mhayashi1120 / Emacs-wgrep

Writable grep buffer and apply the changes to files

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wgrep allows you to edit a grep buffer and apply those changes to the file buffer like sed interactively. No need to learn sed script, just learn Emacs.


Put this file into load-path'ed directory, and byte compile it if desired. And put the following expression into your ~/.emacs.

(require 'wgrep)


You can edit the text in the grep buffer after typing C-c C-p . After that the changed text is highlighted. The following keybindings are defined:

  • C-c C-e: Apply the changes to file buffers.

  • C-c C-u: All changes are unmarked and ignored.

  • C-c C-d: Mark as delete to current line (including newline).

  • C-c C-r: Remove the changes in the region (these changes are not applied to the files. Of course, the remaining changes can still be applied to the files.)

  • C-c C-p: Toggle read-only area.

  • C-c C-k: Discard all changes and exit.

  • C-x C-q: Exit wgrep mode.

  • To save all buffers that wgrep has changed, run

M-x wgrep-save-all-buffers
  • To save buffer automatically when wgrep-finish-edit.
(setq wgrep-auto-save-buffer t)
  • You can change the default key binding to switch to wgrep.
(setq wgrep-enable-key "r")
  • To apply all changes regardless of whether or not buffer is read-only.
(setq wgrep-change-readonly-file t)

Trivial features:

  • wdired.el like interface.
  • Support GNU grep --context (-A -B and -C) option.
  • Can handle too many files.
  • Can handle newline insertion in grep buffer.
  • Delete whole line include newline.

Similar software:

GNU sed helm-ag has a similar feature.


This program was forked from Matsushita Akihisa's grep-edit.el v2.11. As this website is now inaccessible,'s copy may be consulted.

Imported version can be downloaded from this orphan commit:

Following added implementations and differences.

  • Support GNU grep context option -A -B and -C
  • Some bugfix. (wrong coloring text etc..)
  • wdired.el like interface.
  • Remove all advice.
  • Bind to local variables. (grep-a-lot.el works well)
  • After save buffer, colored face will be removed.
  • Change face easy to see.
  • Reinforce checking error.
  • Support removing whole line include new-line.


Writable grep buffer and apply the changes to files

License:GNU General Public License v3.0


Language:Emacs Lisp 98.3%Language:Makefile 1.7%