Eh, one of the reasons why I like AHK is its simplicity.
IMHO, once your able to fight Perl's regex (or AU3's syntax) you're entitled to swap to them.
I wouldn't feel happy to explain a perfect noob that this ---> .
is a valid argument in AHK.
Why not KISS*
Not to miss the subject completly. As long as you can trigger the command line within AHK you can use third party tools like grep
* keep it stupid simple
What Is grep?
Grep is a tool that originated from the UNIX world during the 1970's. It can search through files and folders (directories in UNIX) and check which lines in those files match a given regular expression. Grep will output the filenames and the line numbers or the actual lines that matched the regular expression. All in all a very useful tool for locating information stored anywhere on your computer, even (or especially) if you do not really know where to look.
Grep's Regex Engine
Most versions of grep use a regex-directed engine, like the regex flavors discussed in the regex tutorial on this website . However, grep does not support all the fancy regex features that modern regex flavors support. Usually, support is limited to character classes (no shorthands), the dot, the start and end of line anchors, alternation with the vertical bar, and greedy repetition with the question mark, star and plus. Depending on the version you have, you may need to escape the question mark, plus and vertical bar to give them their special meaning. Originally, grep did not support these metacharacters. They are usually still treated as literal characters when unescaped, for backward compatibility.
An enhanced version of grep is called egrep. It uses a text-directed engine. Since neither grep nor egrep support any of the special features like backreferences, lazy repetition, or lookaround, and because grep and egrep only indicate whether a match was found on a particular line or not, this distinction does not matter, except that the text-directed engine is faster.
GNU grep, the most popular version of grep on Linux, uses both a text-directed and a regex-directed engine. If you use advanced features like backreferences, which GNU grep supports (but not traditional grep and egrep), it will use the regex-directed engine. Otherwise, it uses the faster text-directed engine. Again, for the tasks that grep is designed for, this does not matter to you, the user.