Find & Replace – the Developers' Savior

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Today I was thankful for a simple yet often taken for granted function included in most PC software- Find & Replace. Upon realizing I’d have to update one line of code on  250+ pages on the site I was working today, I promptly opened up the Find & Replace panel, pumped out a simple macro, and bam! 250+ pages updated in a matter of minutes. I repeated the process again to clean up 1000+ records in the accompanying database.

I remember when computers first got “copy & paste” functionality. I was head-over-heels for Wordperfect when I found I could duplicate a whole mess of typing in a simple keystroke. Often I think 1/4 of my working life is spent copy and pasting. Lets consider how much time that could actually save!

Lets say I save 20 seconds of typing code every time I copy/paste. Lets also say I do this around 25 times a day (which is probably a low estimate). Thats an average of 8 minutes a day saved. If theres 260 work days in a year (in a 40 hour work week- yea right), thats 34 hours a year! Multiply that times 8 years at the computer grindstone and thats 4.6 entire days copy/paste has saved me. Wow- thanks simple keystroke macros!

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