Captions for video - Find and Replace across time stamps



  • @PeterJones Wow! Thank you so much for the detailed explanation. No wonder I couldn’t figure it out. You really know your stuff and are amazing! :-)

    One follow-up question, Is there any way to adjust this to a find/replace that wouldn’t delete the time stamp across lines? So in the example.

    0:00:17.680,0:00:20.400
    vaporize like a

    0:00:19.840,0:00:22.400
    fire

    After finding the “like a fire” across multiple lines the replace would blank out the end of the first line and change the second line fire to liquefy.

    Desired result

    0:00:17.680,0:00:20.400
    vaporize

    0:00:19.840,0:00:22.400
    liquefy

    Thanks so much!



  • @MaximillianM, @PeterJones

    One solution could be as simple as adding a space before “like a” and grouping the second time stamp in @PeterJones’ regex. Also, in the replacement expression insert a reference to recently created group and the new string. As follows:

    Search: (?x-s) \x20like (\x20 | \R | \R* \d{1,2} : .*\R) a ((?1)) fire
    Replace: $2liquefy
    

    Hope this helps



  • I think what the OP is looking for here is basically a way to search for a phrase which could have a timestamp inserted into it at any word position in the phrase, i.e., it won’t occur that the timestamp is inserted into the middle of the word.

    Then the OP wants the ability to replace with the same sort of criterion.
    And it appears that the replacement can wholly occur after the timestamp (the portion of the search match before the timestamp is removed) and things still work.

    I think what might be best here is a script; the script would still use regular expressions, but it would allow the user to very naturally search for a simple phrase (user specifies “like a fire”) and replace it with a phrase (user specifies “liquify”) and the script takes care of the rest.



  • Hello, @MaximillianM, @peterjones, @alan-kilborn, @astrosofista and All,

    Let’s expand the problem a bit and imagine this text :

    0:00:17.680,0:00:20.400
    The licenses for most software are designed to
    
    0:00:19.840,0:00:22.400
    take away your freedom to share and change it.
    

    And that the OP want to :

    • Find the string designed to take away

    • Replace it with the string generally made to always suppress

    Right now, the timestamp is located between the two strings designed to and take away

    Now, let’s use the | symbol to represent the timestamp feature

    Which replacement is expected by @MaximillianM ?

    designed to | take away => generally | made to always suppress    ( Case A )
    designed to | take away => generally made | to always suppress    ( Case B )
    designed to | take away => generally made to | always suppress    ( Case C )
    designed to | take away => generally made to always | suppress    ( Case D )
    

    To my mind, the more logical one would be Case B, as, before the timestamp, there would be as many words after the replacement than before the replacement !

    Best Regards,

    guy038



  • @guy038 said in Captions for video - Find and Replace across time stamps:

    To my mind, the more logical one would be Case B

    But we really don’t know what the OP’s needs in this regard are.
    I mean, well, if you want to have fun, go off and solve any problem you’d like. :-)

    For me, I’ll wait to see if OP returns again, clarifies need, and expresses interest in the scripted solution.

    The scripted solution I envision would prompt with an input box for the string to search for, then would prompt with an input box for the replacement. The script would run and use some variant of Peter’s solution behind the scenes.



  • Thank you all so much! You are Great! This really helps.

    I tested replacing the text after the second timestamp using $2 which works. Also adding it after the second timestamp probably is the best default option. The only real “error” could be if the replacement made it so that one line of text was completely blank.

    I hadn’t known about the script function and have just used recorded macros. Macros do work, but once created macros can be but are not that easy to edit.

    Since you have been so helpful. I’ll outline the full desired outcome which might be a script.

    1-Find and replace a list of words. Words might be added or removed to this list in the future. My current list is about 90 words.

    Most are just simple words so a 1 to 1 on the same line works.
    For example “cuz” replace with “because” or “um” replaced with a blank. Ideally, this list could be seen and edited

    WordToFind, Word to Replace
    cuz, because
    um, [blank]

    2-Then phrases that could go across lines. The regular expressions ones.
    Could be in the same list/table as above with the full code or a different list/table.
    WordToFind-----------Word to Replace
    (?x-s) \x20like (\x20 | \R | \R* \d{1,2} : .*\R) a ((?1)) fire-----------------$2liquefy

    or since you really know your stuff. Maybe fancy and takes the phrase
    “like a fire” and creates the code (?x-s) \x20like (\x20 | \R | \R* \d{1,2} : .*\R) a ((?1)) fire

    Thanks again! You have really been helping me out :-)



  • @MaximillianM said in Captions for video - Find and Replace across time stamps:

    “like a fire” and creates the code (?x-s) \x20like (\x20 | \R | \R* \d{1,2} : .*\R) a ((?1)) fire

    Yes, something like that was what I had in mind.

