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Search & Replace Tool: Find & replace text in guides, assets, and e-reserves items

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The Search & Replace tool allows Admin users to search and/or replace text in various parts of your LibGuides content:

  • Guide titles, descriptions and redirect URLs
  • Guide page titles, descriptions and redirect URLs
  • Box names
  • Content items and assets
  • E-Reserve items

There are several options you can use to hone your searches depending upon the type of content you're looking in. The following sections will guide you through the process of selecting search options, running a test search, and replacing text.

Be careful! Replacing text is permanent -- there is no undo button! We strongly recommend you run a search before you replace any text.

Access the Search & Replace tool

the Search & Replace option in the Tools menu

Log into LibGuides, click on Tools in the navigation bar, and select Search & Replace from the dropdown menu. This will take you to the Search & Replace page, where you will configure your search options, view matching results, and make replacements.

the Search & Replace page


Step 1. Select a search type

The Search type field determines which LibGuides content will be searched. After selecting a search type, you'll be presented with options to search in specific fields (such as guide name or asset description). The sections below explains each type and its options.

Guide

The Guide search type allows you to search the name, description, and redirect URL (if any) of each guide. Select the checkbox next to each field that you want to include in your search (at least one must be selected to perform a search).

options for the Guide search type

Guide Page

The Guide Page search type allows you to search the name, description, and redirect URL (if any) of the individual pages in each guide. Select the checkbox next to each field that you want to include in your search (at least one must be selected to perform a search).

options for the Guide Page search type

Content Box

The Context Box search type allows you to search the name of the individual boxes in each guide. When using this search type, make sure to leave the Box Name checkbox selected or you will be unable to perform a search.

options for the Content Box search type

Content Item

The Content Item search type allows you to search your link, book, and document/file assets; databases from your A-Z Database List; and Rich Text / HTML content items in each guide.

options for the Content Item search type

Select the checkbox next to any of the following fields to include them in your search (at least one must be selected to perform a search):

  • Asset / A-Z Name: this searches the name field each asset and database.
  • Description: this searches the description and more info fields of each asset and database, as well as the text and HTML code in each Rich Text / HTML content item.
  • URL: this searches the URL field of each asset and database.

E-Reserves Item

If you subscribe to the E-Reserves module, the E-Reserves Item search type allows you to search the name, item type fields (i.e. fields specific to the book chapter, article, website, and media types), description, and URL of each individual item. Select the checkbox next to each field that you want to include in your search (at least one must be selected to perform a search).

options for the E-Reserves Item search type


Step 2. Enter "Search for" terms

In the Search for field, enter the term(s) that you want to search for. ‚ÄčThe text you enter will be searched as a string, not as an "AND" or "OR" search. For example, searching for "English poetry" will only return results where "English poetry" are found together as a phrase. Boolean operators, wildcard characters, and regular expressions are not supported.

the Search For field


Step 3. Enter replacement terms (optional)

In the Replace with field, enter the term(s) that should replace the Search for terms when matches are found. For example, if your search term is "dog" and your replacement term is "cat", all instances of "dog" will be replaced with "cat".

the Replace With field

Unlike the Search for field, the Replace with field is optional. If you leave the Replace with field empty and click the Search & Replace button (rather than Search), all text matching your Search for terms will be replaced with an empty space (effectively deleting it).


Step 4. Select a match type

The Match type option controls how a match is determined.

the Match Type option

There are two options:

  • Exact: for a match to occur, text must be exactly the same as your Search for terms. For example, a search term of "dogs" will not match a field containing "dogs and cats" -- it will only match fields containing only the term "dogs".
  • Contains: a match will occur as long as the Search for terms are found anywhere within the field. For example, a search term of "dogs" will match fields containing "dogs and cats" as well as just "dogs".
Tip: If you are searching within the Description field or for a specific part of a URL (such as a domain name), we recommend using Contains.

Step 5. Select a case type

The Case type option determines whether matching is case sensitive.

the Case Type option

There are two options:

  • Sensitive: for a match to occur, text must have exactly the same upper & lowercase characters. For example, a search term of "dogs" will not match fields containing "Dogs".
  • Insensitive: matching will ignore the case of characters. For example, a search term of "dogs" will match fields containing both "dogs" and "Dogs".

Step 6. Run a test search & review results

Because there's no way to undo changes made with the Search & Replace tool, we strongly recommend that you test out your search before replacing any text. You can do this by clicking the Search button. 

the Search button and results panel

All matches will listed in the results panel, allowing you to confirm that your search terms and settings returned the desired results. If not, you can make changes to your search settings and try again. Search results will contain information about the matching content, as well as direct links to view/edit the content in your LibGuides system.


Step 7. Run the search & replace

Once you are confident that your search settings are returning the desired results, click on the Search & Replace button to replace the matching search terms with your replacement terms. Because you cannot undo a search & replace, you will be prompted to confirm before continuing. A summary of the action will appear in the results panel.

the Search & Replace button and replacement results