On occasion it’d be massively convenient to search and replace in WorkFlowy. This is the simplest way I know how…
Some time back, a WorkFlowy user emailed me with a tip on searching and replacing with the “Search and Replace” Chrome extension. After tinkering I dismissed it: It worked its magic before my eyes… but no sooner had I navigated to a different list, then most changes seemed to inexplicably revert back.
Recently I revisited the extension, determined to figure it out. The secret to getting the changes to stick is an interesting, yet dead-easy cursor “handshake”. I’ll explain:
Seeing is believing
In the GIF below, I use the Search and Replace Chrome extension to swap out “NOPE” with “YES!” across an entire outline. This extension only replaces all visible instances of the word/ phrase – which means that you need to either…
- expand the entire outline (by double-clicking on the list title) or
- filter for your phrase in WorkFlowy’s search box to reveal it.
The secret handshake
In the above GIF, you’ll notice that after all instances of the word “NOPE” have been changed, I…
- place the cursor in the list title (Ctrl+Home) and
- hold the down arrow on my keyboard to whiz through all the lists.
The only way your changes will stick, is if subsequent to using the extension, you place the cursor in each and every list that underwent a change. In so doing, you basically give WorkFlowy the green lights to go ahead and close the deal with the “preliminary” changes that the extension made. This probably has something to do with each WorkFlowy list having its own unique URL. That’s why you place the cursor at the very top of the list and hold your down arrow until you get to the end of the list. This will ensure your changes are made permanent.
A couple of use cases
- You might want to change up your tagging strategy by renaming certain tags throughout your account in one fell swoop. Now you can do that.
- If you like the idea of revising what you write, you might want to keep a continuity/ error checklist in WorkFlowy and use it together with the Search and Replace extension to iron out some boo-boos once all is said and done. Here’s a list I kept while writing my book on WorkFlowy. I wish I’d known about this extension at the time!:
Three caveats – a small price to pay
- This is a Chrome extension – If you cannot find a suitable add-on or extension for your favorite browser, switching to Chrome for this part of your workflow will save you oodles of time.
- After your changes have been made, in order to navigate around your WorkFlowy account as usual, you’ll need to reload WorkFlowy by refreshing the tab.
- This is an odd one… nevertheless a heads-up is in order: if you attempt to change any of the individual, isolated words on your WorkFlowy page that are include in the screenshot below (or part thereof), your page will freeze and you’ll have to reload. That’s because you’re telling the extension to change something it can’t change permanently. Capish?
- Just so that we’re clear… if you try to change these individual words: “Home”, “Make”, “lists”, “not”, “war”, “WorkFlowy”, “Blog”, “Privacy” and “Policy”… or parts thereof: “Work” “Flow”, “log” and “no” (without a space), you’re not going to be able to do so.
- EDIT: Thanks to @tpolzinku for pointing out 2 more details in the comments below. See my response for some workarounds.
The list used in the above GIF
You can add this list to your account, duplicate it and tinker a bit:
Now go forth and replace… responsibly.
Get EXCLUSIVE bite-sized WorkFlowy updates: tips, tricks & news about FREE online workshops with Frank Degenaar. Sign up here.