A single example does not give us enough information to parse your input. My questions go far beyond the whitespace issues already discussed. All replies given so far assume that you want the first number after the first 'FREE'. Is that always true? Perhaps you need the first number after the first 'FREE' after the first 'HEAP' which is not preceded by 'NON-'. The number in your example is an integer. Always true? Can there be a newline anywhere in the record? The more that you tell us about your input, the better answer you are likely to receive.