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GNU Emacs provides two ways to search through a buffer for specified text: exact string searches and regular expression searches. After a regular expression search, you can examine the match data to determine which text matched the whole regular expression or various portions of it.
34.1 Searching for Strings Search for an exact match. 34.2 Regular Expressions Describing classes of strings. 34.3 Regular Expression Searching Searching for a match for a regexp. 34.4 POSIX Regular Expression Searching Searching POSIX-style for the longest match. 34.5 Search and Replace Internals of
34.6 The Match Data Finding out which part of the text matched various parts of a regexp, after regexp search. 34.7 Searching and Case Case-independent or case-significant searching. 34.8 Standard Regular Expressions Used in Editing Useful regexps for finding sentences, pages,...
The `skip-chars...' functions also perform a kind of searching. See section 30.2.7 Skipping Characters.
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