I have XML files where I want to replace certain strings.

The replacement source is a CSV file that contains 2 columns

old       |           new
OldPart1  |  NewPartName1
OldPart2  |  NewPartName2
OldPart3  |  NewPartName3

I want to replace all occurances of old with new in the XML files. I guess it does not really matter if the files are XML or just text. The replacement strings don't collide with XML tag names.

  • Have you tried simple text editors such as Notepad and Notepad++?
    – ComFreek
    Aug 2, 2014 at 8:12
  • Yes, it did not find a method for mass replacements
    – juergen d
    Aug 2, 2014 at 10:07
  • In Notepad++ press Ctrl+H to open the search & replace dialog.
    – ComFreek
    Aug 2, 2014 at 10:24
  • I know. And where do I choose the CSV file to replace 1000 different strings one after each other?
    – juergen d
    Aug 2, 2014 at 10:25
  • I misunderstood you, sorry. I don't think there are any editors which support your special requirement. I've experimented a little bit with PowerShell (it's fun). Please see my answer.
    – ComFreek
    Aug 2, 2014 at 11:06

2 Answers 2


A little PowerShell magic.

Additional comments:

  • Your CSV file must not contain headers and must use ; as delimiters.
  • Your input and CSV file must both be encoded in UTF-8 or UTF-16. Other encodings can't be automatically guessed by PowerShell.
  • The script won't exit if you specify invalid filenames. Don't expect a nice error dialog to open :)
  Copied from: http://blogs.technet.com/b/heyscriptingguy/archive/2009/09/01/hey-scripting-guy-september-1.aspx
  Many thanks to the Scripting Guy :)
    - Added a title parameter and assigned it to $OpenFileDialog.title
    - Changed the function's name to Get-OpenFile
Function Get-OpenFile($initialDirectory, $title)
 [System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("System.windows.forms") |

 $OpenFileDialog = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.OpenFileDialog
 $OpenFileDialog.title = $title;
 $OpenFileDialog.initialDirectory = $initialDirectory
 $OpenFileDialog.filter = "All files (*.*)| *.*"
 $OpenFileDialog.ShowDialog() | Out-Null
} #end function Get-FileName

Function Get-SaveFile($initialDirectory, $title)
 [System.Reflection.Assembly]::LoadWithPartialName("System.windows.forms") |

 $OpenFileDialog = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.SaveFileDialog
 $OpenFileDialog.title = $title;
 $OpenFileDialog.initialDirectory = $initialDirectory
 $OpenFileDialog.filter = "All files (*.*)| *.*"
 $OpenFileDialog.ShowDialog() | Out-Null
} #end function Get-OpenFile

# $PSScriptRoot is only available for PowerShell >= 3
# Fallback needed
$scriptDir = $PSScriptRoot

$inputFile = Get-OpenFile -initialDirectory $scriptDir -title "Choose your input file"
$csvFile = Get-OpenFile -initialDirectory $scriptDir -title "Choose your CSV file"

$inputStr = [Io.File]::ReadAllText($inputFile);
$csvData = Import-Csv $csvFile -Header @("Needle", "Replacement") -Delimiter ';'

$csvData | % {
    $inputStr = $inputStr.Replace($_.needle, $_.replacement);

$outputFilename = Get-SaveFile -initialDirectory $scriptDir -title "Save your file"
$inputStr | Out-File -FilePath $outputFilename

Using python, (available on/for most platforms and free), and assuming that your xml file will fit in memory and that the separator is , with no space:

with open(r"XML/File/Name").read() as xml: 
    with open(r"Path/To/Output/File", "w") as outfile:
        for line in open(r"CSV/File/Name").readlines():
            (orig, replacement) = ','.split(line) # Change ',' to your separator
            xml.replace(orig, replacement)

I am sure that there are better/more generic ways to do this but it is late at the moment.

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