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Find/Change tips

From: Creating Long Documents with InDesign

Video: Find/Change tips

When it comes to cleaning up problems with text, Find/Change is your most powerful tool in InDesign, but if you get manuscript files from an author with lots of problems, like extra spaces and tabs and returns and the like, it's going to take more than one find-change to fix them all. In fact, it's going to take several. Fortunately, InDesign ships with a script that does just that. It can run multiple find-change operations one right after the other, and it is called FindChangeByList. You can find it in your Scripts panel, in the Samples folder. So I'll open the Scripts panel, and here in my Samples, inside JavaScript, I have FindChangeByList. And there's also a folder right underneath it called FindChangeSupport, and inside that there's a text file.

Find/Change tips

When it comes to cleaning up problems with text, Find/Change is your most powerful tool in InDesign, but if you get manuscript files from an author with lots of problems, like extra spaces and tabs and returns and the like, it's going to take more than one find-change to fix them all. In fact, it's going to take several. Fortunately, InDesign ships with a script that does just that. It can run multiple find-change operations one right after the other, and it is called FindChangeByList. You can find it in your Scripts panel, in the Samples folder. So I'll open the Scripts panel, and here in my Samples, inside JavaScript, I have FindChangeByList. And there's also a folder right underneath it called FindChangeSupport, and inside that there's a text file.

Let's right-click on that text file and choose Reveal in Finder or Reveal in Explorer and then double-click to open it. Now this text file controls what is found and what is changed when you run the FindChangeByList script. And if you're not used to looking at computer code, this might seem a little overwhelming at first, but the good news is most of what you're looking at is actually instructions for how to use FindChangeByList. All the lines here that begin with two slashes, these are just comments or instructions that tell you how to use this.

It's only when you come down here to this line about grep that the actual computer code begins. And we can go through this and figure out what it's saying. So it's going to use a grep query, it's going to find what? Find a space, one or more times, and it's going to change it to a single space. And then we have options. So includeFootnotes, yes; includeMasterPages, yes; Hiddenlayers, yes; wholeWords, no, and so on. And there's a string of queries like this.

So for cleaning up multiple returns, multiple tabs, replacing dashes with an en dash, and so forth. And you can add your own queries by copying one of these and changing it to suit your needs, to build up a whole list of text processing that you want to occur at once. Now let's see this all in action. I'll go back to InDesign, I'll double-click on the script, and there. It removed all the defects in the text, so all those extra spaces and tabs and so forth are gone.

FindChangeByList is definitely cool, but if you want to take your find changes to an even higher level of automation, check out a third-party tool called Multi-Find/Change by Automatication. It's a scripted plug-in that allows you to create, save, share, and run sets of find-change operations. So you can string together a whole series of transformations and run them all with a single click. Once it's installed, you can open Multi-Find/Change by choosing Window > Multi-Find/Change, and in the panel on the right side, I have lists of all my saved queries in InDesign.

So I have Text queries, GREP queries, Glyph queries, and Object queries. And on the left side, I can organize these queries into query sets. So I'll click here to create a new set, and I'll drag over some GREP queries to build a set. So I'll make dashes into en dashes, I'll remove extra tabs. I'll convert multiple spaces to single spaces and multiple returns to single returns. And I'll also remove trailing whitespace. And I'll select the set, and click Change All, and it goes through the document and makes all those replacements at once.

Really nice! Now let's talk about some other Find/Change tricks. What if you need to change some of the attributes of all the frames in a linked story? Well, there is a Find/Change trick that makes this really easy. You just put your cursor in one of the text frames of the story and bring up the Find dialog box by pressing Command+F or Ctrl+F and go to the Object tab. Now I can select Find Object Format and Change Object Format and that will apply to all the frames in the story. So I can click in Change Object Format and I can change the fill.

