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Like most modern word processors, Illustrator contains a Find and Replace function. So, for example, in this document right here called find_replace, if I decided that I wanted to change all the word flowers to something else, say with peanuts, for example, I could simply go to the Edit menu, choose Find and Replace, choose to Find all instances of the word flowers, or the Tab key here, and change it to the word peanuts. I could choose here to match the case, so this way only lowercase, but uppercase F maybe won't get changed.
I could choose to find the whole word, Search Backwards, meaning search forward in text and also backward in text. I can also choose to Check Hidden layers or Locked layers, which can be very useful. Now I will choose Find, and I can either choose Replace, which will just only change this one instance; I can choose Replace & Find, meaning change this word flowers to peanuts and then find the next word flowers in my document; or I could choose Replace All at one fell swoop. However, there's a nice secret here hidden inside of this dialog box. It allows you to access certain text features that you can't find elsewhere inside of Illustrator.
I am actually going to go ahead now and wipe both of those clean. Let's get rid of the word peanuts and get rid of the word flowers, because after all, that's pretty silly. But what if I want to find something else? Let's say what I am looking for, or what I am trying to replace it with, is a special character. If you look over here to the far- right of the dialog box, I have a separate arrow, and if I click on it, I could choose to find bullet characters or caret characters or some of these special characters that I really can't find inside of Illustrator at all, for example, a hair space or a thin space.
There is no command inside of Illustrator to actually add those, but I can actually search through them here. You might ask yourself, well, if I can't add them to Illustrator, how will I ever find them inside of Illustrator? The answer to this is that I can actually search for basic characters. Like, for example, I could say find a space, just hit the spacebar right there, and go ahead and replace it with a hair space. So now when I do Find, it will find a space here, and I could choose to replace it right now by choosing the Replace button. And if I replace it now, this regular space has now become a thin space. And of course later on I could choose to find all thin spaces and change them to something else.
This is also a great way to add something called the discretionary hyphen to Illustrator. I could choose to search for a regular hyphen, but I could choose to replace that-- let me delete what I have here-- with a discretionary hyphen. A discretionary hyphen is a hyphen that only appears when it's necessary to break a word. So let's say, for example, I have the word flowers, and if required, I will allow it to go ahead and get hyphenated, but only after the letter W. Meaning I want the f-l-o-w to appear on one line, and there is exactly where I want the hyphen.
So I can add a discretionary hyphen just to that location. So if there's room on a line, the word flowers won't appear with a hyphen at all, but if it does get hyphenated, I am able to specify exactly where that hyphen should go. The way that I might do that is to simply come here and click Done, put a hyphen manually right here in this location, and then I would go ahead now and choose Edit > Find and Replace. I would search for a regular hyphen and have it changed to a discretionary hyphen. Now I will choose Find, and I'll see that Illustrator actually found another hyphen here in my text, and I'll keep finding the next one until it gets to the one that I want to work with, and now I'll choose to replace it.
So notice over here--let me click on the Done button-- that now there is a hyphen here. It's what we call a discretionary hyphen, and only in a situation where that word flowers might appear in an Area Type object, and the line that it's on is not long enough to display the entire word, it will go ahead and add a hyphen in this exact location. So Find and Replace is actually a really powerful command. It allows you not just to find and replace words throughout your entire document; it can even help you apply specialized characters throughout your document as well.
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