Regular expressions and replacing strings of text
Thread poster: l3goman (X)

l3goman (X)
English to Spanish
Aug 22, 2014

Hi everyone,

I am currently studying the use of regular expressions and their use, but I am stuck on the "replace" part of the process. Can I also use regular expressions to replace whatever strings i have found?

For example, changing all the commas in numbers for periods or non-breaking spaces:
-253,000 to 253.000 or 253 000

I can fin the occurrences of these numbers with the following regular expression:

([0-9]{3}),([0-9]{3}) - This regex would theoretically find all numbers from 100,000 to 999,999

The problema I have is that when I try to replace it with, for example, ([0-9]{3}).([0-9]{3}) (replacing the comma with a period or a space), the numbers get replaced by the actual regex and not for what it represents.

Problem: 253,000 gets replaced by ([0-9]{3}).([0-9]{3}) and not 253.000.

Is it actually possible to do this or is it just to find strings of text? Am i doing anything wrong?

Thanks in advanceicon_biggrin.gif

[Edited at 2014-08-22 23:22 GMT]


Rolf Keller
Local time: 06:19
English to German
Use Google for Regex examples Aug 24, 2014

l3goman wrote:

Can I also use regular expressions to replace whatever strings i have found?


Am i doing anything wrong?


1 – you didn't mention the software environment resp the regex dialect you use. There are several dialects.

2 – A replace operation needs two separate strings ('patterns'), the first one is used ONLY for "find", the second one is used ONLY for "replace".

Example (may or may not fit for your software):
Find: ([0-9]{3}),([0-9]{3})
Replace: \1.\2

Note: \1 and \2 are backreferences to the first resp last part of the Find string. Without backreferences you can't achieve what you want.

Use Google for examples that fit to your software.


l3goman (X)
English to Spanish
Problem solved Aug 24, 2014

I forgot to mention I'm using Word 2013. Thank you for your help, I was able to solve the problemicon_biggrin.gif


To report site rules violations or get help, contact a site moderator:

You can also contact site staff by submitting a support request »

Regular expressions and replacing strings of text

Advanced search

Wordfast Pro
Translation Memory Software for Any Platform

Exclusive discount for users! Save over 13% when purchasing Wordfast Pro through Wordfast is the world's #1 provider of platform-independent Translation Memory software. Consistently ranked the most user-friendly and highest value

More info »
BaccS – Business Accounting Software
Modern desktop project management for freelance translators

BaccS makes it easy for translators to manage their projects, schedule tasks, create invoices, and view highly customizable reports. User-friendly, integration, community-driven development – a few reasons BaccS is trusted by translators!

More info »

  • All of
  • Term search
  • Jobs
  • Forums
  • Multiple search