I have a LaTeX-document where I have lines of the form


or in general


for x between 1 and 31 and y between 1 and 12 inclusively, (dates). I would like to change those lines to the form


Is there some easy script to do that?

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You can use sed, match the before and after parts of the line and put a . in the middle. The command s/REGEXP/REPLACEMENT/ performs a regular expression replacement. \(…\) delimits a group; \1 and \2 in the replacement text refer to these groups.

sed <original.tex >replaced.tex \
    -e 's/^\(\\section\\*{[0-9]*\.[0-9]*\)\(}\)$/\1.\2/' \
    -e 's/^\(\\addcontentsline{toc}{section}{[0-9]*\.[0-9]*\)\(}\)$/\1.\2/'

Another way to use sed is to replace the last } by .} if the line matches the desired pattern:

sed <original.tex >replaced.tex \
    -e '/^\\section\\*{[0-9]*\.[0-9]*}\)$/ s/}$/.&/' \
    -e '/^\\addcontentsline{toc}{section}{[0-9]*\.[0-9]*}/ s/}$/.&/'

You can also use \| to combine two patterns but in this case I think it makes the code shorter but less clear.

If you want to replace the file in place, under Linux, you can use

sed -i -e … somefile.tex
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