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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.
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