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Regular Expression

Regular Expression Dot (.)


In Regular Expression Dot(.) or Period Match any single occurrence of anything except \n.

.* in regex basically means "catch everything until the end of input".

So, for simple strings, like hello world, .* works perfectly. But if you have a string representing, for example, lines in a file, these lines would be separated by a line separator, such as \n (newline) on Unix-like systems and \r\n (carriage return and newline) on Windows.

By default in most regex engines, . doesn't match newline characters, so the matching stops at the end of each logical line. If you want . to match really everything, including newlines, you need to enable "dot-matches-all" mode in your regex engine of choice (for example, add re.DOTALL flag in Python, or /s in PCRE.

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Steve on Apr 30, 2020 at 12:04 am

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