Library for manipulating text ranges and selections, and assorted other programs that use that

View the Project on GitHub dwachss/bililiteRange

bililiteRange search and replace

bililiteRange.find.js adds the ability to search for a regular expression in an element. Usage:

range.bounds(re: RegExp, flags: string);
range.bounds('find', s: string, flags: string);



will set the bounds of the range to the next match of /foo/ in the element, starting after the current bounds.

The program looks for a RegExp by duck typing it, so anything with source and flags fields will work:

range.bounds({source: 'foo$', flags: 'iV'})

uses the extended flags to match case-insensitive and “no magic”, meaning the $ is taken literally. This matches 'FOO$'.

The difference between the two forms is that the ('find', string, flags) form searches for the string literally. It creates a RegExp with all the special characters escaped (see ) and does new RegExp (string, flags).

The flags parameter is prepended to the re.flags to create the final RegExp that is sought. It’s there because bililiteRange allows for other flags than the standard. See below.

range.match is set to the results of exec on range.all() if the search is successful. If it is not, range.match is set to false (not undefined).


range.all('foo bar baz');
range.bounds(/foo/); // range.bounds() is [0,3], and range.match is {0: 'foo', index: 0, input: 'foo bar baz'}

range.bounds(/foo/); // range.bounds() is unchanged, [0,3]. range.match is false

range.all('A A B B').bounds(1); // range.bounds is [1,1], after the first 'A'
range.bounds(/a/i); // range.bounds is [2,3], the second 'A' (flags are respected).


The standard flags of imsuy are respected (though y, sticky, is treated differently). The g flag is ignored; the location of the search is determined by the bounds of the range.

Similar to vim, capital letters mean that the given flag is false. bounds(/foo/, 'I') means search that is not case-insensitive. For ordinary RegExps, there is no reason to explicitly put that in, but it is possible to change the default in bililightRange. A string with multiple letters is not an error; the last letter will be used. 'ImiM' means 'iM'.

Additional flags are defined:

range.all('A A B B').bounds(1); // range.bounds is [1,1], after the first 'A'
range.bounds(/a/, 'iw'); // range.bounds is [2.3], the second 'A'.
range.bounds(/a/, 'iw'); // range.bounds is [0.1], the first 'A'. We have wrapped around

range.bounds(3); // range.bounds() is [3,3], after the second 'A'
range.bounds(/a/, 'ib'); // range.bounds is [2,3], the second 'A'. We searched backward

default values for flags

For actual Javascript RegExp flags, the defaults are all false. bililiteRange creates options for some of them, and you would need to override them (with, for instance, 'VW') if necessary.

bililiteRange.createOption('dotall', {value: false}); //  note that the flag for this is 's'
bililiteRange.createOption('global', {value: false}); // this is only relevant for replace; find only finds one match
bililiteRange.createOption('ignorecase', {value: false});
bililiteRange.createOption('magic', {value: true}); // note that 'magic' defaults to true, and the flag is 'v'
bililiteRange.createOption('multiline', {value: false});
bililiteRange.createOption('unicode', {value: false});
bililiteRange.createOption('wrapscan', {value: true}); // Note that 'wrapscan' defaults to true

And those can of course be changed for a given element with = true. The flags that control the location of the search (b, r and y) do not have options; the default is always false.

The actual algorithm

Backward searching works by searching from the start of the search bounds, with a “global” search, and repeats until the search fails. The last successful match is returned.

Search bounds are limited by using global searches, with lastIndex set to the start of the search bounds, and a look ahead set to match the correct number of characters to force the end of the search to be before a given index. Kudus to Izzy Vivian Dupree for figuring that out. If the text is length characters long and the match has to end before index i, then /foo(?=[\s\S]{n})/, where n is length - i, will end at or before i. /foo(?=[\s\S]{n})(?![\s\S]{n+1})/ will end exactly at i.

Forward searches are limited to [range[1], range.length]. Forward sticky searches will only match if the match starts at range[1].

