Turn ASCII list of text URLs into HTML list of hyperlinks (with Regex and Notepad++)

I have a plain-text (ASCII) list of URLs, with each URL on a new line, and I need to turn it to a HTML list (<ul>) of actual anchor links (<a>).

For example, I start with:

https://www.site1.com/
https://www.site2.com/
https://www.site3.com/
https://www.siten.com/

And want to end up with:

<ul>
<li><a href="https://www.site1.com/">https://www.site1.com/</a></li>
<li><a href="https://www.site2.com/">https://www.site2.com/</a></li>
<li><a href="https://www.site3.com/">https://www.site3.com/</a></li>
<li><a href="https://www.siten.com/">https://www.siten.com/</a></li>
</ul>

In Notepad++ It’s trivial.

  • Paste your list of links into a new document.
  • Open the “Find” dialogue (Ctrl+F).
  • In the “Search Mode” options select “Regular expression”.
  • For “Find what” enter: ^(.+)$
  • For “Replace with” enter: <li><a href=”\1″>\1</a></li>
  • Select “Replace All”.
  • Then you just have to add the “<ul>” and “</ul>” on the first and last lines (respectively).

That’s it.

And here it is with images:


Image 1: The ASCII list of links.


Image 2: A clearer view of the FInd/Replace interface.


Image 3: The result of “Replace All”.

Don’t forget to add the “<ul>” and “</ul>” on the first and last lines.

(Update – 5 minutes later): I just noticed I can set the transparency of the Find/Replace dialogue, so didn’t need the second image. Oh well…)

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