Simple expressions

This format definition returns a value that corresponds to a simple pattern format.

Important This type of format definition does not support Arabic or any other right-to-left text.

The following syntax is used:

Special Character



Represents any number or an O in upper or lower case.

For example, ### matches 123 or O01.


Represents any uppercase or lowercase alphabetic character.

For example, @@@@ matches Love and @# matches U2.


Represents any alphanumeric character.

For example, ?rain matches brain and train.

‘ ’

Indicates a word start or end.

For example, ‘ABC’ matches ABC but not ABCD.

[ ]

Indicates a number or range of repetitions of the previous character.

For example, a[1-2] matches a and aa, and me[1-2] matches met and meet.

, (comma) or . (period)

Represents one of the following special characters:


For more complicated patterns, use regular expressions.