Find Pattern

Search text for the first match of a pattern.

Input Fields

  • look in is the text you want to search inside.

  • look for is the text you want to search for and/or pattern to match. Patterns must follow a standard pattern format called a regular expression (see details below).

Output Fields

  • position is the position where the first match begins, where 0 denotes the very beginning. Returns -1 if there is no match.

Pattern Options

Unlike the Find function, Find Pattern also supports regular expressions. Examples of regular expressions include:

  • \w - finds any alphanumeric character (e.g. a letter or number)

  • \s - finds any whitespace character (e.g. a blank or tab)

  • \d - finds any digit

  • [1-5] - finds a number between 1 and 5

  • [aeiou] - finds a, e, i, o, or u

  • hello|test - finds "hello" or "test"

  • colou?r - finds "color" or "colour" (the ? signifies that there can be zero or one of the preceding element)

  • \d{5} - finds five consecutive digits (the {number} signifies a number of consecutive instances of the preceding element)

  • [^\w] - finds any character that is not an alphanumeric character. You can add the not operator ^ before any other pattern, e.g. [^a] to find anything other than a or [^\d{3}] to find anything that is not 3 digits in a row

Many characters have special meaning in regular expressions, such as ., +, *, \ and more. To search for any of those characters you need to place a \ before the character. For instance:

  • \. - finds a period

You can combine any of the above patterns and fixed text. For instance:

  • test\.\d{3} - finds the word "test" followed by a period followed by 3 consecutive digits


For simple searches, Find Pattern works the same as Find.

If look intesting_123:

  • look fortest -> position0 (found at very beginning)

  • look foring -> position4 (4 means it comes after the 4th, starts in the 5th position)

  • look forhello -> position-1 (no match found)

  • look for\d -> position8 (first digit)

  • look for\w_\d -> position6 (any character then underline then any digit)

  • look foresting_\d{3} -> position1 ("esting_" followed by any 3 digits)

Find Pattern is often used in combination with Text Segment to get the text that matched the pattern.

See Also

Functions in Workflows

About the elements of Okta Workflows