Matching Whole Lines of Text
Often, you want to match complete lines in a text file rather than just the part of the line that satisfies a certain requirement. This is useful if you want to delete entire lines in a search-and-replace in a text editor, or collect entire lines in an information retrieval tool.
To keep this example simple, let's say we want to match lines containing the word "John". The regex John makes it easy enough to locate those lines. But the software will only indicate John as the match, not the entire line containing the word.
The solution is fairly simple. To specify that we need an entire line, we will use the caret and dollar sign and turn on the option to make them match at embedded newlines. In software aimed at working with text files like EditPad Proand PowerGREP, the anchors always match at embedded newlines. To match the parts of the line before and after the match of our original regular expression John, we simply use the dot and the star. Be sure to turn off the option for the dot to match newlines.