Regular Expressions in AutoHotkey (EPUB format for iPad, etc.)

Regular Expressions in AutoHotkey (EPUB format for iPad, etc.)
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A Beginner's Guide to Using Regular Expressions in AutoHotkey

Exploring the Mysteries of RegEx

(EPUB format for iPad, iPhone, Android, and other devices and computers)

This "Beginner's Guide to Using Regular Expressions in AutoHotkey" is not a beginning level AutoHotkey book, but an introduction to using Regular Expressions in AutoHotkey (or most other programming languages). To get the most from this book you should already have a basic understanding of AutoHotkey (or another programming language). Regular Expressions (RegEx) are a powerful way to search and alter documents without the limitations of most of the standard matching functions. At first, the use of RegEx can be confusing and mysterious. This book clears up the confusion with easy analogies for understanding how RegEx works and examples of practical AutoHotkey applications. "Regular Expressions in AutoHotkey" will take you to the next level in AutoHotkey scripting while adding more flexibility and power to your Windows apps.

Regular Expressions (commonly called RegEx or RegExp) in AutoHotkey is not a beginning level script writing topic and there certainly is nothing regular about Regular Expressions. Jack spent a good bit of time exploring the programming tools and has developed a healthy respect for RegEx flexibility and power. Many (including Jack) have avoided using RegEx due to its enigmatic code which at times appears almost incomprehensible. It's not like normal program code with If-Then-Else statements and Loops. Writing a RegEx is not merely a matter of following a logical sequence. It often requires a non-linear look at the problem. Jack's found that what helps him most is the analogy he pictures in his brain pan. That image gives a basis for what a RegEx is trying to do. ("Try" is a good word when describing RegExs. Whereas the usual programming either works or doesn't work, RegEx "tries" to find pattern matches. If none are found, it moves on.)

The chapters in this book are grouped by their place in developing a deeper understanding of Regular Expressions while emphasizing the practical application of RegExMatch() and RegExReplace()—the two primary AutoHotkey Regular Expressions functions.The first three chapters are the most important for getting a quick start on how to view and understand Regular Expressions and the AutoHotkey RegEx functions, while the remaining chapters can be studied in almost any order as they each demonstrate one or more practical RegEx applications—i.e. finding double words in text (Chapter Five); fixing mistyped word contractions (Chapter Six); swapping two word in any text editing (Chapter Seven); extracting IP addresses from text, then extracting the geographic location of each from the Web (Chapter Eight); stripping HTML tags from source code leaving only pure text (Chapter Nine); extracting links from a Web page and saving them to a text file (Chapter Ten); and validating e-mail addresses (Chapter Eleven). The final two chapters address slightly more advanced, but important topics, look-ahead and look-behind assertions, plus RegEx Properties \p{xx}.

If you're a novice script writer, you may be better served by starting with a beginning book or tutorial. If you're a more experienced programmer, then "Regular Expressions in AutoHotkey" may act as a reference for how and when to use them in your AutoHotkey applications.

Table of Contents

“There is nothing regular about Regular Expressions.”

This is not a beginning AutoHotkey book, but a journey into RegEx for AutoHotkey users.

Chapter One: Understanding the Mysteries of Regular Expressions (RegEx) in AutoHotkey

“To Understand How a RegEx Works, It Helps to See Trains Running Down a Track”

Many AutoHotkey script writers don't use Regular Expressions because they seem too mysterious and confusing. All they really need is a little understanding.

Chapter Two: An Introduction to Easy Regular Expressions (RegEx) in AutoHotkey

“A quick guide to understanding how Regular Expressions (RegEx) work in AutoHotkey.”

Regular Expressions (RegEx) are notorious for driving people insane, but taken a little at a time they can be simple.

Chapter Three: AutoHotkey RegExMatch() Versus RegExReplace()

“AutoHotkey Regular Expression functions (RegEx) can make complex text extractions and replacements easy.”

Although RegEx in AutoHotkey can be confusing, it's worth the time to learn how to use the functions RegExMatch() and RegExReplace() for the power they deliver to your scripts.

Chapter Four: Simplified Regular Expressions in AutoHotkey

“More Regular Expression Tricks with Numbers for AutoHotkey Validation”

This time there are more simple examples of how to use RegEx functions to manipulate data in AutoHotkey.

Chapter Five: Eliminating Double Words with RegEx

“How to Use AutoHotkey RegEx to Eliminate Duplicate Words--RegExReplace()”

Digging deeper into AutoHotkey RegEx with an expression that will find and remove double words in any text, anywhere.

Chapter Six: Fixing Contractions with RegEx

“RegEx can fix multiple errors in contractions such as isn't and won't--RegExReplace()”

Another practical example of a Regular Expression in AutoHotkey with word contractions.

Chapter Seven:A Simple Beginner's Trick for Swapping Letters and Words

“An AutoHotkey Technique for Swapping the Order of Words--RegExReplace()”

Jack shows some easy AutoHotkey techniques for swapping errant letters or words, then step-by-step builds a Regular Expression (RegEx) for doing the same thing and more—with only one line of code.

Chapter Eight: A Simple Way to Find Out Where in the World That IP Address Is Located

“Find IP Addresses in E-mail, Documents and Web Pages, Then Automatically Locate Them!--RegExMatch()”

Have you ever wanted to know where that Spam is coming from or the geographic location of an IP address? This short AutoHotkey script extracts IP addresses from any selected text and downloads its world location from the Web.

Chapter Nine: Stripping Out HTML Tags

“How to extract and save the text from a web page--RegExReplace()”

Learn how to strip HTML tags from Web pages with AutoHotkey RegEx.

Chapter Ten: An App for Extracting Web Links from Web Pages

“Web Link Extractor AutoHotkey Scripts--RegExMatch()”

Need to save Web links from Web pages? Here are two AutoHotkey scripts which do the job.

Chapter Eleven: Verifying E-mail Addresses with AutoHotkey

“How e-mail address checking works with AutoHotkey RegEx.”

There are plenty free Regular Expression (RegEx) examples on the Web. The problem is that they do not all work as advertised.

Chapter Twelve: Look-Ahead and Look-Behind RegEx Mysteries

“Look in front of and behind the Haystack for RegEx signposts to create a match.”

A look at the confusing world of look-ahead and look-behind assertions in AutoHotkey RegEx. See how they can extend the power of Regular Expressions.

Chapter Thirteen: Using RegEx Property Symbols

“RegEx Properties \p{xx} extend the flexibility of Regular Expressions.”

Use properties (\p{xx}) in AutoHotkey RegEx to correct punctuation, change currency symbols, and remove sets of brackets and parentheses.

Index to Chapters


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