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I'm aware that this is something people can easily program, but I'm not familiar with those things, so I was hoping there was an easier solution.

I've edited a large database of questions, including sorting, and ended up getting all the question ID's mixed up.

I'm trying to do this in Notepad++, but any other suggestions are welcome. I'm wondering if there's a way to search for a string (ex. "Question[any number]") and replace the numbers with first 1, then 2, et.c.

For clarification, this is how one question looks like:

TriviaBot_Questions[3]['Question'][63] = "Acronyms: What does WTT stand for?";  
TriviaBot_Questions[3]['Answers'][63] = {"Want To Trade"};  
TriviaBot_Questions[3]['Category'][63] = 7;  
TriviaBot_Questions[3]['Points'][63] = 1;
TriviaBot_Questions[3]['Hints'][63] = {};  

and the next question, as is now, is not followed by 64. It might be 245 or 1029, and regardless of which number it is, I want it replaced with "previous number + 1", basically.

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2 Answers 2

Well, it's easy enough with Emacs, but Emacs can be somewhat difficult to learn.

You can get it here: It is entirely free.

Make a backup of the file before going on, just in case, because it can be annoying to undo everything, and it never hurts to have a backup.

Here is how to do what you want, keystroke by keystroke. For reference, C means control and a dash means it has to be pressed simultaneously (e.g. control+x) while a space means you let go of what you had before. So C-x C-f means you press control+x and then control+f.

Open Emacs and open the file you have. If there is no file/edit...etc bar, you can open a file via C-x C-f (control+x followed by control+f) and entering the file path.

Then press C-x (, which is control+x followed by shift+9. This starts recording your keystrokes, which you can repeat later.

Now press C-s and type "Questions", followed by C-f twice and C-backspace. Now press f3. The number should be replaced by a 0. If you want multiple lines to have the same number, copy the number you just got with C-space followed by C-b and then M-w (alt+w).

With the number copied, you can use C-s again, pressing it twice to go to the next instance of "Questions". Here press C-f twice again followed by C-backspace but now type C-y to paste the number you copied. Repeat this as necessary to go through all the numbers in one question. Each time you repeat this action within that single question, type M-y after it.

Once you are done with the first question, and all the numbers are replaced with 0, you can now just finish recording the macro. Enter C-x ) (control-x followed by shift-0, just like before).

If, at any point, you make a mistake and what to cancel and restart, C-g cancels and C-_ (control + shift + -) undoes.

Now enter C-u 0 C-x e.

If it works, you can save the changes by typing C-x C-s.

What this does is create a keyboard macro to replace the number, execute it repeatedly with a counter (created by f3) incremented each time.

If you manage to make this work (I did, on your example), consider looking into learning how to use Emacs--there is a very nice tutorial that can be accessed when you open Emacs. It takes a bit of effort to learn, but it is worth it.

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Thanks, I'll look into this. – user37610 May 19 '10 at 5:16

I am not aware of a tool that can do this, but you may find it better to either write your code like

x = 0;
Questions[3][++x] = 'New Question';
Questions[3][  x] = '------------';
Questions[3][  x] = 'A: Answer, B: Answer, C: Answer';
Questions[3][++x] = 'New Question';
Questions[3][  x] = '------------';
Questions[3][  x] = 'A: Answer, B: Answer, C: Answer';

Or a better solution would be to read from a text file or database, that way the questions are not tied to the compiled application.

Although if you want to solve the immediate problem at hand, I would put that questions file into Excel and do Text->Columns using the characters [ and ] as delimiters. Then sort.

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The problem is not to sort them. I rearranged them into categories, which is why the Question ID's are not in order. The current order is correct, I just want to change the numbers. – user37610 May 19 '10 at 5:16
@Ciremo, then import to into Excel and do Text->Columns. Put a column with the numbers 1 to x identifying the row numbers (I am assuming it is column Z) Then write a macro for the IDs, something like =5*INT(Z1/5) for the ID column you want to replace. Drag it down. – May 19 '10 at 6:32
Also what might be easier is doing 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2 down the list and then dragging that as a range. Excel should infer that you want to increment 1 every 5 steps. – May 19 '10 at 6:34

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