are searching for strings with varying amounts of spaces / data in between, possible?

  • Hi guys, my first time posting here… Let’s say a paragraph reads as follows (in quotes):

    “The sky is blue.
    The sky is very blue.
    A red sky can even possibly turn 336699 blue today.”

    Using notepad++, is it possible for me to do some type of search that will find me all instances of the word “sky” following by any number of characters (numbers and/or letters), followed by the word “blue”? There are 3 total instances of this situation in the paragraph above, but notice that the data in between “sky” and “blue” on each line / instance is not consistent; it could be varying lengths of data, it could be numbers, it could be letters, different amounts of spaces, etc. I realize that doing a find for “sky” asterick “blue” won’t do the job.

    Is what I’m asking possible? Also, what’s the name for this type of search?


  • @Frederick-Solebo

    Yes, very possible with the use of Regular expression search as follows:

    Find what zone: (?-is)sky.+blue
    Search mode: Regular expression

    You should be able to deduce what the .+ does.
    The (?-is) at the beginning indicates 2 things:

    • case of sky and blue must match exactly (the -i part)
    • the . will NOT match end-of-line characters (the s part, but note that the - from earlier effectively makes this -s)

    Probably this is confusing, so a better explanation is that the i stands for (case) insensitive, so -i means NOT case insensitive, or rather case sensitive (meaning case must be exact for a match to occur)

    A better explanation for the s part: (?s) means that any . characters occurring will match one character of any type (including end-of-line characters). (?-s) means that any . characters occurring will match one character of any type EXCEPT it won’t match the end of line characters (carriage return, line feed).

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