OmniFocus’s Find dialog supports the use of some simple regular expressions. A regular expression is a single string that represents a set of possible strings. To get started, use Command-F to open the Find dialog, and change the Find Type setting to Regular Expression.
Supported syntax is as follows:
a*– zero or more instances of a (matches the longest string possible)
a*?– zero or more instances of a (matches the shortest string possible)
a+– one or more instances of a (matches the longest string possible)
a+?– one or more instances of a (matches the shortest string possible)
a?– zero or one instance of a
^– beginning of a line
$– end of a line
.– any character
[a-z]– all characters between a and z
[abc-]– a, b, c, or -
91 (abc)– matches abc and stores it as a group. Use the Select or Replace pop-up menu in the Find dialog to select or replace only one of these groups rather than the whole expression.
\1– text of first matched group
a|b– a or b
\r– carriage return
\t– tab character
\w– word character (alphanumeric or underscore) \W — non-word character
\– escape the next character
Regular expressions are very popular, so you should be able to find plenty of information about them on the internet or in a good library or bookstore. Here are a few examples to get you started:
\s*$– matches whitespace at the end of a line.
\S+@\S+– very liberally matches things that resemble e-mail addresses (anything@anything).
(19|20)\d\d-\d\d?-\d\d?– matches dates in the format YYYY-MM-DD, between 1900 and 2099