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Special Characters

A number of metacharacters require special treatment when trying to match them. To match these special characters, you must first escape the characters, that is, precede them with a backslash character (\). The following table lists special characters and their meanings:

Special Character Comment
$ Matches the position at the end of an input string. If the RegExp object's Multiline property is set, $ also matches the position preceding \n or \r. To match the $ character itself, use \$.
( ) Marks the beginning and end of a subexpression. Subexpressions may be captured for later use. To match these characters, use \( and \).
* Matches the preceding character or subexpression zero or more times. To match the * character, use \*.
+ Matches the preceding character or subexpression one or more times. To match the + character, use \+.
. Matches any single character except the newline character \n. To match ., use \.
[ ] Marks the beginning of a bracket expression. To match these characters, use \[ and \].
? Matches the preceding character or subexpression zero or one time, or indicates a non-greedy quantifier. To match the ? character, use \?.
\ Marks the next character as a special character, a literal, a backreference, or an octal escape. For example, the character n matches the character n. \n matches a newline character. The sequence \\ matches \ and \( matches (.
/ Denotes the start or end of a literal regular expression. To match the / character, use \/.
^ Matches the position at the beginning of an input string except when used in a bracket expression where it negates the character set. To match the ^ character itself, use \^.
{ } Marks the beginning of a quantifier expression. To match these characters, use \{ and \}.
| Indicates a choice between two items. To match |, use \|.

See Also

Introduction to Regular Expressions

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