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Regular expressions in ZennoPoster

JSON ZennoPoster

Regular expressions help with text processing within the program ZennoPoster or any other that supports this syntax and structure (Notepad++).

You can also “pull” out” a huge piece of text data, such as ONLY phones, ONLY emails or any other data with “regulars”, and then the ZennoPoster software will put it nicely into a CSV or XLSX table.

Besides the obvious advantages, automation of actions and reduction of time to search for the right elements on the pages of the site or plain text, you get a fully finished set, which is convenient to use, as well as the software is constantly being improved (for example, now there is already released version 7 of the product, where you can specify a dark and light theme in the settings). But back to regular expressions – they are designed to make it easier to find the right piece of text, a formal language for searching and manipulating substrings in the text, based on the use of meta-symbols (wildcard characters). However, not all such expressions are suitable in every program, so you should read the user manual before you start searching for any data.

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ZennoPoster is good because you always have at hand (when you press F3 inside the software) a tool that provides regular expression testing, and you see what you get at the output, so you don’t have to enter a thousand times different “regulars”. To me, this is the best option when you’re just getting to know such complex patterns of text/output interactions.

What can regular expressions do

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Yourself, of course, can’t do anything, but in combination with the software – a lot. For example, a frequent task is to remove HTML tags from text copied from somewhere (it can be tables or ordinary paragraphs). Let’s start with the software Notepad++, where you can change the data in the text, both through a simple search and a “regular” search.

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But when there are large pieces of text, such as HTML page code, there are already problems with processing, because it is not always convenient to parse it in parts. That’s when a unique tool called ZennoPoster comes into play. Let’s consider an example where JSON format is taken from the page code (if it is present on the page, of course), because the internal parsing function of this format allows to work with data more flexibly and faster than with plain text.

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json_yandex_01

That’s it, copy the text by pressing the CTRL + U buttons (in Chrome browser), then paste it inside the program (F3 key in ZenoPoster and “Regular Expressions Constructor” function). Now let’s see how it works… We find through CTRL + F “JSON” to start with, actually the end and the beginning.

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Block with text processing, insert the value obtained earlier in the data field and select their parsing. After that, you should have structured cells with their own names for each formula. What does this give us in the end? It’s very simple – you and I have structured numbers, rows, etc., which can be placed in a table, SQL, etc. by one action, without calculating individual elements on the page and without being bound to object identifiers on them. That is, for example, the developer of the site decided to change the style of the site or change the classes at DIV, then the search in the standard way becomes difficult (although in ZennoPoster there is a new function – search for an element on the page with xpath, but practice shows that this approach is not always effective).

xpath

Regularities

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Where exactly can such expressions be used? For example, it’s convenient to choose a link in an email if you don’t know it but are sure that it should lead to a certain page or start with the desired alres url – in this case it will help you to search through the familiar “Regular Expression Constructor” option and then you can insert it into the “Receive Email” block based on the obtained expression.

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Here are other examples:

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  • receive phones from a pile of unassembled text;
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  • receive email addresses after page parsing;
  • retrieve lists of names, family names, birthdates and other contact information by parsing JSON format or HTML;
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  • use API, SMS and other useful functions when processing large amounts of data.

regular expression groups.

Larger is better!

That’s not all yet! Zenoposter’s capabilities are surprising, because the software can do almost anything, and as for “regulars”, you have an interesting option “Group regular expressions”. With this option, you will group text data and any others that are separated by specific characters. You can read more about this great feature toot.

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General commands

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