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I'm a little rusty in my sed and haven't used it much since moving to a Mac but I am aware there seems to be a difference with what sed is used on a Mac per Ubuntu after a few searches. What I am trying to do is replace the first part on an XML file with some new values. After refreshing my knowledge on sed I decided to use:

sed -e '1,/<\/value>/ s/.*/\<something\>lorem ipsum\<\/something\>\n\<again\>wednesday\<\/again\>\n/' $theFile

when I run the code it outputs <something>lorem ipsum</something>n<again>wednesday</again>n on all the lines from the 1st line up to where </value> ends.

So my question is what is the appropriate way to replace the contents of the file on its desired new line without duplicating it on every line?

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The sed is line-editor so it apply script to each line wich addressed. So you should collect lines which you'd like to exchange in one string with newline separator(s):

sed -e '1{:1;N;/<\/value>/b1;s/.*/\<something\>lorem.....\n/}' $theFile

Other way is to insert necessary text before block then remove the block:

sed -e '1i\\<something\>lorem.....\n' -e '1,/<\/value>/d' $theFile

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