How to Match Any Character in Text in Python using Regular Expressions 


               


How to Match Any Character in Text in Python using Regular Expressions



Python


In this article, we show how to match any character in text in Python using regular expressions.

So Python has a re module built into it, which comes as a part of its standard package, that allows us to work with regular expressions.

Using this re module, we can match certain characters, words, or phrases we are looking for within a larger string.

The . (dot) character allows us to match any character (except for the newline character).

So if we want to match 'p' followed by any character, the statement, 'p.' is used. This matches p followed by any character except for the newline character. This means it match p followed any alphabetical character (lowercase or uppercase), a number, or special symbol.

So let's now look at how this full code would look, shown below.



So let's now go over this code.

re is the module in Python that allows us to use regular expressions. So we first have to import re in our code, in order to use regular expressions.

After this, we have a variable, phrase, which contains the string that we want to search using regular expressions.

We then create the variable, Match, and set it equal to, re.findall("pic.", phrase)

This looks for anything in then string that contains 'pic' followed by any character (including a number, letter, space, or special symbol) after the pic. Thus, from our string, this returns, 'picn', 'pick', 'pick'

We then have our next regular expression. This is the match variable again, this time set to, re.findall("pic..", phrase)

This looks for 'pic' followed by any 2 characters. Thus, from our string, this returns, 'picni, 'picke', pickl'

We then create another match variable, this time set equal to, re.findall("pic...", phrase)

This looks for 'pic' followed by any 3 characters. Thus, from our string, this returns, 'picnic', 'picked', 'pickle'

We then create another match variable, this time set equal to, match= re.findall("pic....", phrase)

This looks for 'pic' followed by any 4 characters. Thus, from our string, this returns, 'picnic ', 'picked ', 'pickle '

So this is a pretty good example of how dots (.) are used in regular expressions to match any following character including spaces. You can use as many dots as you want and each one is a placeholder for another character that can be anything except for a newline.

And this how we can match any character in text in Python using regular expressions.


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