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8.14. Searching the Contents of a Text Widget

You can use the search method to search the Text widget for a pattern or regular expression. The search method takes some optional switches, the pattern to search for, and an index at which to start searching:

$index = $text->search([switches], pattern, index, [ stopindex ])

If a match is made, the index returned points to the first character in the match. If no match is made, an empty string is returned.

Here is a simple example of using search:

$result = $text->search(-backwards => "find me", 'end');

$location = $text->search(-nocase => "SWITCHES", "1.0");

See the sidebar "Search Options" for more information.

Search Options

Tells search to search forward through the Text widget starting at index. This is the default.

Tells search to search backward through the Text widget starting at the character before index.

The pattern must match the text exactly. This is the default.

The pattern will be considered as a regular expression.

Ignores case between pattern and the text within the Text widget.

Searches text even if it has a tag with -state => hidden.

-count => varname
varname is a pointer to a variable (i.e., \$variable). The number of characters matched will be stored within that variable.

This option does nothing except force the next argument to be taken as the pattern even if the next string starts with a "-".

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