# Mass replace custom macros in a LaTeX document?

I'm typesetting a document and to make it more editable I'd like to find a nice way to write the document making custom commands left and right for my ease, then go and replace them with their non-custom definitions.

For instance, I have the following defined in a separate preamble file:

\newcommand{\mb}[1]{\mathbb{#1}}


that simply makes it easier when I'm using blackboard bold characters a bunch throughout the document. However, whoever might be editing the document later might have difficulty parsing the code (he's old, etc.) with my custom commands floating around everywhere. Is there a nice and easy way to go through my document and replace every

\mb{A}


with

\mathbb{A}


so I don't have to sift through hundreds of "replace" dialogues?

This would also help if I want to change the name of a command I've used in previous files.

\documentclass[12pt]{article}
\usepackage{amssymb}
\newcommand{\mb}[1]{\mathbb{#1}}
\begin{document}
\mb{R}
\end{document}


to

\documentclass[12pt]{article}
\usepackage{amssymb}
\newcommand{\mb}[1]{\mathbb{#1}}
\begin{document}
\mathbb{R}
\end{document}

-
This is a task for a good editor supporting regular expressions. I use UltraEdit, Emacs and Notepad++ which all support this. – Uwe Ziegenhagen Feb 18 '14 at 6:22
That would require learning about regular expressions. Texmaker is my native IDE and I don't know if it supports regular expressions (although I know I can just run them on a different editor). I can bite the bullet and just learn them, but if possible I'd rather just input strings into an existing structure for this task. – walkar Feb 18 '14 at 6:24
I'll check if Texmaker allows that. Thanks! To both you, and Uwe Ziegenhagen. – walkar Feb 18 '14 at 6:38
Texmaker can definitely do find and replace, look under the Edit menu. See also tex.stackexchange.com/questions/67709/… – Torbjørn T. Feb 18 '14 at 7:06
your human editors will thank you for this consideration. well, maybe they won't even know that you did it, but they surely won't curse you for not doing it. – barbara beeton Feb 18 '14 at 14:04

Globally replacing all instances of \mb{ with \mathbb{ should be feasible with just about every modern editor. No "regular" expressions involved in such an operation, as far as I can tell.