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Introduction to regular expressions

Regular expressions are the most powerful feature of AFR. Our program supports Perl-style regular expressions.

With regular expressions you can make any complex replacements of text. Work with RE is easy and it is an art. But it can not be fully described in scope of this tutorial. Therefore we recommend you to buy some good books about RE.

When it's better to use regular expressions?

Use RE when :

- Need to perform complex replacements.

- Make replacements with special characters.

When it's better to NOT use regular expressions?

Replacements with RE is a very time expensive process. So, when it's possible it is better not to use it. In AFR we have a very optimized literal replacement algorithm. For that reason if you need to replace one string of text by another, use normal literal replacements (uncheck Use regular expressions).

Note: be very careful with regular expressions and make test replacement using RE Builder and then try it on backup versions of your files. Only it you are sure that it works perfectly on backup versions, use it with real files.

Note: A lot of already answered questions about regular expressions maybe found on Abacre Discussion Forums (Users Helping Users).

See also: syntax of regular expressions, regular expression builder, regular expressions FAQ