Not only do I not understand why the 2nd is NOT working.. I can't figure out why the 1st is working at all. (Although I haven't tested plain "-o" yet.) This is going to be in a menu button, so I want to make sure they're going to work properly.
I'm not sure why the first one seems to work either, apart from luck. The list of alternatives separated by | should be surrounded by a single pair of (...) as in the second one.
The second one is correct, in a way, but it's allowing an ambiguity which means it isn't doing exactly what you want.
The second one is saying:
(.*) match as much as possible of the string
(-r-o|-r|-o) then, match -r-o, or -r, or -o
\.pdf then, match .pdf
If the string is xyz-r-o.pdf then the three parts match the following:
To fix it, you need to make the (.*) at the start be "lazy", which means it will match as little as possible, leaving as much as possible for all the other parts of the expression. That's done by adding a ? like this:
It's also a good idea to be in the habit of explicitly matching the start ^ and end $, to avoid unexpected behavior with names that have substrings that match the regex but don't match it entirely (e.g. xyz-r-o.pdf.bak would match the previous regex and have the .bak stripped off unintentionally.):
Yeah, I started with the second - but after over an hour of trying alternatives I tried removing the parenthesis for sh*ts-&-giggles and stumbled upon it working for some reason.. IIRC only one ordering of it seemingly 'worked'.
And after learning the other tips above, I FINALLY got a whole slew of other renames to work how I intended for them to work.. i.e. take off repeats of endings like "_CC_CC" - I was only ever able to get one set removed without doing a second rename. .... I would've thought one wanted (.*) to catch as much as possible, but I guess not.
I can't remember if I got anything to work with this part, but I've been trying things like (.*)(-r|-o)$\.pdf, thinking it would anchor it to just before the '.pdf' part. But I guess something like that would never work?? Does $ ALWAYS anchor to the absolute possible end of the entire string?
Another thing I'm wondering is does that 'lazy' (.*?) only work in Opus, or is that also a RegExp thing? I couldn't find anything about it in the Opus docs, nor at the 'TR1 ECMA' website that the Opus docs point to. And similarly, I'm wondering if the # thing mentioned in the Opus RegExp docs is a unique Opus 'thing', or is that also a general-type RegExp thing?
$ always matches the very end of the string (or end of the line in some contexts, but that's not important with filenames)
Using ? to make the preceding thing lazy instead of greedy is part of many regex variants, but not all. There isn't a single standard for regex so you may need to check if it works in other programs.
Microsoft's regex page uses the term "non-greedy" instead of "lazy", and seems to have an error where it describes the feature but the character that invokes it is missing. The line has a pair of ' ' single quotes with nothing between them; it was presumably meant to be '?' rather than ''.
In ECMAScript, all the forms of repetition count can be followed by the character '', which designates a non-greedy repetition.
The # at the very end of a regex to apply it repeatedly (until it stops changing the string or gets into a loop) is an Opus addition and not part of any standard regex syntax.