SharePoint: Wiki Search and Replace


Note: The following works in both SharePoint 2007 and 2010. Just be aware that the 2010 “Site Pages” library is also a wiki library!


Recently I was asked about how to do a search and replace on text in all of the articles in a wiki. As there is no built-in way to do this I wrote a simple web page to do this.

Note that the example below is trivial and:

  • Is presented as a learning exercise
  • Does not include a master page
  • Must be deployed to the Layouts folder of the web servers
  • Is case sensitive
  • Is over all not too flexible… but it is presented to get you started on your own nice looking page…
  • A wiki is a library (and a library is just a fancy list)
  • The content displayed in a wiki is stored in a column of the library named “WikiField” (creative huh!)
  • Accessing a list and updating data via the SharePoint API is pretty easy
What you could do to make this better:
  • Just about anything…  ;-)
  • Add support for “Ignore Case”
  • Add a checkbox list of what was found and let the user decide to replace or not
  • Add the application master page and make this look like SharePoint
  • Write it as a little Windows application that calls the SharePoint web services so nothing has to be deployed to the web servers

Here’s what the page looks like:

To create this you will need to create a web page (ASPX) and a code behind file and copy them to the LAYOUTS folder on the web front end servers. You will then access the page by going to the site with the wiki(s) and navigating to the new page:


What’s the <SharePoint:FormDigest runat="server" /> about? See here.

The ASPX page:  (WikiSearchReplace.aspx)

<%@ Page Language="C#" AutoEventWireup="true" CodeFile="WikiSearchReplace.aspx.cs"
  Inherits="WikiSearchReplace" %>

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transitional.dtd">
<%@ Register TagPrefix="SharePoint" Namespace="Microsoft.SharePoint.WebControls"
  Assembly="Microsoft.SharePoint, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=71e9bce111e9429c" %>
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
<head runat="server">
  <title>Untitled Page</title>
  <form id="form1" runat="server">
    <SharePoint:FormDigest runat="server" />
      Wiki Libraries:
      <asp:DropDownList ID="ddlWikis" runat="server">
      </asp:DropDownList><br />
      <br />
            Find what:</td>
            <asp:TextBox ID="txtFind" runat="server" /></td>
            Replace with:</td>
            <asp:TextBox ID="txtReplace" runat="server" /></td>
      <asp:Button ID="btnReplace" runat="server" Text="Replace" OnClick="btnReplace_Click" />
      <br />
      <asp:Label ID="lblResults" runat="server" />

and here’s the code behind: (WikiSearchReplace.aspx.cs)
using System;
using System.Web;
using Microsoft.SharePoint;

public partial class WikiSearchReplace : System.Web.UI.Page 
    protected void Page_Load(object sender, EventArgs e)
        // Get a list of all WIKIs in the site and add to the dropdown
        // WIKI = SPListTemplateType.WebPageLibrary
        if (!IsPostBack)
            SPWeb web = SPContext.Current.Web;
            foreach (SPList lst in web.Lists)
                if (lst.BaseTemplate == SPListTemplateType.WebPageLibrary)

    protected void btnReplace_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
        // Get the current site
        using (SPWeb web = SPContext.Current.Web)
            SPList list = web.Lists[ddlWikis.SelectedItem.ToString()];

            int articleCount = 0;
            int occurrenceCount = 0;
            string wikiText = "";

            foreach (SPListItem wikiItem in list.Items)
                wikiText = wikiItem["WikiField"].ToString();
                if (wikiText.Contains(txtFind.Text))

                    // a trick to get the word cound
                    int count = (wikiText.Length - wikiText.Replace(txtFind.Text, "").Length) / txtFind.Text.Length;
                    occurrenceCount += count;

                    wikiItem["WikiField"] = wikiText.Replace(txtFind.Text, txtReplace.Text);
            lblResults.Text = articleCount.ToString() + " articles updated, " + occurrenceCount.ToString() + " occurrences updated";

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