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I'm running Gnucash 3.8b+(2019-12-29). If there's a way to change a transaction description throughout an account, I can't find it. The internet isn't yielding up any interesting suggestions, either. Is there a way to do it?

  • What do you mean by "throughout the account"? Do you mean you have a list of identical transactions, and you're trying to change the description of all of them? – glibdud May 24 at 16:27
  • @glibdud: Yes. This account has a long history of transactions with a description of "ABC Inc.", and I want to change them all at once to say "DEF Inc.". – Tony May 24 at 16:43
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By default, GnuCash maintains your data in XML format, and stores it as a compressed file with a .gnucash suffix. You can get your data into editable form by just uncompressing it first.

I'd suggest:

  1. Make sure that you have a good backup of your data file : MyDataFile.gnucash.
  2. Copy your data file and give it a .gz suffix : MyDataFile.gz.
  3. Use a suitable compression utility to uncompress your data file : MyDataFile
  4. Use a suitable text editor to edit only those lines of the data file that you absolutely need to. In your case you can use a global find/replace to change ABC Inc to DEF Inc throughout the file.
  5. Save the edited XML file with no filename extension : MyDataFile.
  6. Open GnuCash, and use the File/Open menu to open your modified datafile. GnuCash will quite happily open the uncompressed file.
  7. Use File/Save As to ensure that your edited data file gets stored "normally" (compressed, and with a .gnucash filename extension).

Please note that directly editing the XML file is not officially encouraged - but it should work if you are careful. Keep a backup!

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