Chapter 3. Using the Regular Expression Editor

This chapter will tell you about how the regular expression editor works.

The organization of the screen

The most important part of the editor is of course the editing area, this is the area where you draw your regular expression. This area is the larger gray one in the middle.

Above the editing area you have two Toolbars, the first one contains the editing actions - much like drawing tools in a drawing program. The second Toolbar contains the What's This? button, and buttons for undo and redo.

Below the editing area you find the regular expression currently build, in the so called ascii syntax. The ascii syntax is updated while you edit the regular expression in the graphical editor. If you rather want to update the ascii syntax then please do, the graphical editor is updated on the fly to reflect your changes.

Finally to the left of the editor area you will find a number of pre-built regular expressions. They serve two purposes: (1) When you load the editor with a regular expression then this regular expression is made nicer or more comprehensive by replacing common regular expressions. In the screen dump above, you can see how the ascii syntax ".*" have been replaced with a box saying "anything". (2) When you insert regular expression you may find building blocks for your own regular expression from the set of pre build regular expressions. See the section on user defined regular expressions to learn how to save your own regular expressions.