Saturday, September 29, 2012

UltraEdit macro to strip out specific values

I absolutely LOVE UltraEdit...since the first day I used it. One of the many things that make this tool so valuable and almost irreplaceable is that of the ability to create your own macros, and the power those macros can have in processing almost any type of file.

I have been working on a project that has a LOT of little things that I have to add all over the place. Becuase of this, I want to create a file with each variable on its own line. The problem originally is that the variables are of variable length and the easiest place that they exist is in a ton of if/else statements. So, I created a macro that, based on copying the if/else block to a new UE document, would create that second file list.

1. a document that you want to strip the individual variable names from.
   - This document needs to be named and saved.
2. a constant start and stop delimiter for each variable.
   - In my case, a dollar sign ($) starts my PHP variable name and a ' =' is directly after the variable name. However, with the power of regexs, you could have a set of acceptable start and stop delimiters, but I have no intention of covering that tonight.
3. a second document in UE that will hold the stripped-out variable.
   - This document needs to be named, saved, and directly on the right as listed in the tabs.

To create a new macro in UE, without using the record function, simply follow the mouseclicks here:
Macro->Edit Macro->New Macro
Then give it a name (and a hotkey if you'd like). Once you have done this and clicked OK, you should see the name of your macro in a dropdown bar at the top of the screen as well as the left-side window should be empty.

There are a lot of options in the right-side window that you can select and add to the left-side window. However, for the purposes of this post, simply copy and replace the below lines, and of course modifying for your own search type and expression, should work just fine for anyone.

UE Macro - StripVars
    Find RegExp "\$posPl[a-zA-Z]*\ ="
    Key END

Some final comments:
- The ColumnModeOn is optional. It just happened to be on when I set this one up.
- PerlReOn: This indicates that the regular expression search on the next line will be using a Perl RegEx. There are other options that can be used instead of Perl RegExs
- The RegExp I am using here should be self-explanatory...but: what I am looking for are all words (only one each time this macro is run) that start with $posPl, has any number of alpha chars, and ends with a space followed by an equals sign. I happen to know that the variables I want are the only words that will match this patter and that this pattern will only match the variables I want.
- The reason to have both documentes already saved with the new doc to the right of the original is for the macro commands of NextDocument and PreviousDocument.

I will leave the figuring out of this macro, additions to such as saving after each stripping of the word and pasting in the new file, to anyone who wants to spend some freetime learning more of this AWESOME tool!!!

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