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Replace 1 Line in A Text File with PHP

Posted on 2004-11-06
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2006-11-17
Greetings fellow ee'ers:

I have a text file called "data.txt".  Each line contains information about a user in the following format:

user<=>elvis<*>state<=>Minnesota<*>foo<=>foobar   (\n)
user<=>elvis2<*>state<=>Minnesota<*>foo<=>foobar   (\n)
user<=>elvis3<*>state<=>Minnesota<*>foo<=>foobar   (\n)

Given a user value I need to replace the contents of 1 line.  Example....

given: user=elvis2, change

user<=>elvis2<*>state<=>Minnesota<*>foo<=>foobar   (\n)
user<=>elvis2<*>state<=>Minnesota<*>foo<=>kittywumpus (\n)

#1) Read text file into a string, save as data2.txt then rename
#2) Delete the appropriate line (?) and append the file
#3) Clear the file (?) and write the string
#4) ????

Question by:djlurch
  • 2
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Expert Comment

ID: 12515838
I would read it in to an array of strings, one string per line.

Then I would edit the string to reflect the changes, probably by rebuilding the string...

$file = "/path/to/file/data.txt";
$fileline = file($file);
$newfile = array();
$newuserdata = array();
foreach ($fileline as $thisline)
   $datapair = explode("<*>",$thisline); // Now each data pair is in an array.
   $userdata = explode("<=>",$datapair[0]); // Get the username as $userdata[1]
   $statedata = explode("<=>",$datapair[1]); // get the state as $statedata[1]
   //   ... and so on for all data pairs  //
   if ($userdata[1] == $desireduser)  // We have the user we want...
      $userdata[1] = $newuserdata;
      $statedata[1] = $newstate;
      $otherdata[1] = $newotherdata;
      // ... rewrite values for all data pairs //
      $newuserdata[0] = implode("<=>",$userdata);
      $newuserdata[1] = implode("<=>",$statedata);
      $newuserdata[2] = implode("<=>",$otherdata);
      // ... re-implode the info into the data pairs again. //
      $thisline = implode("<*>",$newuserdata);
      // We're back to having "thisline", but now it contains the new data.
   // No else line, because others are not having changes made.  
   $newfile[$i] = $thisline;
   $i += 1;

You can write the file out as the file is being read, or you can read it all in to an array (as in my example) and then itterate through the array and write each line.  There may be a function to write ALL lines in an array to a file too... check php.net for that kind of thing.

But you see what I did... I broke up file line by line.  I broke up the lines in to data pairs.  I checked to see if this line's user info matched the desired user we're changing... if so, I rewrote all of the VALUES in the data pairs to equal the new values needed... then I reconstructed the pairs from the parts, reconstructed the line from the pairs... and put the line back in to the file. :)

Basically, ripped it apart, and put it back together again. :)

Author Comment

ID: 12515850

Nice code :)  Actually I have that part covered.  It the file manipulation that I'm looking for.  Thoughts?

Accepted Solution

EagleEye1975 earned 1200 total points
ID: 12515937
I'd just open a new file, overwriting the old one (instead of appending) and rewrite all of the lines.

Or... alternatively... as you go through data.txt line by line, write to newdata.txt line by line after any changes are made (writing each line as you're still looping)... then when you're done, unlink("data.txt") and do a move of newdata.txt to data.txt. :)

If you really want to be snazzy, you can make a backup of data.txt to data.bak (overwriting any existing data.bak) and THEN doing a file COPY of newdata.txt to data.txt. :)

For info on outputting to a file:


Or you can use:


That may be the preferred way...

Open the file

Loop while reading from one file, do the fwrite to the new file

Once done looping, close the new file.

Make sure you preserve \r\n and such...

Then see
for info on how to copy files. :)

Author Comment

ID: 12515946
Nice.  Thanks!

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