Can I use regular expressions in my filters?

To set up your filters to match strings including "wildcards", you should:

  • switch the "contains" drop-down to "matches"
  • include "*" to represent the string that can change.

So, for instance, setting up a filter to match


would match "cookies", "cooties" and "cooputarlies". (Yup, that last one is not a word, and yup, that filter would still match it.)

Due to an extremely large number of regular expression filters going haywire over the years, extended regular expressions are no longer available by default. If you need to use extended regular expressions in your filters, please contact Customer Support describing what you want to do, and the regular expressions you want to use.

Regular Expression SyntaxWill Match....
. Any single character
* Zero or more instances of the preceding character (example: money$* matches money=money$$=money$$$$$$$$$)
+ One or more instances of the preceding character (example: money$+ matches money$=money$$=money$$$$$$$$$)
? Zero or one instances of the preceding character (example: cookies? matches cookie or cookies)
^ The beginning of a new line
$ The end of a line
x|y Either the item to the left of | or the item to the right
[xyz] Any one of the characters included within the brackets
[x-z] [0-2] Any single character in the noted letter or number range
[^p-z] Any single character NOT included in the range
[:alpha:] Any letter (upper and lower case)
[:digit:] Any numerical digit (0-9)
[:alnum:] Any alphanumeric character
{2} Match the preceding item 2 times exactly
{2,} Match the preceding item 2 or more times
{2,5} Match the preceding item 2 to 5 times

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