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perlreref5.12(1) [osx man page]

PERLREREF(1)						 Perl Programmers Reference Guide					      PERLREREF(1)

perlreref - Perl Regular Expressions Reference 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/msixpogc" searches a string for a pattern match, applying the given options. m Multiline mode - ^ and $ match internal lines s match as a Single line - . matches i case-Insensitive x eXtended legibility - free whitespace and comments p Preserve a copy of the matched string - ${^PREMATCH}, ${^MATCH}, ${^POSTMATCH} will be defined. o compile pattern Once g Global - all occurrences c don't reset pos on failed matches when using /g If 'pattern' is an empty string, the last successfully matched regex is used. Delimiters other than '/' may be used for both this operator and the following ones. The leading "m" can be omitted if the delimiter is '/'. "qr/pattern/msixpo" 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/msixpogce" 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 reset(). SYNTAX Escapes the character immediately following it . Matches any single character except a newline (unless /s is used) ^ Matches at the beginning of the string (or line, if /m is used) $ Matches at the end of the string (or line, if /m is used) * Matches the preceding element 0 or more times + Matches the preceding element 1 or more times ? Matches the preceding element 0 or 1 times {...} 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, 3 ... Matches the text from the Nth group g1 or g{1}, g2 ... Matches the text from the Nth group g-1 or g{-1}, g-2 ... Matches the text from the Nth previous group g{name} Named backreference k<name> Named backreference k'name' Named backreference (?P=name) Named backreference (python syntax) ESCAPE SEQUENCES These work as in normal strings. a Alarm (beep) e Escape f Formfeed Newline Carriage return Tab 37 Char whose ordinal is the 3 octal digits, max 777 o{2307} Char whose ordinal is the octal number, unrestricted x7f Char whose ordinal is the 2 hex digits, max xFF x{263a} Char whose ordinal is the hex number, unrestricted cx Control-x N{name} A named Unicode character N{U+263D} A Unicode character by hex ordinal l Lowercase next character u Titlecase next character L Lowercase until E U Uppercase until E Q Disable pattern metacharacters until E E End modification For Titlecase, see "Titlecase". This one works differently from normal strings:  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 (except "N") work within or without a character class. The first six are locale aware, all are Unicode aware. See perllocale and perlunicode for details. d A digit D A nondigit w A word character W A non-word character s A whitespace character S A non-whitespace character h An horizontal whitespace H A non horizontal whitespace N A non newline (when not followed by '{NAME}'; experimental; not valid in a character class; equivalent to [^ ]; it's like '.' without /s modifier) v A vertical whitespace V A non vertical whitespace R A generic newline (?>v|x0Dx0A) C Match a byte (with Unicode, '.' matches a character) pP Match P-named (Unicode) property p{...} Match Unicode property with name longer than 1 character PP Match non-P P{...} Match lack of Unicode property with name longer than 1 char X Match Unicode extended grapheme cluster POSIX character classes and their Unicode and Perl equivalents: ASCII- Full- range range backslash POSIX p{...} p{} sequence Description ----------------------------------------------------------------------- alnum PosixAlnum Alnum Alpha plus Digit alpha PosixAlpha Alpha Alphabetic characters ascii ASCII Any ASCII character blank PosixBlank Blank h Horizontal whitespace; full-range also written as p{HorizSpace} (GNU extension) cntrl PosixCntrl Cntrl Control characters digit PosixDigit Digit d Decimal digits graph PosixGraph Graph Alnum plus Punct lower PosixLower Lower Lowercase characters print PosixPrint Print Graph plus Print, but not any Cntrls punct PosixPunct Punct These aren't precisely equivalent. See NOTE, below. space PosixSpace Space [scK] Whitespace PerlSpace SpacePerl s Perl's whitespace definition upper PosixUpper Upper Uppercase characters word PerlWord Word w Alnum plus '_' (Perl extension) xdigit ASCII_Hex_Digit XDigit Hexadecimal digit, ASCII-range is [0-9A-Fa-f] NOTE on "[[:punct:]]", "p{PosixPunct}" and "p{Punct}": In the ASCII range, "[[:punct:]]" and "p{PosixPunct}" match "[-!"#$%&'()*+,./:;<=>?@[\]^_`{|}~]" (although if a locale is in effect, it could alter the behavior of "[[:punct:]]"); and "p{Punct}" matches "[-!"