    Would your search “phrase” ever have TWO+ embedded timestamps in it? Or is that a case that we don’t need to consider…?

    Let me absorb your specs and see if I can put together a reasonable demo.



  • @Alan-Kilborn Thanks! Across two timestamps is a possibility and would be great to consider for some potential longer phrases. You keep exceeding my expectations :-) Though if it is too complicated, across one is still really good.



  • @MaximillianM

    So let’s start simple and slowly. :-)

    Here’s a test PythonScript that can demo the functionality:

    # -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
    
    from Npp import editor, notepad
    
    class T1(object):
    
        def __init__(self):
            search_phrase = 'like a fire'
            while True:
                search_phrase = notepad.prompt('\r\nEnter search phrase and press OK to find next:', '', search_phrase)
                if search_phrase == None or len(search_phrase) == 0: return  # quit
                word_list = search_phrase.strip().split()
                regex = r'(?-is)(?(DEFINE)(\x20|\R|\R*\d{1,2}:.*\R))' + '(?1)'.join(word_list)
                matches = []
                editor.research(regex, lambda m: matches.append(m.span(0)), 0, editor.getCurrentPos(), editor.getLength(), 1)
                if len(matches) == 0:
                    notepad.messageBox('No (more) matches', '')
                    return
                else:
                    (match_start, match_end) = matches[0]
                    editor.scrollRange(match_end, match_start)
                    editor.setSelection(match_end, match_start)
    
    if __name__ == '__main__': T1()
    

    When you run it, it will prompt you for your search phrase, like this:

    Imgur

    When you enter it and press OK, you will be shown your first match (it will become selected) and it will prompt again:

    Imgur

    It will continue moving downward in a file, until no more matches occur or you press Cancel.

    Peter has some good instructions for getting started with the PythonScript plugin HERE.
    See if you can get what I’ve shown working for you, and then we’ll talk about where to take it from here.



  • @Alan-Kilborn Thanks, yes, I was able to get it to work!



  • @Alan-Kilborn Hi Alan, Thanks for your help on this project can you point me in the right direction for the next step of adding code to use a preset list of words to find and replace? Thanks again :-)



  • @MaximillianM said in Captions for video - Find and Replace across time stamps:

    use a preset list of words to find and replace

    Sure; again let’s start small…

    Let’s just put the list inside the code, but maybe make it look like it is coming from a file (because you may want to go there, later).

    So I’d suggest a list like this:

    ::findable_you:replaceable_you
    :I can contain spaces:So I see
    

    where the format is:

    • one-character delimiter
    • find word/phrase
    • delimiter (as previously defined by first character)
    • replace word/phrase

    In Python we might do it like this:

    the_list = [
        ':findable_you:replaceable_you',
        ':I can contain spaces:So I see',
        ':look_for_me:really_want_to_be_you',
        '!simple!complex',
        '$fire$liquify',
    ]
    

    We need some code to process that list:

    # -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
    
    from Npp import editor
    
    class T2(object):
    
        def __init__(self):
    
            the_list = [
                ':findable_you:replaceable_you',
                ':I can contain spaces:So I see',
                ':look_for_me:really_want_to_be_you',
                '!simple!complex',
                '$fire$liquify',
            ]
    
            editor.beginUndoAction()
            for definition in the_list:
                delim = definition[0]
                (find_what, repl_with) = definition[1:].split(delim, 2)
                editor.replace(find_what, repl_with)
            editor.endUndoAction()
    
    if __name__ == '__main__': T2()
    


  • @Alan-Kilborn Thanks! Yes, I like the idea of making it a separate file for ease of updates.

    I experimented with the code.

    What is the difference between using the ! or $ for the word in the list? They seem to do a similar find/replace in the example, at least in my small test. But I’m probably missing something.

    The next step seems to be adding the search over multiple lines code as from your earlier example. How can I do that?

    Thanks!



  • @MaximillianM said in Captions for video - Find and Replace across time stamps:

    What is the difference between using the ! or $ for the word in the list? They seem to do a similar find/replace in the example, at least in my small test. But I’m probably missing something.

    So the “delimiter” variability is useful if the data itself contains the delimiter.

    Say we hardcoded the delimiter to be a colon (:).
    Then if you wanted to replace something like a:b with c:d it would be difficult.

    The way I defined it, you could just use a different delimiter for this case, e.g. !a:b!c:d.



  • @MaximillianM said in Captions for video - Find and Replace across time stamps:

    The next step seems to be adding the search over multiple lines code as from your earlier example. How can I do that?

    This is the point where I’m having trouble envisioning how it would work.
    I know you said something about it before, but I didn’t quite understand it.

    Would you put a special symbol in the replacement part that you’d want the timestamp to be replaced by?
    Maybe a more in-depth walk-through (example(s)) of what is wanted?

