This was one of the most complicated examples in the documentation that shipped with PowerGREP 1.0. Like most grep tools, PowerGREP 1.0 was not able to search through only certain sections of files. Now that PowerGREP has this ability, replacing HTML attributes is very straightforward. Makes you wonder why PowerGREP is the only Windows grep tool to support file sectioning.
When editing a web site, you may want to update some HTML tags to give the site a more consistent look. Suppose you have some tables on your web site with different background colors, and you want to give all of them the same color. However, you only want to update the “bgcolor” attribute of the tables. All the other attributes should remain unchanged.
You can find this action in the PowerGREP5.pgl standard library as “Replace HTML attributes”.
If you’re curious, with a basic grep tool that can only search-and-replace using one regular expression, this is the search pattern to use:
The replacement text would be \1 bgcolor=blue \7
You can see the same regular expression we used to match the bgcolor attribute in the middle of this behemoth regex. All the other stuff is for matching the table tag around the attribute. It works, but PowerGREP’s sectioning abilities do make life a lot easier.