Alteryx Week at DS3 - Resources to Understand Regex Tool

by Borja Leiva

So this week is Alteryx week again here at DS3, that means we are going to work through lots of the weekly exercises posted on the Alteryx Community. Actually, today we have already started working through some of them!

One the most daunting tools I have come across today was the Regex Tool.

What do you use Regex for? Well, with the Regex tool you can parse, match, or replace data using regular expressions syntax.

I should make a point here and warn you that looking at the Regular Expression drop down list is what makes this tool daunting and scary. If you are not familiar with the Regex syntax this drop down list will probably make no sense to you.

However, the good news is that there are plenty of resources for you to familiarize yourself with this kind of syntax.

Here I’ll point you to some of the most popular ones.

  1. RegexOne: This website provides the learner with a set of lessons that are based on the foundations built from the previous ones. Each lesson has its own practical part for you to put into Regex syntax what you learnt. Starting from a gentle introduction and moving to parsing and extracting data from URLs, it covers pretty much all there is to know about parsin, matching and extracting  information with Regular Expressions.


  1. RegExr: Perhaps a less welcoming website than RegexOne but don’t let the aspect discourage you from giving it a try. This site provides you with a Help section where you’ll find Video Tutorials and a Getting Started sub-section that are very useful. The Community section covers an amazing variety of topics as well.


  1. Regular-expressions: A very easy to navigate website where you can find lots of information from a Quickstart section to Tutorials, Practical Examples, a Regular Expressions Reference section and a Book Review. Lots to choose from!


In addition to these external websites you can also access a Regex specific Help section within Alteryx by clicking on the down arrow at the Regular Expressions drop down list and select the last option, Complete Perl 5 Regex Syntax. Here you will find information about the Regex drop down list, Character Class Names, and Syntax.


Finally, you have also a wide variety of books out there that can help you understand and master the Regex Syntax, some of the most popular ones are: