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remove exact phrase from multiple files

Terminal - remove exact phrase from multiple files
grep -r "mystring" . |uniq | cut -d: -f1 | xargs sed -i "s/mystring//"
2009-04-09 12:49:01
Functions: cut grep sed uniq xargs
remove exact phrase from multiple files

Linux : these script enable you to edit multiple files and remove exact phrase from multiple files


There are 9 alternatives - vote for the best!

Terminal - Alternatives

Know a better way?

If you can do better, submit your command here.

What others think

Simpler (and better):

grep -Zlr "mystring" | xargs -0 sed -i "s/mystring//"


"-l" (lower case L) only prints the filenames

"-Z" separates the filenames with a NUL so xargs can deal with filenames with spaces in.


"-0" (zero) use a list separated by NULs

Comment by flatcap 346 weeks and 1 day ago

You can do the same thing much more elegantly using just sed. As in:

sed -i 's/mystring//' *

Note, this will only remove the first occurrence of 'mystring' from each file. If you want to remove all occurences of 'mystring' use:

sed -i 's/mystring//g' *

where 'g' stands for global replace.

You could even make it create a backup of the original using:

sed -i.bak 's/mystring//g' *
Comment by Highwayman 346 weeks and 1 day ago

@flatcap my solution also works with files that have spaces in their name.

Comment by Highwayman 346 weeks and 1 day ago

@Highwayman, you missed the fact that original poster and flatcap's commands are recursive, ie operate on files in the current directory AND in subdirectories below.

Also your comment on the use or absence of the sed g flag is incorrect -- without 'g' the first occurrence of 'mystring' on each LINE is removed, not just the first occurence in each file, as you state.

Comment by daithif 346 weeks and 1 day ago

Your point of view

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