regular expressions

Note: This article was written about version 2.0.0 of the reprex package.

Regular expressions (or regex) are tools for matching patterns in character strings. These can be useful for finding words or letter patterns in text, parsing filenames for specific information, and interpreting input formatted in a variety of ways (e.g., phone numbers). The syntax of regular expressions is generally recognized across operating systems and programming languages. Although this tutorial will use R for examples, most of the same regex could be used in unix commands or in Python.