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I was trying to re-structure my latex document but I failed to do it in a single query regex. My goal was to the following transformation:

\item[root] → \item \textbf{root}

I tied grouping the content withing the brackets and then using in the replacement but it did not work.

This was my attempt:

Alt-S-% \\[\(.*\)] RET \\textbf{\1} RET

I tried playing with the regexp-builder but it seems to have a slightly different syntax than then replace-regexp command.

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\ escapes [ and itself, so \\ matches a backslash and \[ matches an open bracket. So \\[\(.*\)] matches a backslash followed by a dot, a parenthesis or a star.

Instead, you presumably wanted to use \[\(.*\)] which should give you the right result. Rather than re-builder, you can also use:

C-s M-r \[\(.*\)] M-% \\textbf{\1} RET

which also gives you interactive feedback about your regexp.

  • Thanks for the tip of C-s and then M-% it is better for this task. – Hydrocat May 13 at 16:31

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