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Structural search and replace examples

As you know the main difference between regular search and the structural search is that in the structural search we are looking for a structural template in a programming language.

The beauty of a structural search is that you can create a pattern based on the existing template and save yourself time when searching and replacing code.

The extensive list of existing templates covers a lot of use-cases from simple patterns to more complex ones.

Each item in a pattern consists of variables that are limited by $ sign on both sides.

Examples for HTML and XML

The following examples show how you can use structural search in HTML and XML code.

Delete all lines that have the id attribute greater than 2

  1. Create an HTML file and paste the following code:

    <!doctype html> <html> <head> <title>Structural Search Example</title> <body> <ul> <li id="1">Example line 1</li> <li id="2">Example line 2</li> <li id="3">Example line 3</li> <li id="a">Example line a</li> <li id="5">Example line 5</li> </ul> </body> </html>
  2. From the main menu, select Edit | Find | Search Structurally.

  3. From the File type list, select HTML.

  4. Paste the following string to the Search template field:

    <$tag$ $attribute$="$value$">
  5. Click the $tag$ variable.

  6. In the filter panel, click Add filter, select Text and type li in the value field.

    If the filter panel is not visible, click the Toggle Filter Panel icon.

    Toggle Filter Panel
  7. Click the $attribute$ variable.

  8. In the filter panel, click Add filter, select Text and type id in the value field.

  9. Click the $value$ variable.

  10. In the filter panel, click Add filter, select Text and type \d+ in the value field.

    The \d+ regular expression limits search results to numeric values. So, the line with the id="a" will be filtered out.

  11. Without switching the focus from the filter panel, click the Add button, select Script and paste the following code:

    value.getText().replaceAll (/"/, '').toInteger() > 2

    The script reads the content of the $value$ variable and returns it as a string (for example, "1"). Then the script replaces all the quotes and converts the string value to integer and compares it with 2.

    Delete lines with ids greater than 2

Convert uppercase values of the class attribute in li tags to lowercase

  1. Create an HTML file and paste the following code:

    <!doctype html> <html> <head> <title class="EXAMPLE">Structural Replace Example</title> <body> <ul> <li class="EXAMPLE">Example line 1</li> <li class="example">Example line 2</li> <li class="EXAMPLE">Example line 3</li> <li class="example">Example line a</li> <li id="EXAMPLE">Example line 5</li> </ul> </body> </html>
  2. From the main menu, select Edit | Find | Replace Structurally.

  3. From the File type list, select HTML.

  4. Paste the following string to the Search template field:

    <$tag$ $attribute$="$value$">
  5. Select the Match case checkbox.

  6. Click the $tag$ variable.

  7. In the filter panel, click Add filter, select Text and type li in the value field.

  8. Click the $attribute$ variable.

  9. In the filter panel, click Add filter, select Text and type class in the value field.

  10. Click the $value$ variable.

  11. In the filter panel, click Add filter, select Text and type [A-Z].* in the value field.

    The [A-Z].* regular expression limits search results to uppercase values.

  12. From the Search target list, select value. This procedure highlights all the uppercase values of the class attribute.

  13. In the Replace template field, paste the $to_lower_case$ variable.

  14. Click the $to_lower_case$ variable.

  15. In the filter panel, click Add filter, select Script and paste the following code:

    value.getText().toLowerCase()
    Replace a target structurally
  16. Click Find.

  17. In the Find tool window, preview the found results and click Replace All.

    find.replace.all.action

Last modified: 26 August 2021