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The ability to search for text patterns immediately suggests new and powerful possibilities. I frequently do battle with client-supplied Word docs, textfiles, web pages texts, and even email texts. No matter what the source, the keystroking is almost always in a bad state, and needs either a lot of cleanup, or else a whole lot of cleanup!
That becomes a time-saver. This is an advanced, pattern-based search technique to search for and replace text and formatting. Now you can do more ambitious text cleanup and tagging operations than ever before.
The world of programming is foreign to me, the graphic artist. So getting my head around this hast been challenging. What I wonder is: Why aren't there already a bunch of pre-installed saved GREP queries for the average designer to use? Most of the time, we all want to do the same common text cleanup operations. Instead, there are pre-installed just a few saved GREP queries to get you started, and to whet your appetite for going deeper.
Here are a few things I have tried and saved as reusable queries. If you have made something clever, send it to me at This email address is being protected from spambots.
You choose the Paragraph Style and the case to change it to. Ideally, you search full caps with this regular expression and replace them with OpenType All Caps. Any other way will need handwork or a script. Note: This finds 2 or more uppercase letters.
If the Replace field is empty and it has formatting, it applies the formatting to the found text. Only if there is also no formatting, it replaces with nothing. They are separated, perhaps, by a Tab character.
The Replace positions the second found subexpression first, followed by an End Nested Style Here metacharacter, a spacebar space, and the first found subexpression last. Along with the applied paragraph style that calls for a nested character style of bold, you have the reversed names where the Last name appears in bold. Note: This finds the quotes but leaves them out since it only changes to found group 2; not 1 and 3.
The square brackets group the codes together. The sign is outside the group to appear only once. The group is then repeated for the rest of the address. Note: This finds 3 digits, then three digits, then four digits after the hyphen. Replace can use periods, parentheses, or hyphens, as you wish.
Note: The list of alternative words must be separated by the vertical bar, and each alternative is replaced with the replace term. GREP is case sensitive by default; so to replace case-insensitively, add? Not documented in the Wildcards flyout is that the uppercase version of the wildcards negates them. This uses Text; not GREP, and is good because character styles control better than direct formatting. Note: Have pre-built character styles for bold, italic, and bold italic.
Notes: To see the translation, click the Create tab after entering a regular expression. If you have other immediately useful GREP searches, let me know.
Don't forget to click the little diskette symbol in order to save any GREP queries. These become small. Their locations are listed below:.
Bear in mind that since they are saved. This email address is being protected from spambots. Home Help Now! Subscribe to our email newsletter? Testimonials Debra Healy. I hope to take more classes with you in the future.
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Many of the additional codes are for obscure text situations; many for asian and middle eastern language typesetting situations, too. Some of the more interesting codes allow you to search for all spaces, or just some kinds of spaces; all punctuation, or just some kinds of punctuation. There is a second page in my downloadable handout that gives explicit examples of GREP search scenarios, along with notes on how to set it up to accomplish your typesetting goals. So download it and enjoy the learning. Get yourself warmed-up to this new feature of InDesign. We use this handout in our Washington DC-area training classrooms all the time! Home Help Now!
The list here contains some publications and sites that are useful resources for GREP and scripting. Nevertheless, their content is basically still valid since the principles of scripting InDesign haven't changed. Fellenz's book is up to date. My own beginner's guide will appear in a new edition in November Available in print and as an EPub now in a 2nd edn see the title's dedicated site.
InDesign CS4/CS5/CS5.5 GREP