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44.6 The Match Data

SXEmacs keeps track of the positions of the start and end of segments of text found during a regular expression search. This means, for example, that you can search for a complex pattern, such as a date in an Rmail message, and then extract parts of the match under control of the pattern.

Because the match data normally describe the most recent search only, you must be careful not to do another search inadvertently between the search you wish to refer back to and the use of the match data. If you can’t avoid another intervening search, you must save and restore the match data around it, to prevent it from being overwritten.