Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Notepad++ Replace using Regex

One of the best features of Notepad++ is the search and replace. You can either use normal search, extended (so you can search for newlines (\n) and tabs (\t)), or regular expressions.

Regex is great for massaging data into the form you want to input into another program.

One case I often have is long lists of output from a PHP script using var_dump() which I want to paste into an Excel spreadsheet. But I need to remove the preceding "string '" and the trailing "' (length=<length of string>)" for the data to make sense.

To remove the starting "string '", just use a normal search (since the string is the same on all lines). To remove the ending we need to use regex since the <length of string> value can vary, using the regular expression search \' \(length=.* should do the trick.

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