How can I search for regular expressions like 'foo|bar' on webpages using Google Chrome or IE? I'm aware of the "Regular Expression Searcher" extension, but it does not work for me. (Nothing happens when I hit slash.) The reviews on the web store indicate that this is a common problem for many users.


8 Answers 8


Using Javascript to match regular expressions

Maybe you want try this at chrome's console:

var p=/.*(regu).+?\ /gi; console.log( document.body.innerText.match(p) );

Just open console, copy and paste above to console and hit enter. You can test it here at this page.
This can be improved if it fits in.

Here we print to console match indexes and matched text. Here we try to match text that contains regu, 20 chars before (or less if start of line) and 10 chars after (or less if eol).

var p=/.{0,20}regu[^ \n]+[^\n]{0,10}/gi;
while (m = p.exec(document.body.innerText)) { 
    console.log( 'Index: '+m.index+' Match: '+m ); }

Also try this, it will paint background of all matches on page red, rexexp is not perfect but at least it should not mess with HTML tags:

var p=/(\>{1}[^\n\<]*?)([^\n\<]{0,30}regu[^\n\<]{0,10})/gi,b=document.body;
b.innerHTML=b.innerHTML.replace(p,'$1<span style="background-color:red;">$2</span>');

Bookmarking this:

Another way to use this is through javascript: protocol (same code as just above):

javascript:(function(){var p=/(\>{1}[^\n\<]*?)([^\n\<]{0,30}regu[^\n\<]{0,10})/gi,b=document.body;b.innerHTML=b.innerHTML.replace(p,'$1<span style="background-color:red;">$2</span>');})();

For example, using javascript: protocol one can insert a little search box to any web page for searching regexp's.
I think that you already know that simple regexp can also used to remove red matches from page.
If I continue to develop this for few more hours we may have search plugin that fit in bookmark :)

  • 1
    Some previous versions of chrome do not support innerText. It is recommended to check if innerText is supported and default to textContent if innerText is not usable.
    – Spencer D
    Nov 25, 2015 at 20:14
  • Your initial code for finding elements can be with code [...document.body.innerText.matchAll(p)] for 73+ version of Chrome. May 15, 2019 at 8:25

The Find+ extension has good reviews and has not been mentioned yet: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/find%20-regex-find-in-page/fddffkdncgkkdjobemgbpojjeffmmofb?hl=en-US

I tried it out, and it works very well and has a clear, simple UI.

It can search text across HTML elements. The others that I tried were unable to do that.

enter image description here

  • I pushed enter it didn't highlight a thing
    – barlop
    May 15, 2020 at 16:15
  • @barlop - Make sure you're using the actual extension's finder. It doesn't replace the Chrome's native finder. Dec 4, 2020 at 7:53
  • @AndrewCheong i.stack.imgur.com/QEKqn.png
    – barlop
    Dec 4, 2020 at 8:03
  • Oh, it doesn't work for me on the extension page either. But it works for me on regular sites. Dec 4, 2020 at 8:35
  • 1
    +1 At this time this is also the only one with a statement on privacy practices.
    – antichris
    Apr 11, 2021 at 11:04

Regular Expression Search from Google Chrome.

A simple search utility that allows you to search a web page using regular expression.

Features under development

  • toggle through found results
  • improved UI
  • toggle between case sensitivity
  • create shortcut for toggling the extension
  • Allow pressing "Enter" key when searching (instead of clicking on search button)

Important Notes
This is a page action extension so it won't work right away on the page you have already opened. I recommend restart your browser before start using this extension. You can also try to refresh your opened page.

  • 4
    I don't have a better suggestion, but this extension doesn't work very well. While enabled, AdBlock doesn't block all ads. Also, after searching this page, for example, the add comment stops working.
    – Dennis
    Apr 29, 2012 at 3:21
  • 6
    The link appears unavailable. Is it the same extension as Chrome Regex Search?
    – Ruslan
    Jan 29, 2019 at 5:32

I would like to suggest the Chrome Regex Search extension.

This extension is open source.

  • I think you are suggesting this as a solution, so I edited it. Also you can provide a link without displaying the full link. You click on the chain link icon which is visible when you are typing your answer.
    – KAE
    Sep 12, 2018 at 12:12

The other extensions that were mentioned didn't work for me, so I wrote my own open source chrome extension that you can try out here: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/regex-search/bcdabfmndggphffkchfdcekcokmbnkjl?hl=en&gl=US

Source code is available on github: https://github.com/gsingh93/regex-search


In Chrome on macOS, hold Alt+Command+I to open Developer Tools, select the HTML source code for the page (under the "Sources" tab), hold Command+F to search, and select the .* (Regex) symbol.

If you need to search only text, you can use pandoc to convert HTML to plain text:

$ pandoc https://superuser.com/questions/417875 -t plain -o tmp.txt

And then use less to search with Regex (search with /).


In Chrome Developer Tools mode, type ctrl + shift + F (on Windows, not sure about other OS).

There's a reg-ex option for searching. This will search all files, so it will include JavaScript source. I'm not sure (how) you can limit it to only HTML.


not really a search, but I found this regexp highlighter (that I found somewhere) quite useful, and works for all browsers.


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