Word of The Week – Regular Expression

Word of The Week – Regular Expression

The term regular expression, sometimes shortened to regex, refers to a sequence of characters that specifies a search pattern. Many of us apply regex every day via the Find and Replace function in Microsoft Word. Clients seeking to communicate globally need more, though, and XTM International offers it to them.

XTM Cloud’s regular expression tool delivers a layer of quality assurance and enables the user to laser in on their areas of priority. Appropriately, regex checks are stored inside XTM Cloud quality assurance templates, offering swift, customizable checking procedures that compare source and target texts for accuracy of:

  • Product names and product codes
  • Special characters, character combinations or deprecated characters (ie characters that are not barred from use but whose use is discouraged, perhaps because they are part of a feature that’s being replaced or upgraded and their use is being phased out)
  • Particular word combinations
  • Email addresses or phone numbers

The flexibility of regex in XTM Cloud enables you to specify three different levels of search.

  • Broad match
  • Phrase match
  • Exact match

These different categories offer exactly what their names suggest. A broad match search won’t flag up an error in a sequence of words or numbers, provided the sequence follows the basic rules of the search. For example, where an advertising campaign for childrenswear discusses the way children outgrow their clothes, if the original line is:

“In one year, the children grew taller by 25cm and 35cm”

And the target text emerges as:

“In one year, the children grew taller by 52cm and 53cm”

then a broad match search won’t flag this as a mistake, because the search parameters are set to detect a sequence of two digits followed by “cm”. Inversion or jumbling of numbers won’t register as incorrect.

An exact match search, on the other hand, will flag up anything that isn’t a precise match and also anything that isn’t in the original sequence. As with everything we do, the focus is on the client, and regular expressions in XTM Cloud enable the client to be as precise as each case demands. Effective localization preserves brand values, and where style guides specify preferred uses of, for example, quotation marks or naming conventions, they need to be followed. Regular expressions in XTM Cloud enable that process to be followed far more efficiently.

When we see examples of people being asked to choose between style and substance in their communication, our response is, why not choose both? Why not use an advanced search and verification tool that enables you to preserve any and all aspects of a company or an industry’s style guides and glossaries in any target language? And in making that choice, you’re also crafting a message of professionalism and substance.

Regular expressions in XTM Cloud – helping you speak to the world.