Sublime Forum

Macros don't record Find/Replace?


Honestly I’m quite surprised personally that find and replace isn’t supported. I switched over from Atom and was absolutely thrilled by Sublime Text’s macro functionality… but alas! The macros I’d use would need find and replace. What a great pity.



Can’t wait till this is fixed.



Still an issue as of May 27 2017

I recorded a macro to implement certain aspects of my current coding style on my old code and found nothing occurs… Notepad++ has this feature but the UI and everything is in a single thread it seems… I prefer the basic layout of Notepad++ to ST3 and ST3 has the same features strewn about the ui instead of being nicely organized and it is missing a ton of basic features…

Luckily there are addons available for most of the missing features, and at least you can search while being able to edit at the same time, but this is an important issue…

Operations I am using are to convert a decrementing number of spaces from 5 to 2 to tabs, adding spaces between [, ], (, ), “,”, {, and } chars then removing duplicates so _x = {func = function(a,b,c) end,[“abc”] = true} becomes _x = { func = function( a, b, c ) end, [ “abc” ] = true } – not how I’d formulate it but to the point…



Probably because your work doesn’t involve using macros? I mean, I totally understand if you don’t use them, but a lot of people do!



Can anyone explain to me why find and replace was left out of macros? That’s like the main thing anyone would use macros with, so why leave it out…? In other words, that’s literally the first thing I would add compatibility for if I were making macro functionality in Sublime Text 3. Things like saving bookmarks would be secondary. I’d rather be able to record find and replace using these macros rather than record where I put my bookmarks.



Maybe because a find_replace command is too simple to implement if required and normally used in python packages?

You could create a “” in your User directory as follows and then use the provided find_replace command in any macro.

import sublime
import sublime_plugin

class FindReplaceCommand(sublime_plugin.TextCommand):
    """The implementation of 'find_replace' text command.


            "find_replace", {
                "pattern": "the",
                "replace_by": "THE",
                "start_pt": 100,
                "flags": ["LITERAL"]

    FLAGS = {
        "LITERAL": sublime.LITERAL,
        "IGNORECASE": sublime.IGNORECASE

    def run(self, edit, pattern, replace_by, start_pt=0, flags=[]):
        """Find and replace all patterns.

            edit (sublime.Edit):
                The edit token used to undo this command.
            pattern (string):
                The regex pattern to use for finding.
            replace_by (string):
                The text to replace all found words by.
            start_pt (int):
                The text position where to start.
            flags (list):
                The flags to pass to view.find()
                ["LITERAL", "IGNORECASE"]
        while True:
            found = self.view.find(pattern, self._flags(flags), start_pt)
            if not found:
            self.view.replace(edit, found, replace_by)
            start_pt = found.begin()

    def _flags(self, flags):
        """Translate list of flags."""
        result = 0
        for flag in flags:
            result |= self.FLAGS.get(flag, 0)
        return result


SublimeText macros are no good

@deathaxe, That is a great script to automate find/replaces.

But what if you just need a Find? I need that awesome result window, with hotlinks to my code.

I have many ColdFusion markup documents that are basically function libraries. If I do a find on this regex, the results are a great table of contents for me to quickly go to the function I want.
RegEx: "<cffunction.*name\s?=\"([^\"]+)\""
And the search range is the current file.

Is it possible to make python create a Results page, or have ST3 do this automatically in some other way?



If you’re using the excellent CFML package, those functions should be in the symbol list, so you can just hit ctrl-r.



I wondered if the plugin I was already using had something like that! Awesome! Thank you!



+1 not recording everything in a Sublime Text macro is a shocking omission. Even Microsoft product macros have been recording everything since the '90’s



Just stumbled on the same disappointment in ST3… (even after all these years)

My use case is to perform ~15 steps to clean up and pre-process a data file,
which I need to do very often… many of the steps involve search and replace by regular expression
So unfortunately a macro can’t help me here.

