I am trying a simple find and replace function in VI Editor to change a profile path but the / is getting in my way and I need a simple and clever solution.

I tried using:

%s/profile: "/fldr0/local/fldr/fldr1/profile/production/production.auto.profile"/profile: "/fldr0/local/fldr/fldr1/profile/development/development.auto.profile"/g

And got E488: Trailing characters.

I know it has to do with the slashes but not sure what a good workaround would be since I thought the "" would take care of it but they didn't - any help appreciated! Read all the other threads and couldn't come up with a solution probably due to lack of brain power on my part


You want to change instances of

profile: /fldr0/local/fldr/fldr1/profile/production/production.auto.profile


profile: /fldr0/local/fldr/fldr1/profile/development/development.auto.profile

One way is to use a different delimiter than / for the :substitute command, i.e.:

%s;profile: /fldr0/local/fldr/fldr1/profile/production/production.auto.profile;profile: /fldr0/local/fldr/fldr1/profile/development/development.auto.profile;g

However, it can also be simplified quite alot:


In the above regular expression, profile:.* will match the first part in a greedy manner, up until the first production. \zs sets the start of the matched part, which means everything before this is ignored for the replacement. Finally, the production/production is the only part of the string we want to change, and we escape the / with a backslash, i.e. \/.

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