FAQ 6.8 How can I quote a variable to use in a regex?

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6.8: How can I quote a variable to use in a regex?

    The Perl parser will expand $variable and @variable references in
    regular expressions unless the delimiter is a single quote. Remember,
    too, that the right-hand side of a "s///" substitution is considered a
    double-quoted string (see perlop for more details). Remember also that
    any regex special characters will be acted on unless you precede the
    substitution with \Q. Here's an example:

            $string = "Placido P. Octopus";
            $regex  = "P.";

            $string =~ s/$regex/Polyp/;
            # $string is now "Polypacido P. Octopus"

    Because "." is special in regular expressions, and can match any single
    character, the regex "P." here has matched the <Pl> in the original

    To escape the special meaning of ".", we use "\Q":

            $string = "Placido P. Octopus";
            $regex  = "P.";

            $string =~ s/\Q$regex/Polyp/;
            # $string is now "Placido Polyp Octopus"

    The use of "\Q" causes the <.> in the regex to be treated as a regular
    character, so that "P." matches a "P" followed by a dot.


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