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To replace every instance of `foo' after point with `bar', use the command M-x replace-string with the two arguments `foo' and `bar'. Replacement happens only in the text after point, so if you want to cover the whole buffer you must go to the beginning first. All occurrences up to the end of the buffer are replaced; to limit replacement to part of the buffer, narrow to that part of the buffer before doing the replacement (see section AC.22 Narrowing). In Transient Mark mode, when the region is active, replacement is limited to the region (see section H.2 Transient Mark Mode).
replace-string exits, it leaves point at the last
occurrence replaced. It sets the mark to the prior position of point
replace-string command was issued); use C-u
C-SPC to move back there.
A numeric argument restricts replacement to matches that are surrounded by word boundaries. The argument's value doesn't matter.