Suppose I have a string as follows:


How would I replace everything following 'RESULT=' so that the string reads:


The closest I've gotten so far is to use:


But this simply places the desired string after the existing one:


Can anyone help me?

Kindest regards!

2 Answers 2


One way to do this is by using \zs to set the "start" of the match, so that everything before \zs is untouched by the replacement:


Your original attempt using a lookbehind was also on the right track: you just put the .* part in the wrong place:


This replaces anything that comes after a RESULT=, whereas your search replaced nothing that comes after a RESULT=.*.

However, \zs and \ze are recommended over lookarounds when it's possible to use them, because lookarounds can be slow.

As @DJMcMayhem notes in the comments, yet another approach is to allow the substitution command to replace the RESULT= part, but include that text in the replacement by using a capture group:

  • 1
    Perfect solution - it says I can't upvote yet, so I will wait 11 minutes and set as the correct answer. Thank you!
    – Jack Rolph
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 8:24
  • 1
    @JackRolph Glad to help. See my edit for a bit more explanation.
    – Rich
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 8:58
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    One other way you could do it is to use two capture groups: :%s/\v(RESULT\=)(.*)/\1200
    – DJMcMayhem
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 15:30
  • @DJMcMayhem Good point! But in fact a single group will suffice: %s/\v(RESULT\=).*/\1200
    – Rich
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 16:37

@Rich's solution is a perfect general solution, however maybe your question is a good example of an XY problem. For your specific use case Vim has :h CTRL-A and :h CTRL-X:

CTRL-A          Add [count] to the number or alphabetic character at
            or after the cursor.

CTRL-X          Subtract [count] from the number or alphabetic
            character at or after the cursor.

So in your case you can simply put the cursor anywhere between the beginning of the line and the 1 and in normal mode use 100CTRL+a

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    You could also do this just on the lines with RESULT= with a :global :nomal command! g/RESULT=/execute "normal! 100\<C-A>"
    – Rich
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 10:17
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    Thanks very much for this! However, I am changing a text file in a bash script and therefore the vim code is more useful in this instance. Nonetheless, thank you for the answer - this will be useful in many other circumstances!
    – Jack Rolph
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 12:53
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    @JackRolph you're welcome :) One last piece of advice: if you are writing a bash script which invokes Vim to do this kind of transformation you most probably want to use sed(1) instead :)
    – statox
    Commented Sep 25, 2019 at 16:21

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