VS Code: What if I Need to Replace Something with $? | Hacker Noon

@bob.jsBob Fornal

REAL, FUN, GEEK who is passionate about Front-End!

In a previous article about VS Code, Search-and-Replace using RegEx, I had a question that prompted me to create this article so that I can remember what I did …

The Question

What if I need to replace something with $? For example, replace

$var

with

$this->var = $var

, the regex to search is easy, the problem is the replacement. I (have tried this) with

$this->$1 = $$1

(and) it does not work properly. So how do we go about it?

The Solution

The solution, as I see it is actually in two parts. First, we need to properly select the content for replacement. Then, second, we need to define the replacement, accounting for the dollar-sign

Selecting the Content

When I started breaking down the question in my head, I saw some content like the following …

$var;
$content;
$question;

… the assumption being that this should be changed into …

$this->var = $var;
$this->content = $content;
$this->question = $question;

So, this means I need to capture the text after the dollar sign. As stated in the question, this is pretty straight forward. There are many ways to do this. I chose …

$([a-zA-Z0-9]*)

Replacing the Content

The dollar-sign after the equal sign seems to be where the main concern of the question comes from. I will admit that it took me a few minutes to get my head around the issue of escaping it.

Original Attempt

First, I tried this replacement RegEx …

$this->$1 = $$1

… this is shown in the question and makes sense; however, the result is …

$this->var = $1

Escaping the Dollar-Sign

… then, I tried escaping the dollar-sign after the equal-sign …

$this->$1 = $$1

… however, the result is not quite what I expected …

$this->var = $var

Proper Escaping of the Dollar-Sign

While this is closer, there is clearly something wrong with this approach. I then started searching for how to properly escape the dollar-sign in a RegEx Search-and-Replace.

I found the following …

Stack Overflow Answer

The Solution

And, here’s the answer …

$this->$1 = $$$1

… try it out, it works!

Also published on Dev.to

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