I would like to to create a regular expression in elisp (in the standard 'read' form) to match extended ASCII chars the same as PCRE does:


So, I'm currently сonfused about \x7f-\xff. Is there a way to set a range using something like \xhh?

  • I think the answer depends on whether you're matching against unibyte or multibyte strings. Do you think À (which is undefined in ASCII, 0xC0 in latin-1 and Unicode, but encoded as 0xC380 in UTF-8) falls into the range 0x7F-0xFF?
    – npostavs
    Apr 14, 2019 at 15:34
  • I think so. At least PCRE matched À as a char in 0x7F-0xFF range. I need the same behavior for standard Elisp regular expression.
    – serghei
    Apr 14, 2019 at 16:13
  • And as I can see À is defined in ASCII: ascii-code.com. 0xC0 is between 0x7F and 0xFF
    – serghei
    Apr 14, 2019 at 16:19

1 Answer 1


You can use -ÿ instead of \x7f-\xff. That first character, which StackExchange prints as a space, is DEL, which has codepoint 127 (decimal), #o177 (octal), and #x7f (hexadecimal).

That is, you can just insert the characters themselves in the regexp pattern.

One way to input such characters is to use C-x 8 RET. To search for any char in the range \x7f through \xff you would type this at the C-M-s prompt (without the spaces):

[ C-x 8 RET # x 7 f - C-x 8 RET # x f f ]

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