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I have a list, e.g.:

list = {1, 2, 3, "Element 1", 4, 5, "Element 2", "Something else 1", "etcetera"}

Now, I want all elements starting with "El". Using Position, I could find the position of e.g. "Element 1":

Position[list, "Element 1"]

But, I would like to know the positions of "Element 1" and "Element 2", as both start with "El". So, I would like to have something like

Position[list, "El"_]

I just can't get something like this to work.

Thanks for any help.

share|improve this question
You need string patterns and Friends, e.g. StringFreeQ, StringPosition, .. – Spawn1701D May 10 '13 at 19:03
Related: – Mr.Wizard May 11 '13 at 7:58
up vote 12 down vote accepted

But I would like to know the positions of "Element 1" and "Element 2"...

You can still use Position[]; things are a little more elaborate, though, due to the strings:

Position[list, s_String /; StringMatchQ[s, "El*"]]
   {{4}, {7}}

Extract[list, %]
   {"Element 1", "Element 2"}
share|improve this answer
+1 for reading the question. ;-) – Mr.Wizard May 11 '13 at 7:57
Great! Thanks a lot - that solved it. – Mockup Dungeon May 11 '13 at 8:02
Select[list, StringMatchQ[ToString@#, "El" ~~ ___] &]

{"Element 1", "Element 2"}

share|improve this answer

A possibility:

Cases[list, x_String /; StringMatchQ[x, "El*"]]
{"Element 1", "Element 2"}
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