I frequently find myself tabbing to “Replace” before hitting “return”, then having to ⇧-Tab back because hitting return in the Replace field doesn’t do anything. If work ends up being done to improve the UI here, I’d like to humbly request this behavior, found in many other editors:
- If the search has not yet been performed, pressing “return” performs the search
- If the search has been performed, pressing “return” triggers the same action as clicking “Replace”
The request is noted. However, why wouldn’t it trigger All or In Selection instead?
Hmm, good question.
My sense is that both of those, being bulk operations, are less ‘safe’. (A similar argument has been made in the past for why DEVONThink should not support multi-file search-and-replace.
Whatever you think of that argument, another reason to favor Replace is that it already pretty wide acceptance in the world of geeky text editors. Both Atom and VS Code work this way. It’s probably worth mentioning that they both also have the convention of which use
⌘-return to trigger All. That said, I slightly prefer VS Code’s find-and-replace UX which allows a rapid, surgically precise replacement by alternating between
return (to replace each new match) and
⌘G (to find the next match…i.e., skip the current one).
These are just suggestions based on personal experience, of course. There may be other editors worth emulating here. What I can say with confidence is that hitting
return while the Replace field has focus “should” do something in order for the feature to not feel broken.
All that said…thanks for the quick response! It’s good to know how the current version works, whether or not you ever get around to using my suggestions.