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I just discovered zmv this morning.

To test it i have created a few files.

test1.txt test2.txt test3.txt

I'm trying to rename them with zmv I'd like to get this output:

test-1.txt test-2.txt test-3.txt

when I try to use wildcards I get an error message:

zmv '(*)([0-9]{1,})(.txt)' '$1-$2$3'
zmv: error: number of wildcards in each pattern must match

Am i doing something wrong (answer has to be yes :) )

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If the first parameter is a regular expression and it is greedy by default, try ([^0-9]*) as the first part maybe. – Oliver Salzburg Mar 14 '12 at 12:04
What zsh version? Do you have zmv aliased? – Gilles Mar 14 '12 at 22:38
zsh 4.3.9, autoload -U zmv, alias zmv="noglob zmv -W" – Yannick Schall Mar 14 '12 at 23:26
@OliverSalzburg: It's not that it's greedy by default (backtracking takes care of what I think you're trying to fix). The problem is that * is applying to (, since he wrote * instead of .*. That's probably why zmv thinks there aren't enough capturing groups. – Peter Cordes Mar 1 '15 at 9:45

Do you only want to add a - to the filename? Try it like this:

zmv -n 'test(*).txt' 'test-${1}.txt'

The -n switch shows you what would happen without really performing any action.

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Tried just that, but I get the same error message. I'm running zsh 4.3.9 on osx. not sure if it changes anything. – Yannick Schall Mar 14 '12 at 12:56

If the first arg is supposed to be a regex, the problem is probably that you used * instead of .*. (* is the 0-or-more operator, . matches any single character).

So the first paren probably got taken literally as the arg of the * operator, instead of opening a capture group.

Try out for an interactive regex tutorial / tester / builder thing.

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