Bug 38261 - Better Find&Replace with regular expressions
Summary: Better Find&Replace with regular expressions
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: LibreOffice (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
Inherited From OOo
Hardware: Other All
: high enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
: 95708 (view as bug list)
Depends on: 37494 34390 37760 47791
Blocks: Find-Search
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Reported: 2011-06-13 09:41 UTC by Timur
Modified: 2018-03-07 10:43 UTC (History)
10 users (show)

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Description Timur 2011-06-13 09:41:32 UTC
I'd like to see better Find&Replace in all LO programs. It's rather general description, so I'll add that this should include the current functionality of Alternative Find & Replace extension, which doesn't seem to be maintained, and is only available for Writer. Regular expressions should be included.

Alternative Find & Replace seems also to solve an issue that Find and Replace doesn't take case of original word in to account, http://openoffice.org/bugzilla/show_bug.cgi?id=17188, with an option Preserve capitalisation.
Comment 1 Timur 2011-06-13 09:43:12 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 2 Björn Michaelsen 2011-12-23 12:23:09 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 3 Timur 2011-12-24 10:02:13 UTC
1. Alternative Find & Replace extension was available from http://extensions.services.openoffice.org/en/project/AltSearch but it's not maintained and it doesn't work anymore.
The is one of the most important extensions to transfer to LO.

2. The same issue that Find and Replace doesn't take case of original word into account is now on a new address: https://issues.apache.org/ooo/show_bug.cgi?id=17188.
For example: if you search case-insensitive for "he" and want to 
replace with "she", all the instances of "he" which are written as "He" will 
be replaced by "she" instead of "She".
The priority of this issue should be raised. It is an issue that cripples the use of global search/replace. I changed this issue to "major" because of this.
Comment 4 Rainer Bielefeld Retired 2012-01-19 04:46:30 UTC
This is an Enhancement Request
Comment 5 Timur 2012-04-04 02:05:52 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 6 Roman Eisele 2012-04-18 02:01:42 UTC
Just to show that Timur is not the only user interested in this enhancement request, I would like to state that this issue is very important for me, too ...

Why? An example. Some months ago, I had to typeset a proceedings volume (a 'Sammelband' in German). I would have used LaTeX for this job, but for some external reasons I had to use a word processor; so I used Writer. In the long process of making uniform all chapters (regarding spelling/orthography, interpunctation, abbreviations, citation, formatting etc.), the present Regular Expressions feature of the Find & Replace function was very very helpful for me. Thanks for it!

But some special issues were not handled by the Regular Expressions feature as it stands; in some cases I remember I had to open the ODT file with BBEdit in order to search with advanced Regular Expressions for some remaining issues, and then to fix every occurence in Writer manually. If Writer's Regular Expressions feature was better, I could have just used Find & Replace to fix these errors ... This would have saved me some hours of work.
Comment 7 Kumāra 2013-02-07 09:13:46 UTC
(In reply to comment #4)
> This is an Enhancement Request

I agree. But having been used to the intuitiveness on commercial products (Word, WordPro), I get a feel like it's a bug. :-)
Comment 8 Timur 2013-05-17 17:25:27 UTC
I edited https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Feature_Comparison:_LibreOffice_-_Microsoft_Office#Word_processors:_LibreOffice_Writer_vs._Microsoft_Word in order to add Advanced find & replace / Special characters. 
I marked this as partially supported in Writer and fully supported in Word.
Comment 9 msjasinski 2013-05-26 14:45:50 UTC
Maybe now that there is Sidebar from Symphony, Find & Replace could be inserted in it? This way it would be unobtrusive while searching/replacing; the good use of sidebar consisting in not covering/hovering over the main text body (an irk in MS Word). Ale the options from Alternative F & R transferred to the new functionality. It would be a huge project, but rewarding. Thank you.
Comment 10 Timur 2015-11-09 11:13:19 UTC
Extension http://extensions.libreoffice.org/extension-center/alternative-dialog-find-replace-for-writer still works. At least it could be bundled with the LO.
I agree that Find & Replace could be inserted in the Sidebar, as the 5th tab.
Comment 11 Manuel Lopez-Ibanez 2015-11-10 11:51:35 UTC
*** Bug 95708 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 12 Jax 2016-03-08 11:37:13 UTC
Bump.  This bugz me, and always has, that LO, & OO before it, don't have the complex Find & Replace features that are so much better handled in M$ Office.  The features of good F&R are pretty much crucial to my effective processing of documents, so I'd like to see this given fairly high priority.  F&R is a real 'guts' issue that underpins the bells and whistles stuff.

AltSearch 1.4.1 is available but is buggy, not able to complete some of the features that it has and really quite broken on some installations (I tried to install it on a friend's Mac on OO - presume that LO is the same).

I'm not a coder, but very willing to help test this.  Anyone?
Comment 13 Timur 2017-08-17 15:36:41 UTC
Heiko, can you please look at this one and note whether it make sense to stay open? I noticed some talk on Find&Replace in GSoC, if I'm right. 
Is Bug 100672 a duplicate? Looks so to me, but I may be biased. 
Please look at the duplicates here.
Comment 14 Heiko Tietze 2017-08-21 09:52:26 UTC
(In reply to Timur from comment #13)
> Heiko, can you please look at this one and note whether it make sense to
> stay open? I noticed some talk on Find&Replace in GSoC, if I'm right. 
> Is Bug 100672 a duplicate? Looks so to me, but I may be biased. 
> Please look at the duplicates here.

I understand this ticket as RegEx in F&R and 100672 as to add something special on top of it.

F&R (as well as the findbar) in the current implementation is the opposite to usability and we should think about a new UI. If you would do the implementation I'd be happy to do the design engineering.