This article is only relevant to version 2 of the C API. Version 3 does not use PCRE or any other kind of regular expression library.
The PCRE library used to process regular expressions has to be configured in a pre-compilation stage to build character tables for the target architecture. There source code file pcre_chartables.c is not distributed with the project. All the batch files, make files, and Visual Studio projects provided with the download include this pre-compilation activity.
The following lines from the batch files are relevant to this activity.
if exist pcre_chartables.c del pcre_chartables.c - If the character tables are already present they are deleted.
if exist dftables.c cl /w dftables.c - If the C source code needed to create the executable that will then build the character tables is present then build it.
if exist dftables.exe dftables.exe pcre_chartables.c - If the executable was created use it to create the character tables source code file.
if exist dftables.exe del dftables.exe - Delete the executable used to create the character tables.
if exist dftables.obj del dftables.obj - Delete the object file used in compilation.
The pcre_chartables.c file has to be built using dftables.c before the main library compilation can begin.