How to make massive changes on your map fast (ex: replace model used by many entities)

A tip that some don’t know: you can use a text editor, to edit your vmf file…

Let’s make an example: you have to replace the model used by a lot of entities.
The actual model is Mymodel/oldModel.mdl
The new one will be MyModel/Newmodel.mdl


  • Just open your vmf with wordpad or notepadd++ for example
  • Use “replace”.
  • In the “find” section, type: “model” “Mymodel/oldModel.mdl”
  • In “replace with” section, type: “model” “MyModel/Newmodel.mdl”
  • Click “replace all” aaaand it’s done!

This can be useful for other things like:

  • creating a visGroup, and add a lot of entities in it, to easily filter them…
  • change properties of alot of entities fast.

If you decide to learn how to use notepad++, specifically regular expressions for search and replace, and you care about use a logical nomenclature for your entities, you can make your work really, really faster…

With some learning of the vmf structure, you can create some coding to create cool brushes or displacements, allowing you a lot more imagination. Procedural generated mapping can help alot to map faster :wink:

If you want to save a massive amount of time I’d suggest checking out Entity Report in Hammer. Seen in Map -> Entity Report in the toolbar. Using and abusing Ctrl + H to hide everything but the items you selected in Hammer is very useful too or pressing H to hide the selected items. U to show everything again.

That’s the basics yeah :wink:

But it happened to me to change color of multiple lights, and use the entity report don’t help that much to do it fast.

Also the Visgroups generated by hammer are shit for lights (they are placed in point entities too…), so using the text editing trick allow you to regroup them in a manual Visgroup specially for them, for abusing quick hide.