I have a lot of occurances of something =like_this= and I need to replace the both equals signs with this character: `

After looking at this question I thought the following would do it:

M-x query-replace-regex =\(.*\)?= RET `\1`

That doesn't seem to do it, though. Any suggestions?

1 Answer 1


To create a capture group, you need to backslash the parentheses \(...\). That's convenient in Emacs, because you often process Elisp, and you don't have to backslash its parentheses.

Also note that the question mark follows the asterisk immediately, as it modifies its greediness.

  • Sorry, that's a typo on my part. I'll edit my question. It still doesn't work with them escaped, though.
    – Alex
    Apr 6, 2016 at 22:48
  • @Alex: Check the update.
    – choroba
    Apr 6, 2016 at 22:49
  • Ah, it was the question mark placement. Thanks, this works now. Makes sense that the question mark needs to be inside the parens, too. Thanks!
    – Alex
    Apr 6, 2016 at 22:52

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