Can you programmatically delete text in the editor window?

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I have a tool that edits files directly in the editor window (see below). It relies on the JavaEditor to overwrite text, which is no longer supported in R2021b+. There are other ways to edit files and make the final results appear in the editor, but I thought this method of live editing (without saving to file first) was very neat and I would like to retain it.
Is there any other way to overwrite or delete text directly in the editor window? I can add text using "insertTextAtPositionInLine", but cannot figure out how to remove any. Thanks!
% /`````````````\
% ( Countdown: 00 ) <-- Press F5 to run this function and watch the number count down from 10 to 0
% \_____________/
function AutoType( fName, iRow, ijCol, newTxt )
%% Test Case
if nargin==0
for n=10:-1:0
AutoType( mfilename(), 2, [16 18], sprintf('%02d',n) );
%% Replace Text
matlab.desktop.editor.openDocument( which(fName) );
activeFile = matlab.desktop.editor.getActive;
activeFile.Selection = [ iRow ijCol(1) iRow ijCol(2) ];
activeFile.JavaEditor.insertTextAtCaret(newTxt); % <---No longer works in R2021b+
% activeFile.insertTextAtPositionInLine( newTxt, iRow, ijCol(1) ) % <---Adds but doesn't overwrite!
activeFile.Selection = [ iRow ijCol(1) iRow ijCol(1)+numel(newTxt) ];
  2 Kommentare
Matthew Pepich
Matthew Pepich am 4 Aug. 2022
@Rik It is for a directory find-replace tool that takes in a list of words and corresponding replacements. Somewhat like the MATLAB "Find Files" utility, but a step further. It shows the hits in a GUI, and the user can click on the row in the table to automatically open the document and make the edit. This method allows modifying the replacement slightly (like its tense or alignment with surrounding text), or adjusting surrounding words, before making it official.
There are definitely other ways to have designed this. But honestly, I just wanted an excuse to build this into a tool because I thought it was pretty cool. I'm not upset the functionality went away (I knew it was undocumented code), I'm just curious if there are any new alternatives to replace the removed functionality.

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Akzeptierte Antwort

Yair Altman
Yair Altman am 9 Aug. 2022
You can simply update the activeFile.Text property based on your code logic. For example:
activeFile.Text = [activeFile.Text(1:pos1-1) replacementText activeFile.Text(pos2+1:end)];
activeFile.Text(pos1:pos2) = replacementText; %equivalent alternative
activeFile.Text = strrep(activeFile.Text, textToReplace, selectedText);
  1 Kommentar
Matthew Pepich
Matthew Pepich am 9 Aug. 2022
Bearbeitet: Matthew Pepich am 9 Aug. 2022
This works, thanks! I can't believe I didn't know the "Text" property could be edited; I remember trying this with "SelectedText" and it was read-only, so I probably assumed the other text properties were too without checking. I appreciate the help, Yair!
Here are the lines I added for anyone else interested. The extra code is to handle "Text" being a 1xN array and not divided into lines. Also note this clears your Undo history, unlike the JavaEditor version.
iRowOffsets = [0, find( activeFile.Text==newline() )];
iReplace = iRowOffsets(iRow) + (ijCol(1):ijCol(2)-1);
activeFile.Text(iReplace) = newTxt;
EDIT: Actually it seems my Undo history is only lost in R2022a. It is retained in R2021a. The code also runs ~5x faster in R2021a than R2022a. Perhaps the method in which the text replacement occurs is different in versions with Java than in those without? If anyone knows, feel free to comment, but I don't think it is worth making a new question over.

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