Find Pattern

Search text for the first match to a specified pattern using regular expressions.


Field Definition Type Required
look in String value within which a search for a text pattern is performed. String TRUE
look for Specified text pattern. A pattern must use a regular expression. String TRUE


Field Definition Type

Position of the first match found, where 0 is the first position.

Returns -1 if no match is found.


Regular Expressions

Unlike the Find function card, Find Pattern supports regular expressions.

Regular Expression Definition

Finds any alphanumeric character (for example, a letter or number).

\s Finds any whitespace character (for example, a blank or tab).
\d Finds any digit.
[1-5] Finds a number between 1 and 5.
[aeiou] Finds a, ei, o, or u.
hello|test Finds hello or test. Either side of the | operator is a regular expression.
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.

Finds any character that is not an alphanumeric character. You can add the negative operator ^ before any other pattern. For example:

  • [^a] to find anything other than a.

  • [^\d{3}] to find anything that is not three digits in a row.

Many characters have special meaning in regular expressions, such as ., +, *, and \. To search for any such characters, place \ before the character. For example, \. - finds a period.

You can combine any of the above patterns and fixed text. For example, test\.\d{3} finds the word test followed by a period followed by three consecutive digits.


For simple searches, the Find Pattern function card performs like the Find.

If the look in field contains testing_123, the following input values in the look for produce these results:

look for position Explanation


String found at beginning of input value.
ing 4

String appears after the 4th position and starts in the 5th position.

hello 1 No match found.
\d 8 First digit found.
\w_\d 6 Any character found that is followed by an underscore then a digit.
esting_\d{3} 1 String "esting" followed by any three digits.

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

Related topics

Functions in Workflows

About the elements of Okta Workflows