Say I wanted to put a black Fill with a light tint of 10% in all the story frames. I'll click OK and click Change All, and now all the frames in this story have that background tint. You can also use Find/Change to delete text. For example, if you wanted to delete all the headings in a particular paragraph style, you can do that with Find/Change. In this example, I'd like to get rid of these chapter headings, so Chapter one and Chapter Two. First, I'll make sure they're all styled with the right paragraph style, which should be Chapter Number and Chapter Number.

And then I'll bring up Find/Change. I'll click on the Text tab, I'll say Find Format > Paragraph Style > Chapter Number, and click OK. And I'll leave Change to blank and Change Format blank and then click Change All. And all those chapter numbers have been deleted. So it's really easy to delete with Find/Change. When you're working with long documents, Find/Change is one of your best friends. It's so powerful it's almost like its own little mini-program running inside InDesign.

So when you have changes that seem difficult or time consuming, the first thing to try is Find/Change.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Creating Long Documents with InDesign
Creating Long Documents with InDesign

59 video lessons · 15294 viewers

Mike Rankin
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 10m 48s
    1. Welcome
      54s
    2. Using the exercise files and scripts
      1m 51s
    3. Long-document workflow overview
      4m 20s
    4. Analyzing the planned output
      3m 43s
  2. 34m 7s
    1. Using master pages
      9m 34s
    2. Using layers
      7m 23s
    3. Using text variables
      6m 42s
    4. Using section markers
      5m 44s
    5. Synchronizing text
      4m 44s
  3. 26m 16s
    1. Using InDesign templates
      7m 10s
    2. Setting up preferences
      3m 27s
    3. Using Word templates
      5m 50s
    4. InCopy workflows
      5m 17s
    5. Creating a production manual
      4m 32s
  4. 40m 2s
    1. Using Based On styles
      6m 14s
    2. Using nested styles
      5m 56s
    3. Using Next Style
      3m 39s
    4. Using GREP styles
      6m 17s
    5. Using object styles
      2m 48s
    6. Using table and cell styles
      5m 8s
    7. Using swatches
      5m 33s
    8. Using Quick Apply
      4m 27s
  5. 37m 57s
    1. Placing text
      4m 57s
    2. Placing images
      3m 41s
    3. Creating metadata captions
      4m 3s
    4. Using Mini Bridge
      4m 38s
    5. Using libraries and snippets
      6m 4s
    6. Using GREP Find/Change
      5m 5s
    7. Find/Change tips
      5m 21s
    8. Using Layout Adjustment
      4m 8s
  6. 15m 53s
    1. Using Notes
      4m 7s
    2. Tracking changes
      4m 36s
    3. Using CS Review
      7m 10s
  7. 34m 43s
    1. Creating tables of contents
      7m 9s
    2. Alternative uses for the TOC feature
      4m 9s
    3. Creating cross-references
      6m 8s
    4. Creating footnotes
      6m 31s
    5. Importing footnotes
      6m 47s
    6. Creating endnotes
      3m 59s
  8. 33m 50s
    1. Scoping out the index
      2m 19s
    2. Creating index topics and references
      9m 29s
    3. Creating index cross-references
      3m 1s
    4. Creating index references with Find/Change
      3m 31s
    5. Generating an index
      3m 35s
    6. Preserving formatting in an index
      5m 13s
    7. Using third-party indexing tools
      6m 42s
  9. 26m 44s
    1. Using InDesign book files
      4m 37s
    2. Numbering book documents
      5m 46s
    3. Synchronizing book documents
      7m 5s
    4. Preflighting book documents
      3m 49s
    5. Outputting book documents
      5m 27s
  10. 12m 54s
    1. Using conditional text
      5m 1s
    2. Using Smart Text Reflow
      4m 3s
    3. Using object styles for customization
      3m 50s
  11. 25m 17s
    1. Preflighting documents
      6m 56s
    2. Exporting to print PDF
      5m 26s
    3. Exporting to interactive PDF
      5m 36s
    4. Archiving a project
      7m 19s
  12. 48s
    1. Goodbye
      48s

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