    I’m certainly willing to do it, or at least help you get started…



  • @Alan-Kilborn Thanks again. I see you are helping many other people so I should have put a summary in to help you :-)

    The problem
    1-Simple Find and replace with a list of words (your most recent code does this)
    2-Find and replace multi-word string that goes across a timestamp
    Find “like a fire” replace with $2liquefy

    0:00:17.680,0:00:20.400
    vaporize like a

    0:00:19.840,0:00:22.400
    fire

    I would like to combine the most recent code with this one (minus the manual entry box so it could use the list as in your most recent code) to search across the time stamp.

    -- coding: utf-8 --

    from Npp import editor, notepad

    class T1(object):

    def __init__(self):
        search_phrase = 'like a fire'
        while True:
            search_phrase = notepad.prompt('\r\nEnter search phrase and press OK to find next:', '', search_phrase)
            if search_phrase == None or len(search_phrase) == 0: return  # quit
            word_list = search_phrase.strip().split()
            regex = r'(?-is)(?(DEFINE)(\x20|\R|\R*\d{1,2}:.*\R))' + '(?1)'.join(word_list)
            matches = []
            editor.research(regex, lambda m: matches.append(m.span(0)), 0, editor.getCurrentPos(), editor.getLength(), 1)
            if len(matches) == 0:
                notepad.messageBox('No (more) matches', '')
                return
            else:
                (match_start, match_end) = matches[0]
                editor.scrollRange(match_end, match_start)
                editor.setSelection(match_end, match_start)
    

    if name == ‘main’: T1()

    Thanks again :-)



  • @MaximillianM said in Captions for video - Find and Replace across time stamps:

    Find “like a fire” replace with $2liquefy
    0:00:17.680,0:00:20.400
    vaporize like a
    0:00:19.840,0:00:22.400
    fire

    Yes, you used this example before, but I didn’t fully understand it.
    I take it the $2 represents the bridged timestamp, and where it would appear in the replacement text.

    BTW, why $2?
    Is it because a search match could possibly bridge two timestamps?
    And $1 might possibly appear in the replace expression as well?
    Or $3 etc?



  • @Alan-Kilborn Hi, I’m a beginner and was just using the $2 that astrosofista suggested in this post so I don’t fully understand it.

    He suggested
    Search: (?x-s) \x20like (\x20 | \R | \R* \d{1,2} : .*\R) a ((?1)) fire
    Replace: $2liquefy

    If I don’t use the $2 before the replacement word then the timestamp is removed in the replacement. I tried $1 and $3 before the replacement word as a test and the time stamp was removed in both cases.

    Putting the replacement expression in the second part of the string (second timestamp) is preferable as it is the most likely scenario.

    Just one bridged time-stamp is the basic requirement, in the future I might look at across multiple time-stamps.

    There a blank line between the timestamp/phrase as in the example below.
    $1, $2, $3, would not be present in the text so ok to use in our expression.

    Find “like a fire” replace (end of expression) with liquefy

    0:00:17.680,0:00:20.400
    vaporize like a

    0:00:19.840,0:00:22.400
    fire

    0:00:22.400,0:00:24.300
    next phrase

    Thanks :-)



  • @MaximillianM said in Captions for video - Find and Replace across time stamps:

    I’m a beginner and was just using the $2 that astrosofista suggested in this post so I don’t fully understand it.

    I’m not a beginner, but I don’t see how this is going to work in the bigger scheme of things. I mean, well, maybe I see can see it if I squint at it, but I don’t have the desire/time to sort out the regexes needed down to the Nth level so that every situation is covered.

    I think finding the matches is one level of difficulty (which has already been conquered), but replacing them introduces a whole new level of complexity to it. Even the single bridged timestamp can be nuancy when you really think about some examples that a generic replace could encounter.

    I’m sorry if I misrepresented that I would do the whole solution for your “list” based replacement. My intent was to demo a few things to show what’s possible with scripting, not come up with a full-blown solution for some very specific data.

    If someone else (@guy038 loves to do this sort of thing, or maybe @PeterJones since he got the original ball rolling) is willing to do it, I can certainly help put together the final script using the information. What is needed is a find/replace regex pair that would walk through a document doing the replacements desired.



  • Hello, @maximillianm, @peterjones, @alan-kilborn, @astrosofista and All,

    @maximillianm, I assume that the timestamp always begins lines of your file, without any leading blank characters ! If it’s not the case, just tell me !

