I have a search feature in an application and I want to add a replace feature, but I don't want to clutter the interface. Also, I only want to show the replace option after a user searches for something.


  • user enters keyword
  • user hits enter or magnifying glass button
  • results are displayed
  • a "replace with" option appears

What should I do to achieve this?

Here's how the search looks now:

  • Is the proposed 'replace' feature a one-click option that replaces all instances of a phrase or can the user move forward and back through the instances and choose which to replace and which to ignore? I just wonder what controls the UI must support.
    – Matt Obee
    Oct 3, 2014 at 14:41
  • "replace all with ..." would be enough at this point Oct 3, 2014 at 14:52
  • @Adrian Did you work this out yet? Seems like an interesting design challenge. Assuming the replacing will only be done to search results, the search results are key. Can you show what these look like?
    – dennislees
    Dec 2, 2014 at 16:31
  • I have an idea, but untested: use keywords in search field like "replace 'keyword' with 'keyword 2'". Needs a little education before using, but the interface remains light for those who don't use the feature. Dec 3, 2014 at 9:44
  • @BobbyTables is this question still current (and if not could you close it out?)
    – tohster
    Mar 10, 2015 at 5:22

2 Answers 2


I notice you have some icons underneath your search box. Why not add a link/icon there when a user enters the keyword? Then you are using the space already available and you won't need to add new things, so it still looks minimal and simple.


Introducing a new object rather having the element there for this context users might miss the functionality and might require memorability and learn ability to recognize and interact, Hence the easier of doing this would be when a user enters the word to search, introduce a new icon which represent "replace" next to search icon, this would enable the users to easily understand that both these interactions can be done for the keyword that has been entered.

Also you can even throw some history to easily achieve the task.

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