I have a pretty good memory and I’m generally well organized, but I now have to admit that my brain gets overloaded at times with work, family, and life in general. When the overload occurs, sometimes I cannot remember where to find a Tableau technique that I have either created, seen, or used in the distant past. When this happens, I pull out a secret weapon to solve the mystery for me. It always works and really helps to get me out of a jam.
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The Secret Weapon is Called Wildfile
My secret weapon is not called “Google”. It is also not called the “Internet”. It has a better name than either of these. It is called “Wildfile”. No, it is not called “Wild Life, or Wild Thing”. It is “Wild File”. The funny thing is, when I go to use “Wildfile”, my brain immediately starts firing either Sam Kinison’s version of “Wild Thing” or the original masterpiece from the Troggs. The Kinison version is recalled in my brain because I had the good fortune of seeing him perform this song live just before he died in 1992. The man was a master of comedy and I wish I could scream like he did!
Now back to the purpose of the post. I have been using Vedit (www.vedit.com) for too many years to admit. Vedit comes packaged with a macro that is called “Wildfile”. What “Wildfile” does is that it allows you to search through files you have so that you can find information that you know exists but cannot remember where you put it. “Wildfile” will search through whatever files you want, even sweeping through your subdirectories and it returns to you the lines in the file that it found the term(s) you were looking for. You can use pattern matching or regular expressions to perform search and replace operations if you are so inclined. Today I needed to use “Wildfile” to find a special Tableau parameter technique that I used last year but I couldn’t remember which *.twb file the technique was in. After spending many unsuccessful minutes manually searching through my directories, “Wildfile” allowed me to find what I was looking for in a few seconds. If you want to see how it works, watch the video below. If you ever need to do a search and replace across a wide array of files, consider getting Vedit and using “Wildfile” as it will get the job done for you and save you huge amounts of time.