    Here is a generic regex which searches any range of text, containing one timestamp feature, and replace it with any range of text, still containing the same timestamp

    SEARCH (\R+\d{1,2}:\d\d:\d\d\.\d{3},\d{1,2}:\d\d:\d\d\.\d{3}\R)(*F)|(?-i)Before_Find_Text((?1))After_Find_Text

    REPLACE Before_Replace_Text\2After_Replace_Text

    where :

    • Before_Find_Text represents the text to search, located BEFORE the time-stamp line

    • After_Find_Text represents the text to search, located AFTER the time-stamp line

    • Before_Replace_Text represents the text to replace BEFORE the time-stamp line

    • After_Replace_Text represents the text to replace AFTER the time-stamp line


    First example :

    Given your initial text :

    0:00:17.680,0:00:20.400
    vaporize like a
    
    0:00:19.840,0:00:22.400
    fire
    

    And the expected result :

    0:00:17.680,0:00:20.400
    vaporize
    
    0:00:19.840,0:00:22.400
    liquefy
    

    The different variable parts of the generic regex S/R are :

    • Before_Find_Text = vaporize like a

    • After_Find_Text = fire

    • Before_Replace_Text = vaporize

    • After_Replace_Text = liquefy

    which gives the functional regex S/R :

    SEARCH (\R+\d{1,2}:\d\d:\d\d\.\d{3},\d{1,2}:\d\d:\d\d\.\d{3}\R)(*F)|(?-i)vaporize like a((?1))fire

    REPLACE vaporize\2liquefy


    Second example :

    Given this initial example, taken from my previous post :

    0:00:17.680,0:00:20.400
    The licenses for most software are designed to
    
    0:00:19.840,0:00:22.400
    take away your freedom to share and change it.
    

    And the expected result :

    0:00:17.680,0:00:20.400
    The licenses for most software are generally made to
    
    0:00:19.840,0:00:22.400
    always suppress your freedom to share and change it.
    

    The different variable parts of the generic regex S/R are, this time :

    • Before_Find_Text = designed to

    • After_Find_Text = take away

    • Before_Replace_Text = generally made to

    • After_Replace_Text = always suppress

    which gives the functional regex S/R :

    SEARCH (\R+\d{1,2}:\d\d:\d\d\.\d{3},\d{1,2}:\d\d:\d\d\.\d{3}\R)(*F)|(?-i)designed to((?1))take away

    REPLACE generally made to\2always suppress


    Third example :

    Given, again, this initial example, taken from my previous post :

    0:00:17.680,0:00:20.400
    The licenses for most software are designed to
    
    0:00:19.840,0:00:22.400
    take away your freedom to share and change it.
    

    And the expected result :

    0:00:17.680,0:00:20.400
    The licenses for most software are
    
    0:00:19.840,0:00:22.400
    designed to suppress your freedom.
    

    The different variable parts of the generic regex S/R are, this time :

    • Before_Find_Text = are designed to

    • After_Find_Text = take away your freedom to share and change it

    • Before_Replace_Text = are

    • After_Replace_Text = designed to suppress your freedom

    which gives the functional regex S/R :

    SEARCH (\R+\d{1,2}:\d\d:\d\d\.\d{3},\d{1,2}:\d\d:\d\d\.\d{3}\R)(*F)|(?-i)are designed to((?1))take away your freedom to share and change it

    REPLACE are\2designed to suppress your freedom


    Fourth example :

    Given this initial example :

    0:00:17.680,0:00:20.400
    The licenses for most software are designed to
    
    0:00:19.840,0:00:22.400
    take away your freedom to share and change it.
    

    And the expected result :

    0:00:17.680,0:00:20.400
    The licenses for most software
    
    0:00:19.840,0:00:22.400
    prevent you from sharing and changing it.
    

    The different variable parts of the generic regex S/R are, this time :

    • Before_Find_Text = software are designed to

    • After_Find_Text = take away your freedom to share and change

    • Before_Replace_Text = software

    • After_Replace_Text = prevent you from sharing and changing

    which gives the functional regex S/R :

    SEARCH (\R+\d{1,2}:\d\d:\d\d\.\d{3},\d{1,2}:\d\d:\d\d\.\d{3}\R)(*F)|(?-i)software are designed to((?1))take away your freedom to share and change

    REPLACE software\2prevent you from sharing and changing


    Notes :

    • The first alternative of this search regex (\R+\d{1,2}:\d\d:\d\d\.\d{3},\d{1,2}:\d\d:\d\d\.\d{3}\R)(*F) is never matched, due to backtracking control verb (*F) which forces a failure of the match attempt.

    • However, the regex (\R+\d{1,2}:\d\d:\d\d\.\d{3},\d{1,2}:\d\d:\d\d\.\d{3}\R), which would match any range of line-breaks, followed with a complete timestamp line, is stored in group1 for later use, in the second alternative of the search regex

    • As you can see, the timestamp 0:00:19.840,0:00:22.400 is kept, after replacement because it’s stored in group 2 ( Current timestamp value of the subroutine call (?1), in the regex part ((?1)) ! )

    • If you prefer an “insensitive to case” search, simply change the part (?-i) by (?i)

    Best regards

    guy038


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