Here's my problem: In a .txt file, I need to find and replace thousands of instances of syntax like this:

(see (a053007djfgspwdf))


(see (a053007djfgspwdf) and (a54134xsedgeg))


(see (a053007djfgspwdf), (a9554xsdfgsdfg) and (a54134xsedgeg))

There is a lot of variety between the beginning (see (a and the ending )) text strings. Can this be set up in Notepad++ using regex? If so, how would I do that? Thanks!

5 Answers 5


Sorry folks, I just find other answers complicated. (No disrespect intended towards the original posters.)

As this always shows up as the first search result, I'll add this in:

  1. Open the search/replace dialog (CTRL+F then the replace tab)
  2. Tick "Regular Expression" down the bottom
  3. Use .* as the wildcard

For example, I wanted to remove all instances of abp="1314", abp="1313", abp="1312" etc (basically the numbers are all different, which is why you want a wildcard to get rid of them).

In the replace dialog:

Find in what: abp=".*"
Replace with:

(You're replacing anything within those quotes with nothing to get rid of it)

Source: https://www.organicweb.com.au/17226/general-technology/notepad-wildcard/

  • Using CTRL+H takes you directly to the Replace tab in the dialog box. Saves a click. Jan 31, 2020 at 17:51

Yes it can! Notepad++ has a RegEx search mode that you can select for all of your RegEx replacement needs.

The example below is a basic replace for anything between (see (a...)) with the exception of a line break. You may need to modify the RegEx or write your own to fit your needs. Here's a great place to help you along with experimenting.

RegEx: \(see \(a.+\)\)

Matched strings:

(see (a053007djfgspwdf))
(see (a053007djfgspwdf) and (a54134xsedgeg))
(see (a053007djfgspwdf), (a9554xsdfgsdfg) and (a54134xsedgeg))

Replace (see (a...)) with replacement

  • Thanks! It found the instances of the first example (see (a053007djfgspwdf)) but not the others. Still, a great start. I will play with it to see what else I can do. If you have further suggestions, I would very much appreciate it. Thanks again. Aug 27, 2013 at 23:49
  • Did you click Replace All or continue clicking on Replace to cycle through matches similar to using Find Next? Does the text you're looking for only start with (see (a and end with ))? If you have strings that end with a single parentheses, you can turn the last \) into the capture group (\)|) to match strings ending with )) "or" ).
    – one.time
    Aug 28, 2013 at 0:08
  • Tried a few replaces, then Replace All. After that, the search string found nothing. The text for all is: (see a varied text )) No strings with single parenthesis except perhaps typos. Aug 28, 2013 at 1:20
  • I updated my answer with an alternative RegEx (\(see \(a|\(a)([^\)]+)\)(\)|) that will match on the strings in your question.
    – one.time
    Aug 28, 2013 at 1:22
  • LOL you updated your answer while I was editing my response. I'll try the new one. Aug 28, 2013 at 1:23

Try this pattern: \(see \(a(.*)\) and make sure you have ". matches newline" unchecked and "wrap around" checked.


As some of these were too in depth for me to understand, let me show you what I did after reading all of these solutions and more to finally get a better understanding. (this is a simple approach, might not be the best)

I wanted to remove all of my figure elements on the whole web page. Figure 2.1,Figure 1.1,ect.

It was:

<p class="td1-content b8"><span class="stepNumber">2.  </span>Select Memo from the toolbar<br><b>Figure 2.1</b></p>

I wanted it to end up:

 <p class="td1-content b8"><span class="stepNumber">2.  </span>Select Memo from the toolbar</p>

But each

had a different Figure number, so I used this in sublime text 2.

  1. ctrl H
  2. click the ".*" symbol on the bottom right of Sublime text 2, (regex)
  3. typed <br><b>Figure.*</b>
  4. replace with: -left blank

This replaced all of my instances with figures in it. notice I used .* where the numbers would of been. Hope this helps.


The exact regex you'd need is:

\(see \(\w+\)((, \(\w+\))*( and \(\w+\)))?\)

For example:

enter image description here

On selecting Find All in Current Document, the result would be:

enter image description here

You can simply use Replace as per your necessity instead.

If you want to include the a as well in the regex, you can use:

\(see \(a\w+\)((, \(a\w+\))*( and \(a\w+\)))?\)

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