>I would like to replace all occurrences of text
>between a colon and vertical line with just just a vertical line..
This is not an exact answer to your question, but might do what you have in mind.
Provided your search string is in a single line, you can do a simple
pattern search / replace:
search: ;|*| (i.e., everything between ";" and "|"
This will result in ";||"; if the intended result is ";|" simply leave
out one of the "|" (btw, the first "|" in the replacement string is
the pattern matching code for "|", cf. the help file s.v. pattern
If your search string is not in a single line, have you
considered a simple macro solution?