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Global Search and Replace Help

Rows Explained

The three rows with blue headers are used to find topics that contains text to be replaced. The three rows with black headers are used to find and replace text within the topics found in the previous three blue rows

Topic Search String Fully supported regular expression searchempty string
Search Scopetext or topictext
Web A single web name, e.g., TWikicurrent web (now Plugins)
Replace Search StringFully supported regular expression search. Up to four substrings in the found string may be "captured" by enclosing them in parenthesesempty string
Replace StringText that will replace the found text. Captured substrings from the Replace Search String are accessed with $1, $2, $3, and $4. Use $topic for the topic name.empty string
Case Sensitive Replace Search yes or no yes

Using Global Search And Replace

Example Global Search and Replace:
Global Search and Replace Example

Note that there are two different search strings to define:

  1. The search string to select a set of topics (the Topic Search String)
  2. The search string to find the expression to replace within a topic (the Replace Search String)

These strings may be the same, especially when searching within the text, but both must be specified.

Note: Steps 1 and 2 may be combined.

Step 1: Select the Topics

Start by specifying the search criteria that will select the set of topics that contain the expression that is to be replaced. Using the top three rows first, you can try out different expressions. The Topic Search String fully supports regular expressions.

Select a Search Scope of text to search within a topic (the default), or select topic to search within the topic name only.

Enter the web to search (default: the current web). Only a single web is supported.

Click Search.

TWiki will display a list of topics meeting the search criteria. If the list is correct, proceed to Step 2; otherwise, go Back in your browser, correct the search criteria, and click Search again. (Or click Start Over to clear all fields.)

Note: You do not need to escape special characters, i.e. the double quote ("), or worry about TWiki variables rendering in Replace Search String and Replace String. However, Topic Search String must be written as you would for the search parameter of a %SEARCH%. Thus, to have %WEB% search correctly in Topic Search String, you must use %WEB[%] to escape the TWiki rendering. There is a known bug that if you escape a double quote with \" upon hitting the Search button the escape character, '\', will disappear but the search will have functioned properly.

Step 2: Find the Text to Replace and Specify the Replacement

The next step is to define a Replace Search String: the string to search for and replace within each topic selected by Step 1. The Replace Search String also fully supports regular expressions. Like regular expressions, you can capture up to four substrings using parentheses. Then use $1, $2, $3, and $4 in the Replace String to insert the captured substrings. See above example.

Set the Replace String to the new string which is to replace the found strings. The Replace String can be blank (which will delete the strings found in the selected topics). A known issue with the replace string is documented below.

Again click Search. TWiki will display a page of all "hits" on each topic selected in Step 1. Each hit has a checkbox and shows the Replace Search String highlighted in red and the Replace String in orange. If possible, the results will display the 40 characters on each side of the hit for context.

Nothing will be saved until completing Steps 3 and 4 below.

Once satisfied, proceed to Step 3. If the results are not as required, go Back in your browser, correct any of the fields in the form, and click Search again to display a new set of results.

Step 3: Select the Hits to be Replaced

Click the checkboxes for the hits you want to replace. Use the Set All and Clear All buttons below the hits if convenient.

Step 4: Make the Replacements

Once the checkboxes are as required, click Replace All Check Marked Hits to commit your changes.

Only members of the TWikiAdminGroup will be allowed to commit changes.

Known Issues

  1. Currently, the Replace String cannot handle more than one set of double quotes. For example, %META:FIELD{name="TopicClassification" title="TopicClassification" value="TWikiChangeRequest"}% will be truncated to %META:FIELD{name="TopicClassification" if you try to commit the changes.

More Help:

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Topic revision: r2 - 2004-11-03 - PeterThoeny
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