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With its ability to find and replace character patterns in documents, GREP helps designers and editors work quickly and efficiently. Over the course of InDesign: 10 Things to Know About GREP, David Blatner demonstrates how to use GREP codes to improve workflow. He teaches GREP search techniques using patterns of numbers or letters or strings of words. David even shows how to use text patterns within a document. Exercise files accompany the course.
What if you want some of your text to be visible, some of the time and then sometimes you want it hidden? Well, InDesign CS4 has a cool feature called Conditional Text. And you can find that in the Conditional Text panel by going to the Window menu choose Type & Tables and then choose Conditional Text. I am going to create a new condition in here by clicking on a New Condition button. And then I'll just name this condition which speech. How about that? Click OK and it shows up here. And I could apply that condition to each one of these pieces of text, by selecting it and then clicking on it and then going to the next line and next line but that would be really, really, really tiresome.
Instead, I want to apply it quickly and the best way to do this is with a Find/Change. But because some of these are First Inaugural and some are Second Inaugural and some have no First or Second before them. The only good way for me to do that is with a GREP expression. So what I'll do is I'll open the Find /Change dialog box with Command+F or Ctrl+F on Windows. Let's bring this up a little bit. And I'm going to make sure I'm in the GREP tab and I'm going to look for one or the other thing. Let's say it might start with First, it might start with Second, I don't really know. It might just start with Inau. So I'll just start with any of those. It's going to start with one of those and then it's going to be one or more characters.
Let's say the period and then plus. One or more characters and it's going to always end with the word Address. So why don't I just say ress in here? That will probably grab it. In fact, I'm also going to grab the comma afterward. And all of those things First, Second, or Inaugural Address followed by a comma I want to have a condition applied to it. So I can do that down here in the Change Format field. I'll just click anywhere down in that field. Switch over to the Conditions pane and then turn on which speech. So which speech condition will be applied to anything that matches that. Let's try it out. Click Change All. Went to the document almost instantaneously. Click Done and we can see that all of these now have little blue underlines. It's blue because that's the color of this particular condition. All right. So now it's visible, but to make it invisible all we have to do is Turn Off the Condition and they all disappear. All right.
Let's try another cool trick for how to make text disappear that doesn't involve Conditional text. In this case, I'm going to go through and look for all the words that say Saturday and I'm going to abbreviate them Sat. I don't know if I would really want to do this particular thing to this document. But let's say that's what my art director told me to do, so I'm just following directions. Saturday should be Sat. I'm not going to truly get rid of the urday, but I want to hide it. I could do it with Conditions, but I'm going to show a different kind of fun little trick that you might be able to use for this sort of thing or any other time that you want text to disappear.
I am going to do this with GREP Styles. So in the future, if I ever type Saturday it will automatically update and abbreviate. And I'll do that by double-clicking on List of dates. All of these have the List of dates, Paragraph Style applied to it. And I'm going to add a GREP Style to it. And the GREP Style is going to simply look for that text, the urday. So I'll type that in urday. But it's only going to find it if it's after the Sat. So I better put a Match, Positively Lookbehind Sat, something like that. Okay, Saturday but it's going to find the urday. So what do I want to do with that. I want to make it disappear. So I better make a Character Style that makes text disappear. I'm going to call this the disappear Character Style and here is how I make text disappear in InDesign. I'm going to set the Size of this text to 1. Really tiny. All right. I'm going to go to the Advanced Character Format and I'm going set the Horizontal Scale to 1%. So really tiny and very, very, very narrow. It's almost completely gone now. But there is one more thing I would like to do and that is set the Character Color to None. It will fill it with none. And something that's filled with none, you simply cannot see it at all. That is going to make it completely disappear.
Because the Preview checkbox is turned On, I can see that immediately all of my Saturdays have become abbreviated Sat. The urday is gone. Click OK. And we can test this out. I'm going to select this word Thursday and change it to Saturday and I'll type the letters, but as soon as I type the Y it disappears. Because the text really is there, but it's disappeared with our GREP Style. Disappearing text isn't something you need to do everyday but when you need it GREP Styles and the GREP Find and Change are there for you.
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