Regular Expressions made easy

runs on Windows
screenshot of Expresso

In humanity's rise from the primordial goo to hunter-gatherer to modern society, one of the things that has set us apart from other critters is our use of tools. Yes, there are some animals that use tools as well, but nothing as widespread as good old Homo sapiens. And consider some of those tools: the wheel, fire, regular expressions.

If you spend much time with and around computers, that last one, regular expressions, is probably almost as important as the first two, if not actually more. The use of regular expressions in executing complex searches for strings of text can be a huge time saver, as well as helping you to find all instances of the text you're looking for. Just because it's so valuable and important, however, is no reason to believe that regular expressions are easy.

Using a complicated formal language, applications that allow the use of regular expressions let the user carry out very complex searches. But building those queries can be quite a daunting task. With a tool like Expresso, it's much easier to build just the right regular expression for the task at hand. Working through its easy-to-use interface, you don't have to remember the difference between "*" (any number of characters), "+" (one or more characters), or "?" (zero or one characters) when building queries. If you're a RegExp noob, it's a great learning tool; if you're an expert, it allows you to craft even more complicated expressions.

Expresso is a Windows application. It's free to download and use, but you'll need to register it (also free) before you hit day 60 if you want to avoid a nag screen.

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