Python Re Tutorial – Complete Guide

Welcome to an exciting journey into the world of Python `re` module. This tutorial will demystify the power and versatility of regular expressions in Python.

What is Python `re` Module?

The Python `re` module is a built-in Python library used for working with Regular Expressions (RegEx). RegEx is a sequence of characters that forms a search pattern which can be used to check, find, or replace a string in Python.

What is It Used For?

The Python `re` module is highly useful in numerous programming scenarios:

  • It can be used for data validation, ensuring the data follows a specific format such as email addresses, phone numbers, shout-outs during a gaming session, and more.
  • In game development, it comes in handy for parsing game logs, accommodating modifiable user input, or for creating a flexible dialogue system.

Why Should I Learn It?

Mastering the Python `re` module proves advantageous to any programmer, as it’s not only limited to Python but widely used across many other programming languages.

For game developers, it’s a quintessential tool for handling and manipulating text efficiently, which is crucial in creating interactive and engaging games. By learning it, you’ll be unlocking a powerful skill in your coding arsenal, thereby raising your game dev game.

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Getting Started with Python `re` Module

First, to use the `re` module in your script, you have to import it:

import re

Now let’s dive into some examples:

Finding Matches

Use the `re.findall` function to return all non-overlapping matches of a pattern in a string, as a list of strings.

text = "Welcome to Zenva's coding courses"
match = re.findall("coding", text)
# Output: ['coding']

If there are no matches, an empty list will be returned.

Splitting a String

Use the `re.split` function to split a string by the occurrences of a pattern.

text = "Welcome to Zenva's coding courses"
split = re.split("\s", text)
# Output: ['Welcome', 'to', "Zenva's", 'coding', 'courses']

Substituting Substrings

Use the `re.sub` function to replace the matches with a string of your choice.

text = "Welcome to Zenva's coding courses"
sub = re.sub("\scoding\s", " tech ", text)
# Output: "Welcome to Zenva's tech courses"

This will replace the word “coding” with “tech” in the text.

Compiling Regular Expressions

Use the `re.compile` function to combine a regular expression pattern into a pattern object, which can be used for matching using its `match()` and `search()` methods.

pattern = re.compile('Coding')
text ="Welcome to Zenva's Coding Academy")
# Output:

This will output a match object if the pattern is found in the string or None if it is not found.

Searching for a Pattern

With the `` function, you can search a string for a match, and return a corresponding match object if found.

match ="Welcome", "Welcome to Zenva's coding courses")
# Output:

In this case, we are searching for the word “Welcome” in the string and the function returns a match object.

Match Object Methods

A match object has methods which give information about the search and the result:

  • span() returns a tuple containing the start, and end positions of the match.
  • string returns the string passed into the function.
  • group() returns the part of the string where there was a match.

Here’s how to use these:

text = "Welcome to Zenva's coding courses"
pattern = re.match("(.*coding.*)", text)
if pattern:
    print("Match Found")
    print("Match: ",
    print("Span: ", pattern.span())
    print("No Match Found")
# Output: 
# Match Found
# Match:  Welcome to Zenva's coding courses
# Span:  (0, 32)

Identifying Multiple Matches

We can use the `re.finditer` function to return an iterator yielding match objects for all non-overlapping matches of the pattern in the string.

text = "Welcome to Zenva's coding courses. Love coding!"
matches = re.finditer("coding", text)
for match in matches:
# Output: 

This method is useful when you expect multiple matches and you want to process each of them.

Using Regular Expression Metacharacters

Metacharacters are characters that are interpreted in a special way by a RegEx engine. Here’s a list of metacharacters: [] . ^ $ * + ? {} () \ |

Let’s look at an example of using the “+” metacharacter, which checks if a string contains “z” followed by one or more “a” characters:

pattern = "Za+nva"
text = "Welcome to Zaanva's coding courses"
if, text):
    print("Match Found!")
    print("No Match Found!")
# Output: Match Found!

In this case, the search will return True even if we have multiple “a” characters in “Zaanva”.

Where to Go Next?

Having grasped the fundamentals of Python’s powerful `re` module and seen its versatile uses, your journey has only just begun. But where do you go next to continue learning and refining your Python skills?

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Once you’ve completed these courses, you’ll possess the necessary skills to build games, create AI chatbots, master data science and machine learning, and much more.

Whether you’re new to Python or have some experience under your belt, our courses cater to all ability levels with their interactive lessons and challenges designed to solidify your learning.

Moreover, with projects integrated into the curriculum, you’ll have a respectable portfolio by the end of the degree, making you job-ready. If you’re already in a job – you’ve got valuable experience and new skills to show off.

The courses have the flexibility to fit into your schedule, not the other way around. Available 24/7, learn and progress at your pace. And yes, upon completion, you’ll receive a certificate to showcase your mastery in Python.

If you already have a solid foundation in Python and are looking to undertake more challenges, check out our Python Courses tailored for intermediate learners.


Python’s `re` module opens up a world rich with possibilities for data manipulation and game development. As developers, we realize that this kind of understanding isn’t built overnight. It takes practice, continuous learning, and real-word application. At Zenva, we’ve crafted engaging and interactive courses to help you cement this knowledge and raise the bar in your coding journey.

Whether you are just setting foot into the Python world, or are a developer seeking to expand your skills, Zenva’s Python courses can take you from where you are to where you want to go. Come, explore, and conquer the path towards becoming a seasoned Python programmer!

Did you come across any errors in this tutorial? Please let us know by completing this form and we’ll look into it!

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