in reply to Interpolate Text Not Inside a Certain Tag

I can't think of any way to do this with simple regexps, . . .

Then don't use a regex. Why does everyone think that all string manipulation should be handled with a regex?!? Use a simple character-by-character parser, noting state as you move through the string.

# UNTESTED !!! my $in_quote = 0; my $in_bold = 0; my $final_string = ''; foreach my $char ( split //, $string ) { if ( $char eq "'" ) { $in_quote = 1 - $in_quote; } else if ( $char eq '*' && !$in_quote ) { $final_string .= '<'; $final_string .= $in_bold ? '/' : ''; $final_string .= 'b>'; $in_bold = 1 - $in_bold; } else { $final_string .= $char; } }