April 17, 2023

how can I perform a global search and replace in obsidian?

I researched how to perform a global search and replace in Obsidian by examining various sources, including Reddit discussions, forum posts, and articles. The consensus among the sources is that Obsidian does not have a built-in feature for global search and replace across the entire vault, but several alternatives are available. Some of the options include using external tools like Atom, VSCode, or plugins developed by the Obsidian community. The sources were related to the original query, but there might be some uncertainty about the best method as people's preferences vary.

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Using External Text Editors

One popular recommendation for performing a global search and replace in Obsidian is to use external text editors like Atom or VSCode. Obsidian is based on Atom, so you can install Atom, open your project folder, and use the global Search+Replace feature with Ctrl+Shift+F <(2)>. Another option is to use VSCode, which some users have found useful for tag renaming and working with Obsidian simultaneously. Recommended extensions for working with Obsidian in VSCode include Markdown All in One and Foam.

Obsidian Plugins

The Obsidian community has developed plugins that can assist in performing a global search and replace within the application. One such plugin is the Global Search and Replace plugin, available through Obsidian's official plugin marketplace or by manual installation. To use this plugin, activate the `Global Search and Replace: Search and Replace in all files` command in the command palette. Another plugin option is the Regex Find/Replace plugin, which provides search and replace functionality that supports regular expressions and selections. To use this plugin, run the `Regex Find/Replace: Find and Replace using regular expressions` command from the command palette.

Find and Replace in a Single File

If you need to perform a search and replace operation within a single note, Obsidian has built-in functionality for that. To access this feature, click on the "Find and Replace" button in the toolbar, enter the text you want to find and replace, and use the "Find Next," "Replace," or "Replace All" buttons. Obsidian's find and replace feature also includes a regular expressions option for more complex text patterns.

Using Command-Line Tools

For users comfortable with command-line tools, the 'sed' tool on macOS can be used for performing global search and replace operations <(2)>. Another command-line option is Astrogrep, an open-source search tool that supports searching multiple vaults simultaneously.

Conclusion

While Obsidian does not have a built-in global search and replace feature for the entire vault, several options are available to users, including external text editors like Atom and VSCode, community-developed plugins, and command-line tools. Users can choose the method that best suits their preferences and needs.

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Research

Source: "Gru80/obsidian-regex-replace - Github" (from web, github.com)

  • Obsidian Plugin - Regex Find/Replace
    • Provides a dialog to find and replace text in the currently opened note.
      • In addition to Obsidian’s on-board find/replace function
      • Supports regular expressions or plain text
      • Can replace found occurrences in the currently selected text or in the whole document
      • Works in both desktop and mobile versions of Obsidian
    • How to use
      • Run Regex Find/Replace: Find and Replace using regular expressions from the command palette
      • Assign a shortcut key to this command and use it to open the dialog
      • The plugin will remember the last recent search/replace terms as well as the settings
    • How to install
      • This plugin can be installed via the “Community Plugins” tab in the Obsidian Settings dialog
        • Browse the community plugins searching for “regex find/replace”
        • Install the Plugin
        • Enable the plugin after installation
      • The plugin can also be installed manually from the repository
        • Create a new directory in your vaults plugins directory
        • Head over to https://github.com/Gru80/obsidian-regex-replace/releases
        • From the latest release, download the files to your newly created plugin directory
        • Launch Obsidian and open the Settings dialog
        • Disable Safe Mode in the “Community Plugins” tab (this enables community plugins to be enabled)
        • Enable the new plugin
    • Version History
      • 1.0.0: Initial release
      • 1.1.0:
        • Case insensitive search can now be enabled in the settings panel of the plugin (regex flag /i)
        • Find-in-selection toggle switch is disabled if no text is selected in the note
        • Performance improvements and bug-fixes
      • 1.2.0:
        • Option to interpret \n in replace field to insert line-break accordingly
        • Option to pre-fill the find-field with the selected word or phrase
        • Used regex-modifier flags are shown in the dialog

Source: "Can I work on my vault with both Obsidian and V..." (from reddit, r/ObsidianMD)

  • To perform a global search and replace in Obsidian, a user found it useful to use VSCode.
    • One Reddit user mentioned that they used VSCode’s search and replace feature for tag renaming and it worked just fine without closing Obsidian.
    • Another Reddit user said that they use VSCode all the time while their vault is open and can see the changes happening in real-time.
    • One Reddit user provided the following recommended VSCode extensions to work with Obsidian: Markdown All in One and Foam.
    • Another Reddit user suggested using Astrogrep, an open-source search tool that supports searching multiple vaults simultaneously and can search for color-coded and sorted snippets of all Obsidian files that match the search criteria.
  • None

Source: "Obsidian Hotkeys: Favorites and best practices" (from web, forum.obsidian.md)

None

Source: "Global (Mass / Vault-wise) search & replace - O..." (from web, forum.obsidian.md)

None

Source: "Documenting Keyboard Shortcuts in Obsidian Notes" (from reddit, r/ObsidianMD)

  • Relevant information from the webpage:

    • A user is trying to document keyboard shortcuts for software they use in Obsidian
    • They want a cleaner/neater way to document these keyboard shortcuts using markup
    • They asked if there is markup that displays actual keyboard keys
    • Commenter suggested creating a “How to Use” note that includes list syntaxes, tricks, tips, and a table for hot keys
  • None

💭  Looking into

What other text editors could be used to find and replace across an entire vault?

