Sed find and replace in folder PDF Print E-mail

Here's a handy one-liner to help you replace strings globally throughout all the files in a specified folder. This procedure is also called mass find and replace, or global replace.

You can even use it on windows if you're willing to spent a few minutes installing cygwin , a windows port of the gnu/linux most used utilities (including the bash shell and even X11)

The code below will replace every occurence of 'ugly' with 'beautiful'. 

Linux example: 

find /home/bruno/old-friends -type f -exec sed -i 's/ugly/beautiful/g' {} \;


Cygwin example (you have to use unix-style paths):

find /cygdrive/c/xampp/joomla/ -type f -exec sed -i 's/ugly/beautiful/g' {} \;


 /cygdrive/c/ stands for the root of your C windows drive letter

Also note that Cygwin requires you to use the forward slash delimiter instead of the windows backslash delimiter. The bash shell allows TAB completion for paths, just type the first few letters and hit TAB to auto-complete the path. 

If you want to filter, let's say,  php files, you can add -name '*.php' to command-line arguments, just after the search path.

find /cygdrive/c/xampp/joomla/ -type f -name '*.php' -exec sed -i 's/ugly/beautiful/g' {} \;

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