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Meaning of Regular Expression is not clear to many users [closed]

asked 2013-03-24 13:59:00 +0200

nickmdowson gravatar image

updated 2013-06-17 00:06:16 +0200

manj_k gravatar image

Within Find & replace there is a 'regular expression' option in the more options. To non-techie users what this does is probably not obvious. an explanation (maybe on hover) or a different name for this option would be useful.

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Closed for the following reason the question is answered, right answer was accepted by Alex Kemp
close date 2015-10-27 12:35:13.137238

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answered 2013-03-26 01:07:00 +0200

qubit gravatar image

Hi @nickmdowson,

As @horst mentions, the term "regular expression" has existed for a very long time; further, the term means something very specific in terms of abstractly matching a search pattern.

A mouse-hover explanation or additional references in the Documentation are a definite possibility. If you had a question about this particular piece of LibreOffice and chose to ask us about it, chances are good that another 10 people had the same question and didn't get around to contacting us. Please consider filing an enhancement bug and providing a brief explanation as to how you suggest that we better-inform our users (tooltip, documentation, and/or ??). Don't forget to mark your bug as an 'enhancement'. The QA team will be happy to help you triage your feature request in the bugtracker.

Please post a link to any bugs you file in a comment below using the format "fdo#123456".


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answered 2013-03-25 21:25:54 +0200

horst gravatar image

Try this extension ( It is much easier to use than the built-in version.

About renaming it: NO it is around for a long time.

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One must use caution with the “Alternative Find and Replace Dialog” though; it sometimes causes loss of formatting and has performance issues. Furthermore, it appears to be unmaintained.

CyanCG gravatar imageCyanCG ( 2013-03-26 14:26:31 +0200 )edit

answered 2013-03-26 10:37:39 +0200

manj_k gravatar image

updated 2013-03-26 10:55:35 +0200

There's a "Help" button in the Find & Replace window. ;)

Enable ☑ Regular expressions,
click on "Help".

That will open → this "Help" item

Regular expressions
Allows you to use wildcards in your search.
List of Regular Expressions

I do prefer the above-mentioned extension "Alternative dialog Find & Replace for Writer".

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answered 2013-03-26 13:16:16 +0200

froz gravatar image

updated 2013-03-26 13:18:46 +0200

LibreOffice v4 upgraded Regular Expressions to more standard compatible way of regular expression. So this user guide may help:

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Asked: 2013-03-24 13:59:00 +0200

Seen: 334 times

Last updated: Mar 26 '13