Regular Expression Support - please add to make it easier to search name spellings

Please add regular expression support throughout the searches in the program. This is very useful for names like Smith (Smit, Schmidt, Schmitt, etc), Dutch surnames (Van Der, VanDe, etc), and many other name spelling variants.

This was a feature I used often in Legacy Family Tree and was surprised does not already exist in RootsMagic.

For example, I would search surnames using: “s*m*[td]*”

If there is an equivalent way to achieve this in RM9 then I’m willing to try that, but the regex is the tech world’s solution to powerful general search and match.

RM is a SQL database
Underscore _ is the wildcard instead of Asterisks.
The underscore _ wildcard matches any single character.
The percent sign % wildcard matches any sequence of zero or more characters.
Be%t will give Bennet and Bentley.

How about a character set (aka character class), as in my example with the regex [td] where it will only match if there is a “t” or a “d” there but not another character?

MS SQL Server works with the [td] approach, but I know RM9 is using SQLite

I’m looking to run this regex search:

I just tried a basic one:


and received no results on the people search?

CLARIFICATION: It worked perfectly on the index search of the people window, but not in the person search window.

Worked perfectly when I tried it Cr%w%

Sqlite 3 has the REGEX function but RM is using only the LIKE function, assuming its search process is a direct query of the database and not some search of an array built by the program.

If it is making a sqlite query, the UI could have the choice of a conventional or regex search to choose whether LIKE or REGEX goes into the sql statement. That should be an easy enhancement but it would open up a whole lot of discussion about how to design search expressions…

I may be wrong but I would suspect the number of Rootsmagic users who would understand anything other than the most basic REGEX search syntax to be very much a niche group. I do use it in other editing tools, but not often enough to maintain a good working knowledge of the syntax.

According to this RM8 doc, it should support the wildcards on the Person Search page: Search Page - RootsMagic Wiki

I’m not seeing that the character class / character set concept - like [td] works in SQLite.

I opened a ticket.

1 Like

No, it doesn’t say anything about a search page. If you read the final paragrah it says " People Page search boxes, found in the sidebar index and People List."

It does work fine in both of those locations.