpace  [\s\ck]     Whitespace
                  IsSpacePerl   \s     Perl's whitespace definition
          upper   IsUpper              Uppercase chars (locale and Unicode aware)
          word    IsWord   \w          Alphanumeric plus _ (Perl extension)
          xdigit  IsXDigit [0-9A-Fa-f] Hexadecimal digit

       Within a character class:

           POSIX       traditional   Unicode
           [:digit:]       \d        \p{IsDigit}
           [:^digit:]      \D        \P{IsDigit}

       ANCHORS

       All are zero-width assertions.

          ^  Match string start (or line, if /m is used)
          $  Match string end (or line, if /m is used) or before newline
          \b Match word boundary (between \w and \W)
          \B Match except at word boundary (between \w and \w or \W and \W)
          \A Match string start (regardless of /m)
          \Z Match string end (before optional newline)
          \z Match absolute string end
          \G Match where previous m//g left off

       QUANTIFIERS

       Quantifiers are greedy by default -- match the longest
       leftmost.

          Maximal Minimal Allowed range
          ------- ------- -------------
          {n,m}   {n,m}?  Must occur at least n times but no more than m times
          {n,}    {n,}?   Must occur at least n times
          {n}     {n}?    Must occur exactly n times
          *       *?      0 or more times (same as {0,})
          +       +?      1 or more times (same as {1,})
          ?       ??      0 or 1 time (same as {0,1})

          (?{ code })      Embedded code, return value becomes $^R
          (??{ code })     Dynamic regex, return value used as regex
          (?(cond)yes|no)  cond being integer corresponding to capturing parens
          (?(cond)yes)        or a lookaround/eval zero-width assertion

       VARIABLES

          $_    Default variable for operators to use
          $*    Enable multiline matching (deprecated; not in 5.9.0 or later)

          $&    Entire matched string
          $`    Everything prior to matched string
          $'    Everything after to matched string

       The use of those last three will slow down all regex use
       within your program. Consult perlvar for @LAST_MATCH_START
       to see equivalent expressions that won't cause slow down.
       See also Devel::SawAmpersand.

          $1, $2 ...  hold the Xth captured expr
          $+    Last parenthesized pattern match
          $^N   Holds the most recently closed capture
          $^R   Holds the result of the last (?{...}) expr
          @-    Offsets of starts of groups. $-[0] holds start of whole match
          @+    Offsets of ends of groups. $+[0] holds end of whole match

       Captured groups are numbered according to their opening
       paren.

       FUNCTIONS

          lc          Lowercase a string
          lcfirst     Lowercase first char of a string
          uc          Uppercase a string
          ucfirst     Titlecase first char of a string

          pos         Return or set current match position
          quotemeta   Quote metacharacters
          reset       Reset ?pattern? status
          study       Analyze string for optimizing matching

          split       Use regex to split a string into parts

       The first four of these are like the escape sequences
       "\L", "\l", "\U", and "\u".  For Titlecase, see "Title­
       case".

       TERMINOLOGY

       Titlecase

       Unicode concept which most often is equal to uppercase,
       ·   perlre for more details.

       ·   perlvar for details on the variables.

       ·   perlop for details on the operators.

       ·   perlfunc for details on the functions.

       ·   perlfaq6 for FAQs on regular expressions.

       ·   The re module to alter behaviour and aid debugging.

       ·   "Debugging regular expressions" in perldebug

       ·   perluniintro, perlunicode, charnames and locale for
           details on regexes and internationalisation.

       ·   Mastering Regular Expressions by Jeffrey Friedl
           (http://regex.info/) for a thorough grounding and ref­
           erence on the topic.


THANKS

       David P.C. Wollmann, Richard Soderberg, Sean M. Burke, Tom
       Christiansen, Jim Cromie, and Jeffrey Goff for useful
       advice.

perl v5.8.1                 2003-09-02               PERLREREF(1)
  
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