My guess is that there is something fundamental to the API which limits scope and prevents recording of it…
(does anyone have more details on why? are there any other actions that similarly aren’t recorded?)



Just started using Sublime Text on a Mac having used TextPad on the PC for years
This macro search/replace issue came up pretty quick
All I want to do is remove all blank lines from a text file
e.g. something like: global search/replace on \n\n and replace with \n



I am not certain if this will help, and I do not use it myself, but there is the package Delete Blank Lines.

1 Like


There is also RegReplace. It allows you to define a find and replace (or multiple which you can chain together) and then create a command to execute it. Commands configured to display in the palette, bound to a key map, or even shown in the menu. I use it to set up replaces I commonly do.

1 Like


No dependency workaround

I use find_replace by deathaxe above, because it has a human-readable syntax.

But here is a native-only workaround:

// clean-up-diacritics.sublime-macro
// Replace all incorrectly used Turkish diacritics with Romanian diacritics
  {"command": "select_all", "args": null},
  {"command": "insert_snippet", "args": {"contents": "${SELECTION/(?<1>Ş)|(?<2>ş)|(?<3>Ţ)|(?<4>ţ)/(?{1}Ș:(?{2}ș:(?{3}Ț:ț)))/gm}"}}

via this answer to [pcre] Multiple replacement with just one regex - Stack Overflow

1 Like


Been using sublime since I started programming and now I’m starting to actually become a professional I was 100% sure I was going to purchase a license. Now that I found out that such basic feature is not implemented turns me down a bit, since this is essential for my work. Probably going to rely on emacs for doing things like this for now



I just bought a license today. I was disappointed that I couldn’t properly use find in macro, as I have used this extensively (while on MS windows) with Notebook++.
I plan for Sublime text to be my go to data editor for Linux, but being able to create macho that can find starting point is crucial.

Please make this functionality high priority.

Larz60+ (

1 Like


Another vote for making this a priority, please! I’m an outlier in that I’m not a huge coder, but Sublime is my go-to for writing, and also converting texts in bulk from Word and other places to web-ready <p> wrapped copy, and for those purposes, being able to F&R things like \n\n with \n would be a huge help!

1 Like


This was a horrible decision. Ideally, macros should be able to to record and replay any command available vie menues or hot-keys. Maybe this could be solved through scripting but I agree with others that this is overkill. Plus, I don’t want to learn a new scripting language, preferring to use SED from shell.

I switch to Notepad++ on windows when I need macros and have just downloaded Textmate II to my personal Mac book pro and use a third option on Linux. I’d prefer to use the same editor across all my machines regardless of operating system.

I’m uninstalling Sublime on all my plateforms. Sorry guys, you should really reconsider your choice.

Don Rau
Boise Idaho



I still live in hope that a ‘record and playback anything’ macro facility will find its way into Sublime. It’d probably require some heavy lifting under the hood, because macros are presently implemented more or less for batching TextCommands together, an early part of Sublime’s internal design. Those unfamiliar with ST’s Python API won’t be clear on what macros can and can’t do - and there’s plenty they can’t.

Ideally, at least anything that affects the state of a buffer should be recordable into a macro. That includes cursor movements, S&R, indentations, selections etc… There might be a few exceptions, one example being code folding.

Before Sublime, I used Brief and then Crisp, both of which had ‘record everything, no-brainer’ macro facilities which could be either learnt or hand-coded. For a number of editing situations I still need to fall back to other editors because I can’t mirror a repeat a sequence of actions in a macro, and going the route of building a Python extension is the proverbial sledgehammer.

With full featured macros, effortless huge file support, proper column selection and syntax aware folding added to the core, I could quite see Sublime being the first and last editor I would ever need, except maybe vim for ssh sessions. Further, I think that would expand its reach and sales beyond coders and towards anyone who needs a robust, swiss army knife editor with native performance in their technology workflow. Just my 2p.