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Split isn't going to get your far on this. What you need is a good regex. Try this:

while ( my $line = <DATA>){ my( @a, @b ); my ( $junk, $useful ) = split /\;/, $line; my @elements = $useful =~ m/ (\d+ # some numbers (?: # followed by (don't capture) \(.*?\) # other stuff (non-greedy) in parens )? # (optionally) ) # end capture /smxg; for my $element ( @elements ){ if ( $element =~ /\(.*\)/ ){ push @b, $element; } else{ push @a, $element; } } # do something with @a and @b } __DATA__ 2302.1;2302, 2304(3-8, 92-99), 2305(2, 4-9) 231.1;2301, 2303, 2304(1, 2, 90, 91), 2305(1, 3), 2306, 2307, 2308

I'm sure you could do this more compactly, but I didn't take the time to optimize. The first RE does the split you're looking for, followed by a check for each item to see if it contains parens.

perl -e 'split//,q{john hurl, pest caretaker}and(map{print @_[$_]}(joi +n(q{},map{sprintf(qq{%010u},$_)}(2**2*307*4993,5*101*641*5261,7*59*79 +*36997,13*17*71*45131,3**2*67*89*167*181))=~/\d{2}/g));'

In reply to Re^3: Putting special elements from a row into an array by agianni
in thread Putting special elements from a row into an array by ultibuzz

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