Regular Expressions: Where to start when you are a beginner?

Published: 2008/7/10 | Updated: 2022/5/3 | Mic

For years, every time I would use Regex, Regexp, Regular Expressions (you name it), I would find myself crawling through the enormous library available on, hoping to find that someone had posted the exact expression I needed.

Then I decided to invest some time in demystifying the beast. I read dozens of websites.

Here’s a series of links that helped me get started:

  • Plenty of sites offer tutorials, but this was the first website to show me the light. Granted, the web design is particular. But the content is gold.
  • JavaScriptKit presents a simple and clear JavaScript use of regular expressions.
  • While learning, I did some testing with the Firebug console, but quickly needed a real testing tool. Lots of free online tester tools are available, you can find them by googling: regexp testing online. The one I prefer and currently use is from I use the Adobe AIR based desktop version (it was my first AIR app download and I was pretty impressed by the smooth and neat installation).
  • Once you are in the comfort zone, Regex cheat sheet is there to remind you the basics

Just a couple of hours of efforts were enough to get started and… a couple of days more of practice to get comfortable.

I hope this will help you. Don’t hesitate to add your own findings in the comments below.