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Replace Text Across Multiple Files with Laravel

Laravel is renowned for its elegant syntax and features that enhance productivity and efficiency in web development projects. One of the many utilities Laravel offers is Artisan, a built-in command-line interface that simplifies many common tasks. In this guide, we'll explore how to extend Artisan's capabilities by creating a custom command to replace text across multiple files within a Laravel project. This can be incredibly useful for tasks like updating configuration settings, renaming classes or functions, or batch updating text in view files.

Creating the Custom Command

Laravel makes it straightforward to generate new Artisan commands. To create our ReplaceTextInFiles command, we run the following Artisan command:

php artisan make:command ReplaceTextInFiles

This command generates a new command class in the app/Console/Commands directory. Open the generated file, and you'll see a basic command structure that we can customize to fit our needs.

Implementing the Command Logic

Our command needs to accomplish three main tasks: locating files, identifying the text to replace, and writing the changes. Here's how we can implement this:

  1. Specify the Command Signature and Description: At the top of the command file, define the command's signature and a short description. The signature includes the command name and any arguments or options.

  2. Configure Arguments and Options: Use the $signature property to define any required arguments or options for the command. For example, we might need arguments for the target directory, the search text, and the replacement text.

  3. Implement the Handle Method: The handle() method is where we write our command's logic. Use Laravel's File facade to scan the specified directory for files, read their contents, and replace the text where needed.

Here's a simplified version of what the ReplaceTextInFiles command might look like:


namespace App\Console\Commands;

use Illuminate\Console\Command;
use Illuminate\Support\Facades\File;

class ReplaceTextInFiles extends Command
    protected $signature = 'replace:text {directory} {search} {replace}';
    protected $description = 'Replace text across multiple files within a specified directory.';

    public function handle()
        $directory = $this->argument('directory');
        $search = $this->argument('search');
        $replace = $this->argument('replace');
        $files = File::allFiles($directory);

        foreach ($files as $file) {
            $content = File::get($file);
            if (str_contains($content, $search)) {
                $newContent = str_replace($search, $replace, $content);
                File::put($file, $newContent);
                $this->info("Replaced in file: {$file->getRelativePathname()}");

        $this->info('Text replacement complete.');

Using the Command

After adding our command, we can use it by running:

php artisan replace:text {directory} {search} {replace}

This command iterates over each file in the specified directory, checks for the presence of the search text, and replaces it with the replacement text if found, logging each file change as it goes.


By leveraging Laravel's extensible Artisan console, we can create powerful custom commands to automate repetitive tasks, such as replacing text across multiple files. Enjoy 😉

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