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introduction to web programming
Matching Operators  
Further, the "//" operator can be modified to include complex pattern matching routines. For example, the period (.) matching operator is used to stand for "any" character. Thus, "/eri./" would match any occurrences of "eric" as well as "erik".

Another commonly used matching operator is the asterisk (*). The asterisk matches zero or more occurrences of the character preceding it. Thus, "/e*ric/" matches occurrences of "eeeeeric" as well as "eric".

The following table includes a list of useful matching operators.

Operator Description
\n New line
\r Carriage Return
\t Tab
\d Digit (same as [0-9])
\D Any non-digit (same as [^0-9])
\w A Word Character (same as [0-9a-zA-Z_])
\W A Non-word character
\s Any white space character (\t, \n, \r, or \f)
\S A non-white space character
* Zero or more occurrences of the preceding character
+ One or more occurrences of the preceding character
. Any character
? Zero or one occurrences of the preceding character

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