💭  Looking into

Are there any pre-existing scripts available for the batch operation?

💭  Looking into

How do I install the plugin manually?

💭  Looking into

What is the exact key combination to do global Search+Replace with Atom?

💭  Looking into

What are the specific keyboard shortcuts for find and replace in the desktop/mobile app?

Source: "How to Use Find and Replace in Obsidian: Tips a..." (from web, lordnote.com)

  • To perform a global search and replace in Obsidian, follow these steps:

    • Open the note you want to search
    • Click on the “Find and Replace” button in the toolbar
    • In the “Find” field, type the text you want to find
    • In the “Replace” field, type the text you want to replace it with
    • Click on the “Find Next” button to find the next occurrence of the text in the note
    • Click on the “Replace” button to replace the text with the replacement text
    • Click on the “Replace All” button to replace all occurrences of the text in the note.
  • The find and replace feature in Obsidian also includes a regular expressions option, which can be used to search for and replace more complex patterns of text. To access this feature, click on the “Regex” button in the find and replace dialog box.

  • Use plugins for find and replace:

    • Obsidian includes a variety of plugins that can enhance the functionality of the find and replace feature.
    • For example, the “Find and Replace in Selection” plugin allows users to search for and replace text within a selected portion of a note, rather than the entire note.
    • Other plugins can add additional functionality, such as the ability to search and replace text across multiple notes.
  • Use hotkeys for find and replace:

    • If you frequently use the find and replace feature in Obsidian, you may want to consider setting up a hotkey to make the process even faster.
    • To do this, go to the “Settings” menu, select “Hotkeys”, and then assign a key combination to the “Find and Replace” command.
  • Use the Command Palette for find and replace:

    • Obsidian’s Command Palette is a powerful tool that allows users to access commands and settings quickly and easily.
    • To use the Command Palette for find and replace, type “find and replace” into the search bar, and then select the appropriate command from the list.
  • None

Source: "MahmoudFawzyKhalil/obsidian-global-search-and-r..." (from web, github.com)

  • GitHub page for a plugin to do a global search and replace in Obsidian vault files
    • Available through Obsidian’s official plugin marketplace
    • Or can be installed manually by downloading release’s main.js, styles.css, and manifest.json files and pasting into VAULT_PATH/.obsidian/plugins/global-search-and-replace folder
  • Features:
    • Search vault’s markdown files for a case-sensitive match and replace
    • Keyboard shortcuts Enter to replace and arrow keys to cycle through matches
  • Usage:
    • Use command palette and activate Global Search and Replace: Search and Replace in all files command

Source: "Find and replace?" (from reddit, r/ObsidianMD)

  • Webpage: https://www.reddit.com/r/ObsidianMD/comments/w5duz7/find_and_replace/
    • Find and replace function in Obsidian
      • Available on the desktop app
        • Use Ctrl + P -> “Search & Replace in current file”
      • Available on the mobile app (Android)
        • Pull down from the top of the screen to open the command palette and type “search”
        • “Search and replace in current file” is an option
    • Hotkeys option under settings
      • Nice things not mapped by default
      • Examples: “focus on pane to the left/right,” “toggle fold on the current line,” “toggle code,” “split vertically/horizontally,” “move line down/up”
    • No way to find and replace across entire vault in Obsidian
      • Obsidian notes are in markdown files
      • Use VSCode or a similar text editor to find and replace across entire vault

Source: "Global (Mass / Vault-wise) search & replace - F..." (from web, forum.obsidian.md)

  • Global Search and Replace in Obsidian
    • Webpage: # Global (Mass / Vault-wise) search & replace
      • None

Source: "Retyping multiple files issue" (from reddit, r/ObsidianMD)

  • To perform a global search and replace in Obsidian:
    • Install Atom, which Obsidian is based on
    • In Atom, open your project folder and do a global Search+Replace with Ctrl+Shift+F
  • An Obsidian user requested regex functionality for find and replace, but it is not implemented yet.
  • A Reddit user suggested learning Python to create a script that can perform batch editing
  • Another user suggested using the command line tool ‘sed’ for macOS
  • There are no pre-existing scripts available for the batch operation.

💭  Looking into

What is the best way to perform a global search and replace in Obsidian?