These sections introduce the concept of regular expressions and explain how to create and use them.

While each topic stands on its own, it is recommended that you peruse these topics sequentially to develop the best understanding of the material. Many topics rely upon the understanding of a feature or concept that was introduced in a previous topic in the sequence.

In This Section

Regular Expressions

Explains the concept of regular expressions.

Early Beginnings

Explains the history of regular expressions.

Uses for Regular Expressions

Illustrates circumstances that would benefit from the use of regular expressions.

Regular Expression Syntax

Demonstrates the elements that comprise the regular expression syntax.

Build a Regular Expression

Explains how you combine elements to produce a regular expression.

Order of Precedence

Lists the operators and the order in which they are evaluated in a regular expression.

Ordinary Characters

Explains the concept of ordinary characters that apply to regular expressions.

Special Characters

Explains the concept of special characters that apply to regular expressions.

Non-Printable Characters

Lists the non-printing characters that apply to regular expressions.

Character Matching

Explains how special characters match printing or non-printing characters in regular expressions.


Lists the quantifier characters and explains how to use them in regular expressions.


Explains the concept of anchors which allow you to fix a regular expression to either the beginning or end of a line.

Alternation and Grouping

Explains how to use the '|' character for choices between to alternatives and how grouping effect the outcome of expressions.


Provides information about how you can store part of a matched pattern for later use.

Related Sections

VBScript User's Guide

Provides information about how to use VBScript and includes a guide to regular expressions.