Using the wgrep package in Emacs to rewrite grep results from lots of files

| 11ty, emacs

acdw let me know that my Emacs News links to didn't work for him in Firefox on Linux, but that changing the links to would make them work. I was glad that I had migrated my blog from Wordpress to the 11ty static site generator. All my blog posts were HTML files, and I could just whiz through them all.

In the past, I might have used find-dired or find-grep-dired to get a list of files. Then I would record a keyboard macro to open a file, search and replace the text, save the buffer, and then kill the buffer, and I would just repeat this macro until an error occurred.

Some time ago, I learned about using Q (dired-do-find-regexp-and-replace) in Dired to replace regular expressions in marked files, using Y to accept all the replacements. That would then let me use C-x s (save-some-buffers) to save all the modified buffers with !. The bufler package is handy for closing a whole bunch of buffers of a certain type, although ibuffer or helm can handle that too.

Emacs being Emacs, there's an even better way to do it. I used M-x grep to find the lines to change, the wgrep package to make the results editable, and M-x replace-string to change things. A quick C-c C-e (wgrep-finish-edit) later, and I was able to change 5485 matching lines in 302 files.

It's so nice being able to deal with things in plain text. Yay for Emacs! There's always something more to learn.

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