This issue came up twice in the past couple weeks thus triggering my rule that if something comes up more than once then others may be interested in it. So, here’s a little tip that may save you some frustration.
When using regular expressions with Xcode’s search, the docs mention that XCode uses the ICU library. Naturally, you’d think it would use ICU’s syntax for specifying backreferences in the replace string, which would be to use variables consisting of a dollar sign ($) followed by the number of the capture group being referenced.
Of course, if that were the case, I probably wouldn’t be writing this tip. Using $ for backreferences turns “Search & Replace” into “Search & Destroy”. The syntax is to use backslash (\) instead of dollar sign. In short, \1 instead of $1.
Type the following in an Xcode editor window: “$1 works in replace strings.”
Now perform the following search & replace:
Ok, maybe this example makes things more confusing. If in doubt, just remember: $ = bad, \ = good in Xcode Find panel.
As to why Xcode does not use the ICU syntax in the replace strings, beats me. If anyone has a simple explanation, send it my way though I also welcome apocryphal anecdotes and crackpot conspiracy theories (extra points if you can convincingly implicate the Trilateral Commission).