I am trying to move away from TextPad, and I just can't get regular expressions like ^ and $ to be replaced. I have definitely ticked the regular expression box.

What am I doing wrong?

I am trying to find the start of a new line. In TextPad, it is find '^' and ensure regular expressions is enabled. With Notepad++ it does not do that. It just says "Not found".

  • I've used TextPad and found this same issue to be annoying (to put it mildly). Basically, Npp's Regex functionality is stunted when comared to most other Regex-s. This stems from the fact that Npp is an abstraction of the Scintilla Editor which uses a single-line-based RegEx :( -- The Npp crew are quite well aware of this issue, but it has (oddly) been on the back-burner (a time and resources issue). $ does work, but they haven't got ^ to work multi-line (yet). I know this limitation, and work with (and aroud it). As mentioned below ^(.) works. (Rarely, I revert to TPad or UltraEdit)
    – Peter.O
    Commented Aug 5, 2010 at 23:59
  • 1
    PS. you can often use Extended (vs RegEx ) as a workaround for \r and \n - this semi-mimics a start-of-line. Also, as a by-the-way, you can stay in Normal search and turn on View -- Show Symbol -- Show End of Line.. Although they don't (visually) appear in the Find-field, if you select CRLF first, the Find-field auto-prime kicks in when you press CTRL+F, and it quite happily becomes a multi-line (but not RegEx) search. Its not much different to Extended search, but I found it to be interesting, and some readers may also find it so. (I love Npp :)
    – Peter.O
    Commented Aug 6, 2010 at 0:21
  • Why exactly are you trying to find the start of a new line? Do you want to add something at the beginning of every line? That would help us actually answer the question. If you are using Notepad++ in order to move away from a paid solution, you will have to learn its quirks and work around them. I have had no problem doing this, since Notepad++ is very good in so many other ways. Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 6:48

6 Answers 6


^ and $ are both anchors in Regex, which means if you want to replace the literal chars ^ and $ you need to escape them, usually with a leading backslash (\^, and \$).

To find the first character on a line use ^.

The start line anchor (^) is a zero-width match, so combining it with the . will find any character at the beginning of a line.

Maybe you can explain what you're actually trying to do?


I've had the same issue myself. After some trial and error you can achieve the same by doing the following:

Find: ^(.)

Replace: [the string you wish you insert]\1

What this will do is locate and tag the first character of the line, put in the new string and put the tagged character after it.

For example, I needed to insert a single quote at the start of each line:

Find: ^(.)

Replace: '\1

You can do the same for the end of the line by doing:

Find: (.)$

Replace: \1*[the string you wish to append]*


Because these are special characters that represent the front (^) and end of line ($). Try escaping them with a \.


Match "Cat" at the beginning of the line:


Match "Cat" at the end of line:


Match "Cat" as only thing on a line:


Match a "$100" within a line:


Here is a link for the specifics on regular expression matching within Notepad++.

  • 2
    The link seems to be (effectively) broken. Commented Nov 1, 2012 at 1:50

I got it.



  • Albert
  • Lucas
  • Rober_Klein
  • Fisher

Remove after character or text


Remove before character or text


dot = any character
asterisk = zero or more times

Here is how to do it...


$_GET['id']; $_GET['nick'];


htmlentities($_GET['id']); htmlentities($_GET['nick']);

So. On the find field put:


On the replace field put:


The issue seems to have been fixed now.

In Notepad++ v6.9.2 (running under Windows 7) I get both ^ (start of line) and $ (end of line) to work.

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