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Searching and Replacing with Tag Tables
The commands in this section visit and search all the files listed
in the selected tag table, one by one. For these commands, the tag
table serves only to specify a sequence of files to search. A related
command is `M-x grep' (Note: Compilation.).
Search for the specified regexp through the files in the selected
Perform a `query-replace' on each file in the selected tag table.
Restart one of the commands above, from the current location of
`M-x tags-search' reads a regexp using the minibuffer, then searches
for matches in all the files in the selected tag table, one file at a
time. It displays the name of the file being searched so you can
follow its progress. As soon as it finds an occurrence, `tags-search'
Having found one match, you probably want to find all the rest. To
find one more match, type `M-,' (`tags-loop-continue') to resume the
`tags-search'. This searches the rest of the current buffer, followed
by the remaining files of the tag table.
`M-x tags-query-replace' performs a single `query-replace' through
all the files in the tag table. It reads a regexp to search for and a
string to replace with, just like ordinary `M-x query-replace-regexp'.
It searches much like `M-x tags-search' but repeatedly, processing
matches according to your input. Note: Replace, for more information
on query replace.
It is possible to get through all the files in the tag table with a
single invocation of `M-x tags-query-replace'. But since any
unrecognized character causes the command to exit, you may need to
continue where you left off. `M-,' can be used for this. It resumes
the last tags search or replace command that you did.
The commands in this section carry out much broader searches than the
`find-tags' family. The `find-tags' commands search only for
definitions of tags that match your substring or regexp. The commands
`tags-search' and `tags-query-replace' find every occurrence of the
regexp, as ordinary search commands and replace commands do in the
These commands create buffers only temporarily for the files that
they have to search (those which are not already visited in Emacs
buffers). Buffers in which no match is found are quickly killed; the
others continue to exist.
It may have struck you that `tags-search' is a lot like `grep'. You
can also run `grep' itself as an inferior of Emacs and have Emacs show
you the matching lines one by one. This works mostly the same as
running a compilation and having Emacs show you where the errors were.
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