Regular expressions are some of the most powerful utilities available for manipulating text and data. Regular expressions are patterns that enable a developer to have total control in replacing, searching through, and extracting data. To have a good and productive way to manipulate large amounts of data, you must be proficient in regular expressions.
To have a good understanding of regular expressions, you must be familiar with the characters that make up regular expressions. Learning regular expressions is almost like learning another language. Tables 12.1 through 12.6 provide a list of some of the most frequently used characters with regular expressions.