Quickly removing date/time stamps from a text file using find and replace (Gedit, Fedora)

I have been writing a lot recently about little obstacles I have come across while helping the Church of England move content from their old sites to their new ones. Making a list of all the content to be moved is often the first job, but many of the older/proprietary platforms don’t have the ability to export a list of posts or pages as a .csv for example. Usually copy pasting a list of the files from the back end of the sites is the only option, but then I need to strip out all the junk that copies over with it: edit and delete buttons for example.

Today I needed to remove a lot of date/time stamps, and found the quickest way to do this was once more a regex find and replace in a text editor (Gedit). I had already removed various words from the text, such as “Edit” and “Delete”.

I used:

[0-9][0-9][0-9][0-9]-[0-9][0-9]-[0-9][0-9] [0-9][0-9]:[0-9][0-9]:[0-9][0-9]

Which basically means any number from 09 in the time stamp format used. Here is an example:

2013-03-16 10:00:00

All removed just fine. I then used a different regex to remove all the double line breaks.

Here is another example with a different date format:

Here the Regex was:


And the dates were:


2 thoughts on “Quickly removing date/time stamps from a text file using find and replace (Gedit, Fedora)

  1. Thanks for this – I’ve been trying to remove the time stamps from a chess game, in one go, without success. First 5 moves:
    1. e4 {[%clk 00:05:00]} Nc6 {[%clk 00:05:00]}
    2. d4 {[%clk 00:05:02]} e5 {[%clk 00:04:56]}
    3. d5 {[%clk 00:05:05]} Nd4 {[%clk 00:04:59]}
    4. Be3 {[%clk 00:04:54]} c5 {[%clk 00:04:59]}
    5. c3 {[%clk 00:04:51]} Qa5 {[%clk 00:05:00]}
    The hope is to create a pgn file, I did succeed with that but only by using a long-winded and tedious method of find and replace using Gedit.

  2. I could kiss you, I am here four years later, but this works in Microsoft Word as well – you have saved me HOURS of work on transcripts I need to process. Many thanks!!

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