Backward searches are limited to [0, range[0]]. Backward sticky searches will only match if the match ends at range[0].

Restricted searches are limited to [range[0], range[1]], searching forward or backward as appropriate. Sticky restricted searches match only the start or the end of [range[0], range[1]], depending on whether the search is forward or backward.

Wrap-around searches are only relevant if restricted and sticky are not set. If the search fails, sets the search bounds to the entire text and searches again, forward or backward.


range.replace(search, replacement, flags = '') does the same as range.text( range.text().replace(search, replacement) ) but allows the use of the extended flags as above, and works correctly for ^ and $ (they match the start/end of the entire element, not just the text of the range. search can be a string, interpreted as for range.bounds('find', search, flags) and it can be anything that has a source and flags field, as for range.bounds(search) above.

Specifying the g flag will replace all occurences of search. Specifying the b flag does nothing except if the y flag is set; in that case it will only match the end of the range. The algorithm for searching for matches is as though the r flag were set; it only replaces text inside the range.

b without g just changes the last occurence of search.

bililiteRange.bounds extensions

bounds('to', separator: RegExp, outer = false)

Extends the end of the range up to but not including the following matching separator (forces wrapscan to be false), If nothing matches, then extends the range to the end of the element. If outer is true, then includes the separator.

range.all('123\n456').bounds('start').bounds('to', /\n/);  // range.text() is '123' (not including the '\n').

range.all('123\n456').bounds([4,5]).bounds('to', /\n/); // range.text() is '456'

range.all('123\n456').bounds('start').bounds('to', /\n/, true); // range.text() is '123\n'

separator is either a RegExp or a string (which is taken literally), or an array of two of those: the first is the starting delimiter and the second is the ending delimiter. That is used for things like parentheses. bounds('to') uses the second; bounds('from') uses the first.

Options for separators

If separator is the name of a bililiteRange option (i.e.[separator] exists), then that value is used as the separator. This is meant to be used like vi’s paragraph and section boundary searches.

Since I use Markdown so much, the defaults are:

bililiteRange.createOption ('word', {value: /\b/});
bililiteRange.createOption ('bigword', {value: /\s+/});
bililiteRange.createOption ('sentence', {value: /\n\n|\.\s/});
bililiteRange.createOption ('paragraph', {value: /\n\s*\n/});
bililiteRange.createOption ('section', {value: /\n(<hr\/?>|(-|\*|_){3,})\n/i});
bililiteRange.createOption ('()', {value: [/\(/, /\)/] });
bililiteRange.createOption ('[]', {value: [/\[/, /]/] });
bililiteRange.createOption ('{}', {value: [/\{/, /}/] });
bililiteRange.createOption ('"', {value: [/"/, /"/] });
bililiteRange.createOption ("'", {value: [/'/, /'/] });

range.bounds('selection').bounds('to', 'paragraph').bounds('endbounds').select(); // jump to end of current paragraph
range.bounds('selection').bounds('to', '()', true).bounds('endbounds').select(); // jump to just after the next closng parenthesis

Note that word uses /\b/, which is a zero-length separator, so outer is irrelevant, and repeatedly searching for it (as with `range.(‘to’, ‘word’, true).bounds(‘endbounds’)) will not move forward as it would with other separators.

bounds('from', separator: RegExp, outer = false)

Extends the beginning of the range back to the immediately preceding separator (forces backward to be true and wrapscan to be false). Does not include the separator itself unless outer is true. separator is the same as for bounds('to').

bounds('whole', separator: RegExp, outer)

Does range.bounds('union', 'from', separator).bounds('union', 'to', separator, outer). For single item separators, outer applies only to the final separator, not the initial one. So range.bounds('whole', 'word', true).text('') deletes the word but leaves the initial whitespace in place.

For two-item separators, outer applies to both ends. So range.bounds('whole', '"', true).text('') deletes the entire quote, including the surrounding double quotes.

range.bounds('selection').bounds('whole', 'section').select(); // select the entire current section