Does anyone know a Windows app (preferably free) that will mass-edit a folder of files?
January 8, 2005 8:14 AM   Subscribe

I have several thousand html files that I need to edit, basically removing a block of text from each. Does anyone know a Windows app (preferably free) that will mass-edit a folder of files?
posted by kickerofelves to Computers & Internet (12 answers total)
If you happen to have HomeSite installed, you can use the Extended Replace. It can search and replace through non-open files.

I don't recall whether Dreamweaver has an extended replace feature, but check that, too (if you have it). Just go through all of your code editing tools in turn and see if they've got the capability. I usually find there's some capacity of that sort, though you often have to know how to do regular expressions to use it. (E.g., if you know regular expressions, I'm 90% certain you should be able to do it with a Windows EMACS.)
posted by lodurr at 8:22 AM on January 8, 2005

There are probably free Windows-based grep-enabled tools that will do what you want. (On preview: what lodrur said.)

Not free, but very very inexpensive (about US$16 at current exchange rates) is Wildedit, which will do what you're looking for. They have a trial version available (limitation: it won't edit files larger than 10kb) but you could definitely download it and run some tests to make sure it'll suit your needs. Wildedit is regular-expression aware, but can also do straight search-and-replace using wildcards.
posted by enrevanche at 8:26 AM on January 8, 2005

Sorry, lodurr, for mangling your name. Need more coffee.
posted by enrevanche at 8:28 AM on January 8, 2005

Ultraedit will do this with aplomb. It's free to try for 45 days and is the best Windows text editor I've ever used.
posted by killdevil at 8:53 AM on January 8, 2005

I like Textpad, free to try and even after the trial period it's only nagware... Search and replace entire folders, including option to do so using regular expressions.

To confirm what lodurr said, Dreamweaver does this as well.
posted by Gortuk at 9:13 AM on January 8, 2005

Piggy-backing on this (hopefully), does anyone know if there are there similar editors for Mac (again preferably free)?
posted by carter at 10:13 AM on January 8, 2005

'Nother count for TextPad, though it has a limit to the number of files you can load in (512, at a guess), so when I use it to mass edit my .m3u's, I need to do it in blocks. Otherwise, it kicks ass. With regexp.
posted by benzo8 at 10:14 AM on January 8, 2005

You can do this in about 5 minutes withWingrep. It's free and very easy to use.
posted by john-paul at 10:26 AM on January 8, 2005

I'll second the Ultraedit recommendation, and add another (humble) recommendation to boot. This kind of conundrum is precisly why PHP/ASP templates are so useful. You can do a simple include that points to a file that contains the text (nothing more complicated than a single line), then whenever you need to update a thousand (or so) pages, you only have to edit one file. If you have any say in the design, you may want to suggest this.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:32 AM on January 8, 2005

Yes, lodurr, DW will do that.
posted by TeamBilly at 11:06 AM on January 8, 2005

get perl. You can do what you need with (something like):


Probably just replacing with nothing in your case. And you may have to make some minor tweaks if what you want to replace is multi-line - but that will be true with most of the other tools mentioned.

And if you do *anything* else involving operations on lots of files and such, perl will do *so* much other stuff for you, the (possibly) (slightly) steeper learning curve will be worth it. And seriously - if you learn enough Regex magic to do this with any tool, you're 90% of the way to doing it with perl.

Having said all that, Emacs is always a good option - it's the best operating system you'll ever install on your Windows box.
posted by freebird at 11:18 AM on January 8, 2005

jEdit: Search > Search and Replace, Enter Phrase, Leave "Replace with" Blank, and Browse to Directory
posted by quam at 11:30 AM on January 8, 2005

« Older How do you find a therapist?   |   How to save a candle with a "lost" wick Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.