Regular Expression

I'm trying to develop a regular expression to match a space character in a block of code, but it can't
be contained within a hyperlink.

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<a href="http://somwhere.com">This is the link, but I don't want any match in here.</a>  But any space
after this would be OK.  There also may not be any hyperlink in the text, in which case the first space found would be great.
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In the above code, I would want the position of the first space after the closing </a>  If there was no hyperlink, then I would want the position of the first space in the paragraph.  I've been working on regular expression stuff for a couple of weeks but don't have any clue how to go about this.

Any tips?
vision69Asked:
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BAlexandrovConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I do not know how you will find a random place -this is your part.

If it was ASP with Javascript then this will do it - get first and third match and insert something between them

<%@ Language=JScript %>
<%
var reg  = /(<a.*<\/a>)( )(.*)/im
var text = "<a href=\"http://somwhere.com\">This is the link, but I don't want any match in here.</a>  But any space after this would be OK."
Response.Write (text.replace(reg,"$1new text$3"));
%>


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BAlexandrovCommented:
It would be great if you explain wxactly what are you trying to do. Why you need position of first space - probbaly you want to insert something there or get text before and after it.
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BAlexandrovCommented:
Probbaly this is waht you need

\(?:<a.*<\/a>)( )\im
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vision69Author Commented:
I have a piece of software that breaks up a block of text into pieces.  I want to insert (at random) a URL in the block of text.  But I don't want to accidently insert a hyperlink, inside another hyperlink...  That is why I'm looking for the first occurance of a space that is not inside an already existing hyperlink.
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KavarConnect With a Mentor Commented:
/(<a[^xfe]*a\>)*?(/s)/im
$2 will be the white space

if you want to accomodate both then
/((<a[^xfe]*a\>)*?(/s)|(/s))/im



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