Exclude strings of words using wildcards

Hi community,

I cannot seem to come up with the appropriate wildcard (I suppose it must be [!]) which would exclude from the expression


the following three words


In other words, I would like it to find only the following three words


so maybe it’s the expression ⟨argument[oales]{1,4}⟩ which is not appropriate to begin with.

Note that I am actually trying to find a ‘pattern expession’ so that I can use it with any other morphological word family; thus, those three words are mere examples.
I would use this pattern in a macro, and possibly in Find and Replace option, to implement replacements in batch.

Hope to hear news soon.
Thank you so much in advance.


If I understand well you can search for:


Explanation: \b for Word boundaries


Bearing in mind that pattern matching, as the term indicates, is best used to find rather than exclude patterns, the following will match only the desired terms:


Hi @oweng

Nice, but may I suggest: argument(o|al(es)?)\b

(not to select the space after the word, to find the the word at the end of the paragraph, to avoid selecting the word followed by a letter other than s, etc.)


Thanks pierre-yves. That is a distinct improvement for the reason you indicate. I am still thinking of strings rather than words :slight_smile: