The First-Ever WorkFlowy-Centric Find-and-Replace Tool

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WorkFlowy is now in the early development stages of an API – which is enabling the creation of scores of robust 3rd-party WorkFlowy tools. In this post I’ll be showcasing one such tool – the indispensable Find-and-replace utility by rawbytz – one of a slew of his must-have solutions – built to streamline your workflow like never before.

I’ve put this Find-and-replace bookmarklet through the paces and I must report back that I have not been able to break it. Also, being that this is a bookmarklet, it’s as easy as dragging and dropping a link into your bookmarks toolbar (in your browser of choice). And when you need it… you just click on it.

Replacing words

In the below example, you’ll see that I replace the Latin word “sit” (let it be) with the more contemporary, “Bazinga“. This is what I do:

  1. Search for “sit” using WorkFlowy’s search box
  2. Activate the bookmarklet (by clicking on it)
  3. Enter my replacement word (Bazinga)
  4. Hit the “Replace” button

Deleting/ tweaking tags in bulk

There are tons of use cases to be squeezed out of this find-and-replace tool. David Clark, a Residential Interior Modeling Contractor (Huntsville, AL, USA), uses this bookmarklet to regularly nuke his #inp and #sprint tags and make amendments to project tasks. In his own words:

“At the end of each day, I search for my #inp (in process) tags and trigger the F/R bookmarklet to delete them. I do the same thing at the end of each sprint (weekly) to delete all of my #sprint tags from tasks after I have updated my Scrum data entry. I also use F/R when I discover an amendment to make to my construction project tasks. This streamlines my use of my project template, allowing me to modify it on the fly easily across all projects. This has saved me about 10 minutes/day and about 20 minutes at the end of each week when doing my sprint planning. That tallies up to around 72 hours/year!”

Long-form content (writing)

Here’s one page (out of 312) from my WorkFlowy book that illustrates what I like to call, a “continuity/ error checklist”. Rawbytz’s Find-and-replace bookmarklet makes this particular part of one’s revision process a breeze:

I’ve actually dedicated a chapter in my WorkFlowy book to several of rawbytz’s amazing tools.

Over to you

So now there’s nothing standing in the way of you doing some of your very own finding and replacing. Go ahead, install this bookmarklet… and please do report back in the comments below 🙂

18 thoughts on “The First-Ever WorkFlowy-Centric Find-and-Replace Tool

  1. I’m confused. (I’m not at all a developer) This is not using an actual API, correct? But this is just announcing that a real API is currently in development? What’s being worked on right now? Has this bookmarklet always existed, or is today its launch?

    1. The API is in the early stages of development. That said, it is being rolled out in phases, and portions of the new API are now active on the “production” version of WorkFlowy (including the desktop app). This bookmarklet is using some of those API calls. Find/Replace has been tested by a small group of beta users for the last couple months.

      The desktop app does not have a user-friendly framework for running user-scripts. You can run them in the developer console (the desktop app is running on Chrome-based technology) but convenient it’s not. Essentially you have to open the console and run the script at the start of every desktop session. It’s fair to say , if you want to take advantage of new 3rd party tools developed with the new API, the desktop app will be the last to have it.

      1. Great explanation! “rawbytz” has also enlightened me a tad as to what an API is technically. It’s way more than what I used to think… at least there are varying degrees.

  2. Oh man, I wish you’d talked about the fact that you’re starting to expose a JS API on the Workflowy page earlier! I’m crazy excited about this.

    In fact, because nothing has been created that points to any documentation or anything yet, I’m working on attempting to document what is currently available. You can view the read-only copy of my (obviously) Workflowy list where I’m documenting what I’m able to figure out: https://workflowy.com/s/Eloy.nNYzkS8WG6 Hopefully this can help any other developers out there that want to work on something neat, if they aren’t already doing exactly what I’m doing. 🙂

      1. @FreezerburnVinny Isn’t it amazing when you find like-minded people?! “rawbytz” is certainly one of them… and it is exciting what the WorkFlowy team is embarking on, albeit baby steps. AND… I am keen to see the things you’re doing that others aren’t doing. I guess that will all come out one way or the other :-). Also, shoot me an email at frankman777(at)gmail(dot)com and I will invite you to the WorkFlowy User Group on Slack. Tons of people you’ll enjoy being in touch with.

  3. I like that the F/R is contained within the focused tree and I’m sure I’m gonna get a lot of leverage out of this. My only “complaint” about it is that it suffers from the same issue as every other F/R tool. For example:

    Let’s say I want to change the tense in a piece of writing from “is” to “was”. I use F/R to make the change, however “is” is replaced by “was” in every word that contains that string of letters. So “island” becomes “wasland”.

    Note that this does NOT happen if the string is in the MIDDLE of a word. So, “prism” remains the same, it does not become “prwasm”, so it’s already a very good start.

    Keeping the above point in mind, a workaround could be to add a space after the search term. So if I wanted to change “is” to “was” without affecting words starting with that string (such as “island”) I could use the search term:
    “is ” (with a space at the end).

    1. As you’ve discovered this is one of the reasons to use “exact match” mode. In fact, I think searching for ” is ” with leading AND trailing spaces, wrapped in quotes will be more accurate in your example. Also worth noting, that using quotes and NO spaces: “is” will find the sting inside of “prism”… which can be handy sometimes.

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