I have a large text file where I want to remove all text between the ^ symbol and the ~ symbol. This needs to work across lines as well.

I tried doing a regular Find and Replace using ^*~ in the Find box and nothing in the Replace box but it found 0 results.


This is not possible with a regular Find and Replace. If you use Notepad++ 6, you can take advantage of the new regex engine that supports PCRE (source).

Press Ctrl + H to open the Find and Replace dialog and perform the following action:

Find what:          \^.*?~
Replace with:       
Wrap around:        checked
Regular expression: selected
. matches newline:  checked

Now press Alt + A to replace all occurrences.

The regular expression in Find what is composed as follows:

  • \^ is a literal ^.
  • .*? is the least amount of characters that allows the regular expression to match.
  • ~ is a literal ~.
  • 3
    if you change .*?~ to [^~]*~ then it should work without requiring / using PCRE. – barlop Feb 19 '13 at 17:46
  • 1
    @barlop: I took regular Find and Replace as Search Mode: Normal, not Find and Replace using regular expressions. That might have been a misunderstanding. In any case, if I remember correctly, versions prior to 6 did not support multi-line patterns. – Dennis Feb 19 '13 at 17:53
  • The .*? pattern worked for me to search between characters of ; and <. So the search is FIND ;.*?< REPLACE ; with the options selected for Regular expression and . matches new line – SherlockSpreadsheets Feb 12 at 16:35

You're gonna want to search for \^.*?~ and make sure . matches newline is enabled:

enter image description here

This is because ^ has a special meaning, it matches the beginning of a line. Thus, we need to escape it with a backslash \^.

Writing ^* would match "any number of start-of-line in a row". .* matches "any character", but by default it doesn't match newlines.

  • 2
    Be careful with the regex's greedy behavior. If there are multiple ~ characters (or ie. multiple matches) this will match the first ^ all the way to the last ~. – heavyd Feb 19 '13 at 17:41
  • @heavyd <question>Are you sure?</question>. He has used *? that is not greedy it's lazy .*?~ will never match more than one ~. So it's ok. – barlop Feb 19 '13 at 23:12
  • @barlop: He commented shortly after I answered. It was a ninja-edit. – Der Hochstapler Feb 19 '13 at 23:30

Try using this regex in the find section \^[^~]*~ to replace everything between ^ and ~ inclusively.

  • and for exclusively, then I suppose that requires PCRE, then do something (?<=^)[^~]*(?=~) I don't have n++ to test it, butif that fails try changing (?<=^) to (?<=\^) – barlop Feb 19 '13 at 17:54
  • For exclusively, just replace with ^~. – Dennis Feb 19 '13 at 17:55
  • @Dennis I mean if he wants to replace everything between the ^ and ~ but not including the ^ and ~ – barlop Feb 19 '13 at 17:56
  • 1
    Isn't that what you get if you replace \^[^~]*~ with ^~? – Dennis Feb 19 '13 at 17:57
  • @Dennis oh I see what you mean, good point. – barlop Feb 19 '13 at 17:58

I had a similar BETWEEN replacement requirement with start and end characters. This came from outlook email; hundereds of members and I just wanted the person names with everything removed between <RemoveTextHere>.


First1 Last1 <First1.Last1@email.com>; First2 Last2 <First2.Last2@email.com>; First3 Last3 <First3.Last3@email.com>; First4 Last4 <First4.Last4@email.com>;

Dennis was close to my solution Find what: \^.*?~ but I had to change my literal characters Find what: \<.*?> then I had to remove the first slash Find what: <.*?>.

Updated Find what: <.*?>; Replace empty.

First1 Last1 ; First2 Last2 ; First3 Last3 ; First4 Last4


Special Characters: *, $, \, +, ^, ( and ), [, ], { and }

Special Characters are described by Jerry Jeremiah here https://stackoverflow.com/questions/37742519/notepad-wildcard .

  • That doesn't answer the question. – Toto Aug 4 '18 at 9:17

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.