Replace comma in text between quotes

  • I have numerous fields in an input file where it is like:
    field1, field2, “field3, firstname”, field4, field5

    The end result is that I want to replace all of the commas with | except the items within the quotes and remove the quotes.

    I’m not sure this is best done in Notepad++ or not.
    I wasn’t able to figure out a way to do the full change in Notepad++ so I was attempting to do this in multiple steps. Thinking I could

    • modify the comma within the quotes to some other delimiter,
    • modify all of the commas to the or bar |
    • then modify the other delimited created in step 1 back to a comma and then remove the quotes

    Any assistance is appreciated, thanks

  • @Stephen-Yorke said:

    I’m not sure this is best done in Notepad++ or not.

    I’m thinking Excel might be a better option. The comma is the “default” delimiter, however another character can become the delimiter. The quotes exist due to the current delimiter being ALSO part of a field. So when you change the delimiter Excel would not need to quote that field anymore.

    Yes if could be done with regexs, possibly as 3 steps just as you suggest although I think 1 regex might also achieve it. Unfortunately I’m not in a position to provide one right now.

    I do wonder though why this is necessary. Most programs reading in delimited data know how to deal with it correctly, such as your situation.


  • @Stephen-Yorke
    I have now created a regex that will only target commas (,) outside of quoted fields.
    So we have (use search mode as regular expression and wraparound ticked).
    Find What:,\h*(?![^,]+”)
    Replace With:| <----- note there is a space after the | character. This is to put a space after every |.

    After running that you then can remove all quotes. I haven’t given you the regex for that, I will leave that for you to do, it is a very easy one to create.

    Give it a go and let us know if it suits your needs. Although your 4th field is quoted, this will work on leaving ANY field alone if quoted.


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