WildGem v1.32

(1.3M size, last updated 2019-07-14)
Requires .NET 4 or higher (your PC probably already has it).

Intro | Background | History | Contact

WildGem is a small, free, lightning-fast, portable, single-file app for Windows to help find and replace text. Its powerful syntax combines most of the flexibility of Regex, but with the simplicity of the typical find/replace feature found in your text editor or word processor.

Unlike similar programs, WildGem is fast with a dual split display, and updates or highlights matches as you type in realtime. A unique colour coded syntax allows you to easily find/replace text without worrying about having to escape special symbols.

If you're a beginner who only occasionally uses find and replace, WildGem will feel second-nature, and can even help you to formulate queries with wildcards.

If you're moderately competent with basic or extended expressions, but rarely use Regex, WildGem will allow to create more powerful expressions more quickly with its intuitive interface. Individual WildGem symbols can replace the equivalent of up to 22 Regex symbols!

If you're an expert with Regex and use it all the time, you may still appreciate the simpler syntax, colour coding, lightning speed, large input/output areas, realtime updating as you type, and the feature which converts your expression into the equivalent Regex syntax.

Download WildGem

More information behind the purpose of WildGem:

Regex is such a powerful way of editing text, but its power comes at a cost. The learning curve is pretty steep, and there's a lot of syntax to remember.

A simple example is replacing something starting with "The" and ending with "Fox" (for example: "The quick brown fox"). Regex would look like this: "the.*?fox". But WildGem simplifies the ".*?" bit to a single WildGem symbol - ✪. So you'd search for "thefox" instead. Want to search for one or more letters? The ⊚ symbol replaces the Regex "[a-zA-Z]+?" Likewise, the simple symbol ⇕ is used for new lines or the start/end of a line (equivalent to the messy Regex (?:^|$|\\r\\n|\\r|\\n) ).

These special symbols and many more are available at all times in the interface (along with short and clear help), so you can incorporate them easily into your expression.

Offering unique symbols for commonly used functionality has a few advantages over Regex. Firstly, they are easier to commit to memory, and to distinguish from literal text. On top of colour coding, there's no worry about escaping them which helps to make the expression even shorter and hence clearer.

Features include:

  • Search and replace text easily
  • Realtime on-the-fly updating of text as you type
  • Around 10x faster than Notepad++ for find/replacing
  • All options available at once - no sub menus or tabs
  • Most of the flexibility of Regex without the confusion
  • A decent Regex builder/helper if that's all you want from it
  • A single, portable, fully self-contained file - no installation necessary
  • Clear, concise help available

  • I can be emailed here.
    Here is the PAD file.


    2019-07-14: v1.32: Fixed missing scroll bar for non-100% scaling modes in Windows. Adjusted margin padding for separation clarity from main text, and also fixed issues to do with non-Realtime updating. Finally, the window can now be resized from the edges.

    2019-03-25: v1.31: Fixed WildGem window GUI issues for non-100% scaling modes in Windows.

    2019-03-18: v1.30: Regex queries beginning with .* or .+ (which equates to Wildgem syntax ✪ and ★↺ respectively) are now much, much faster to calculate due to the caret symbol that's automatically inserted to the start of the Regex expression. Also, input and output length, cursor position and number of lines are shown, and line margin numbers are now standard.

    2018-03-12: v1.25: Adjusted colour of inactive Find field when Regex entered. Added "Clear all" button. Fixed resolution issues.

    2017-09-20: v1.24: Clicking Find next now won't crash if there are no matches. Also, changing the query after a "Find next" retrieval will now automatically revert to showing all matches

    2016-02-17: v1.23: Added view End of Line mode (this makes it a lot clearer when doing fidgety queries that involve the end or start of a line). Also fixed bug involving replacing when lookahead/behind (e.g: Pos >>) is used in the query (replace didn't work before - it does now).

    2015-07-09: v1.22: Added load and save file buttons.

    2015-05-06: v1.21: Added "Isolate matches" option and rejigged UI.

    2015-05-06: v1.20: Lots of small additions which should polish it up:
  • Replacements are now also highlighted.
  • Options and window position are now saved upon exit.
  • Regex section is now multiline
  • All find/replace sections are resizable
  • Option for 'find only' mode, ignoring replace.
  • Lots of additions to the help section and tooltips
  • Tooltips now last 32 seconds instead of the short 5 second delay like before.
  • Added a few keyboard shortcuts for common functions
  • Added "Reset to defaults" button.
  • Other minor tweaks and fixes.

    2015-05-06: v1.10: Official version released! Main advantages over v1.00 beta version include allowing escape chars in find/replace fields, and faster, less glitchy editing.

  • WildGem is copyright Daniel White 2015 onwards. I can be emailed here