Victoria 3 – How to Move Provinces Between States (In Large Amounts Quickly)

Moving provinces around without knowing what you are doing is incredibly tedious, especially when you get to areas with hundreds of provinces per state. This guide uses GIMP and regex in order to turn what would usually take forever into a process that takes less than a minute once setup.

Guide to Move Provinces Between States


This only covers province ownership, not the map_data, however province ownerships can be copied over to map_data easily afterwards.

Used software: GIMP, Notepad++

First we need to get a list of provinces

  • Step 1: Open up the province map in GIMP.
  • Step 2: Create a new file (File > New > Ok).
  • Step 3: Select all provinces in the province map that you want to move to a different state.
  • Step 4: Copy and paste them to the new file.
  • Step 5: Create an index of the colors (Colors > Mode > Indexed..).
  • Step 6: Set max number of colors to 255 (you can only use up to 255 with this method due to this), then hit convert.
  • Step 7: Open up “Palettes” (Windows > Dockable > Palettes).
  • Step 8: Export the colormap to a text file (Right click the earlier made index [named something like “colormap of xyz”] > Export as > Text File…).

Now you have a text file listing all of your selected provinces.

Now we need to get these into the correct format.

  • Step 1: Change them all to uppercase (Select all > Right click > Uppercase).
  • Step 2: Replace all # with x (Ctrl+F > Replace > type in # into “Find what” and x into “Replace with” > Replace All).

Now we are gonna use this list to remove all references to these provinces, and then put them in the state we want them in. We are gonna do this by setting up a regex.

Spacing is important for this, so spaces are being written as “-” to be easier to read, but should be a ” ” (a space character) when actually followed.

  • Step 1: Add ors at the end of every entry (Ctrl+A > Ctrl+F > Replace > Check “Extended” > Replace All “\n” with “-|”).
  • Step 2: Go to your states file (00_states.txt).
  • Step 3: Replace the list with nothing. (Copy-paste the list into “Find what”, make sure “Replace with” is blank, make sure that “Regular Expression is checked”, and then hit “Replace All).

Congrats, now all of the provinces on the list are no loner owned in the states.

Now we just need to get rid of the “|”s and we can use this as our list of provinces to add.

  • Step 1: Delete every “|” (Ctrl + A > Ctrl + F > Replace > Replace “|” with nothing)

Now we have a list of provinces that you can copy and past into their new state.

This reduces what would usually take forever per state to about 30 seconds once you get it setup.

Egor Opleuha
About Egor Opleuha 6992 Articles
Egor Opleuha, also known as Juzzzie, is the Editor-in-Chief of Gameplay Tips. He is a writer with more than 12 years of experience in writing and editing online content. His favorite game was and still is the third part of the legendary Heroes of Might and Magic saga. He prefers to spend all his free time playing retro games and new indie games.

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