#%&'()*,./:;?@[\]_{}]". When matching a UTF-8 string, "[[:punct:]]" matches what it does in the ASCII range, plus what "p{Punct}" matches. "p{Punct}" matches, anything that isn't a control, an alphanumeric, a space, nor a symbol. Within a character class: POSIX traditional Unicode [:digit:] d p{Digit} [:^digit:] D P{Digit} 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  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)  Match string end (before optional newline) z Match absolute string end G Match where previous m//g left off K Keep the stuff left of the K, don't include it in $& QUANTIFIERS Quantifiers are greedy by default and match the longest leftmost. Maximal Minimal Possessive Allowed range ------- ------- ---------- ------------- {n,m} {n,m}? {n,m}+ Must occur at least n times but no more than m times {n,} {n,}? {n,}+ Must occur at least n times {n} {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}) The possessive forms (new in Perl 5.10) prevent backtracking: what gets matched by a pattern with a possessive quantifier will not be backtracked into, even if that causes the whole match to fail. There is no quantifier "{,n}". That's interpreted as a literal string. EXTENDED CONSTRUCTS (?#text) A comment (?:...) Groups subexpressions without capturing (cluster) (?pimsx-imsx:...) Enable/disable option (as per m// modifiers) (?=...) Zero-width positive lookahead assertion (?!...) Zero-width negative lookahead assertion (?<=...) Zero-width positive lookbehind assertion (?<!...) Zero-width negative lookbehind assertion (?>...) Grab what we can, prohibit backtracking (?|...) Branch reset (?<name>...) Named capture (?'name'...) Named capture (?P<name>...) Named capture (python syntax) (?{ code }) Embedded code, return value becomes $^R (??{ code }) Dynamic regex, return value used as regex (?N) Recurse into subpattern number N (?-N), (?+N) Recurse into Nth previous/next subpattern (?R), (?0) Recurse at the beginning of the whole pattern (?&name) Recurse into a named subpattern (?P>name) Recurse into a named subpattern (python syntax) (?(cond)yes|no) (?(cond)yes) Conditional expression, where "cond" can be: (N) subpattern N has matched something (<name>) named subpattern has matched something ('name') named subpattern has matched something (?{code}) code condition (R) true if recursing (RN) true if recursing into Nth subpattern (R&name) true if recursing into named subpattern (DEFINE) always false, no no-pattern allowed VARIABLES $_ Default variable for operators to use $` Everything prior to matched string $& Entire matched string $' Everything after to matched string ${^PREMATCH} Everything prior to matched string ${^MATCH} Entire matched string ${^POSTMATCH} Everything after to matched string The use of "$`", $& or "$'" will slow down all regex use within your program. Consult perlvar for "@-" to see equivalent expressions that won't cause slow down. See also Devel::SawAmpersand. Starting with Perl 5.10, you can also use the equivalent variables "${^PREMATCH}", "${^MATCH}" and "${^POSTMATCH}", but for them to be defined, you have to specify the "/p" (preserve) modifier on your regular expression. $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 %+ Named capture buffers %- Named capture buffers, as array refs 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 a 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 "Titlecase". TERMINOLOGY Titlecase Unicode concept which most often is equal to uppercase, but for certain characters like the German "sharp s" there is a difference. AUTHOR
Iain Truskett. Updated by the Perl 5 Porters. This document may be distributed under the same terms as Perl itself. SEE ALSO
o perlretut for a tutorial on regular expressions. o perlrequick for a rapid tutorial. o perlre for more details. o perlvar for details on the variables. o perlop for details on the operators. o perlfunc for details on the functions. o perlfaq6 for FAQs on regular expressions. o perlrebackslash for a reference on backslash sequences. o perlrecharclass for a reference on character classes. o The re module to alter behaviour and aid debugging. o "Debugging regular expressions" in perldebug o perluniintro, perlunicode, charnames and perllocale for details on regexes and internationalisation. o Mastering Regular Expressions by Jeffrey Friedl ( for a thorough grounding and reference on the topic. THANKS
David P.C. Wollmann, Richard Soderberg, Sean M. Burke, Tom Christiansen, Jim Cromie, and Jeffrey Goff for useful advice. perl v5.12.5 2012-11-03 PERLREREF(1)
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