An Introduction to Regular Expressions.

An Introduction to Regular Expressions.

A beginner’s guide to begin using regular expressions with ease. The goal of this blog is to give a simple but also intuitive introduction to regular expressions in python for those without prior experience or knowledge. Regular expressions, aka regexes, are sequences of characters that are used to find a pattern in a string or series of strings.

Introduction

The goal of this blog is to give a simple but also intuitive introduction to regular expressions in python for those without prior experience or knowledge. Regular expressions, aka regexes, are sequences of characters that are used to find a pattern in a string or series of strings. To further our understanding of regex and how it works, I will conduct a some tutorials below.

Tutorials

In the following tutorials, we will learn how to:

  • gain access to the regular expression module in python
  • match a string’s pattern using re.search()
  • create more complicated patterns using regex’s metacharacters

How to access the regex module

There are actually two ways to import the regex module and the search function.

The first way is to import the entire regex module and then use the module name as a prefix when you want to use the search function.

import re
re.search(<regex>, <string>)

The second way is to import the search function from the regular expression module by name and thus the function can be called directly without any prefixes.

from re import search
search(<regex>, <string>)

As you can see there is no prefix used, when calling the search function using this method. Also keep in mind, that in the search function, the first argument ‘regex’ is the pattern you want to search for and the second argument ‘string’ is the string you are searching. Also, one important note to keep in mind, the regex search function will only return the first occurrence of a query.

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