Replace text in a file using Batch script

Yesterday I was working at client site. It is a Windows server isolated from external internet access and prohibited to install any new software. I got a task in hand to remove all yaml files id to null. For example, the input file temp.yaml looks like this:

id: 4
something else
id: 64
next one
id: 231
another one
id: 34

and the target file(result.yaml) I want would be like this:

somthing else
next on
another one

It is a huge file and it would takes a long time to remove each id number one by one manually. The only tool accessible on that windows server machine is a CMD command prompt, therefore we could write a simple batch script to get the job done. Create a file called convert.bat with text editor like this:

@echo off
(for /f "tokens=1* delims=:" %%a in (temp.yaml) do (
if "%%b"=="" (echo %%a) else (
echo %%a|find " id" >null&& echo %%a: ||echo %%a: %%b

You can replace the text temp.yaml and result.yaml in the script to your target input and output file respectively. Double click to execute the script and you are done!

For those who are not familiar with Batch script, here are some basic explanation:

@echo off means to get rid of that C:Download prompt

The for loop has some option, where tokens= specify which numbered items to read from each line (default =1) and delims= specify the delimiter character (default = a space). The %%paramater are variables similar to arguments to batch files. The last line export the result to the file I want. It saves a lot of time with this simple script instead of doing manual work 🙂


Years of experience delivering enterprise projects with global stakeholders in banking, airline and gaming industries involving a broad range of technologies. Provide consulting services at both executive and operational levels, including strategy and data analysis. Lead web and mobile app development team with hands-on coding implementation. Manage projects as Certified Scrum Master with Agile techniques. Qualification with master degree in Computer Science and pursuing MBA degree in Finance.

Leave a Reply

Close Menu