Pattern matching in text files

Is it possible to find a whole paragraph in a text file and replace it, i have looked at the msdn and cant figure out how to do it

I have various paragraphs that can be edited through a windows form, they include {} , = in the paragraphs.

Is there a way to find a set paragraph say

@living,
Jon = {live},
at = {home},
with = {wife}
}

within a text file and replace it with one already in the program called newfile


Any code or help would be great
LVL 1
jon6Asked:
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jon6Author Commented:
Say the text file is called questions.txt

it must delete what it finds already in the text file then add the variable newfile into the text file
msdixonCommented:
jon6Author Commented:
Has anyone got some code that they could change and post up for me, if anyone can give me full working code i will increase the points by 50
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jon6Author Commented:
The stuff i want to delete in the text file will be in a variable called deletefile

i dont need to know how to add another variable into the text file now i have figured it out.


All i need to know the code for is to search through the text file question.txt and find the contents of the variable deletefile, it will look something like

@living,
Jon = {live},
at = {home},
with = {wife}
}


this but will change each time so cant be fixed.


I am increasing the points to 225
ptmcompCommented:
Can you give me something like a before and after situation. I have a hard time imaging what you want to do.
jon6Author Commented:
This is the way i am trying it

System.IO.StreamReader myFile =
                        new System.IO.StreamReader("questions.tex");
                  string myString = myFile.ReadToEnd();

                  myFile.Close();


                  string jon = this.richTextBox1.Text;

                  string strData = Regex.Replace(myString, file, jon);



I read in the whole text file into a variable i then get a value from a list view from a different class that is called file, then the bit i have editted is jon the contents of the richtextbox, however when i try it strData does not change.
ptmcompCommented:
You missunderstood the way regular expression work. Usually you have a search expression and a replace expression. These expressions are interpreted and contain logic - they are not just strings.
Regex.Replace is not the same as string.Replace
jon6Author Commented:
Could i do it with string.Replce, do you know how exactly i could do this with regular expression
ptmcompCommented:
Use string.Replace to replace a string that you know exactly and entierly with a different string.
Use Regex to match (and if you want replace) strings that you know partially or you only know the pattern.

The pattern would describe:
@para_name,
item_name = {item_value},
...
}

Now we have to translate this in a regular expression and you need to know what you want to match. Is it the whole paragraph or an inner item?
jon6Author Commented:
The text file will contain stuff like this, but they will all be different, i am loading it into a treeview then using a form to edit it so their will be one variable called oldfile, which i will need to search for in the text file and replace with the edited variable called edited.

So the thing we will need to patch will be different each time. I thought i could load the hwole contents of the text file into a variable first then search for the old one replace it with the new one and then write it to the same text file

@living,
Jon = {live},
at = {home},
with = {wife}
}
@living,
Jon = {live},
at = {home},
with = {wife}
}
@living,
Jon = {live},
at = {home},
with = {wife}
}
ptmcompCommented:
If you know the exact string you want to replace then use:
newfile = oldfile.Replace(old, edited);

----

I found a good "regular experssion" editor: http://www.codeproject.com/dotnet/expresso.asp?print=true

Here is one poss. with regex:

string name = 'living';
newfile = Regex.Replace(oldfile, @"(^@" + name + "(.|\r|\n)*?\r\n})", newvalue, RegexOptions.IgnoreCase | RegexOptions.Multiline | RegexOptions.ExplicitCapture);


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jon6Author Commented:
I have managed to get the oldfile.Replace to work however the strings look like this

@living,\r\nJon = {live},\r\nat = {home},\r\nwith = {wife}\r\n}\r\n

Can you tell me what \r is i know \n is newline but it wont work without the \r in it, is there a way to remove \r from a string when you read it in
msdixonCommented:
\r is a carraige return
\n is a new line

they sound the same, but aren't.

it's in the syntax link i provided (a little reading goes a long way as far as understading any given subject):
http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/default.asp?url=/library/en-us/jscript7/html/jsjsgrpregexpsyntax.asp
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