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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.
In this document, I can see that the logo for the store Bliss No. 5 has a circle around the 5. When I zoom in on the text up here, I see that there is no such circle on these 5s. But wouldn't that be kind of cool to have a little text treatment here where the 5 has a circle around it? I'm going to show you how I can use GREP Styles to put that circle there. The first thing I'm going to do is replace that 5 with an n. Why an n? Well, I just happen to know that in the Wingdings 2 font the n looks like a 5 with a circle around. I just happen to know that. So I'm going to replace the 5 with an n here. So I'll open my Paragraphs Styles panel and I'll double-click on the Body style to create a new GREP Style. Select the GREP Style tab, now I'll click New GREP Style.
You can see I already have a couple of GREP Styles in this Paragraph Style, but I'm going to create a new GREP Style, which will apply a new Character Style called let's say wingdings, might as well, and this is going to apply the Wingdings font. Actually Wingdings 2 to be precise. Maybe make it a little bit bigger than the text around it, something like that and click OK. Now, I don't want this to apply to that numbers in here. I want it to apply to the letter n but not just any n. Only n's that comes after an o. right? So I'm going to use a Positive Lookbehind and it's going to look for the text no.
and of course I need to escape that period out with a backslash and then it's going to search for the character n. We can test this out by turning on the Preview checkbox and immediately you see that what was an n is now a 5 with a circle around it. So this is pretty cool. Because now any time I want to use that logo, that little type treatment, I can simply replace the 5 with an n. Let's see another example of this. I will zoom back out to this spread in window and I'm going to jump to the next spread in this document and zoom in to 400% on this text in the lower left corner. Now, this is an interesting problem because in this particular font, the l, it's a lowercase l and the number 1, the digit 1, look very, very similar.
I can't even tell the difference between these. So is this 1lb or llb, or I don't know what. So I'm going to actually use GREP Styles to change the number 1 into a different font that looks similar, but is different from the lowercase l. Let's go ahead and do that. I'll double-click on this Paragraph Style now, go to GREP Style and create a new GREP Style, which is going to be a style which applies let's say Myriad for 1, for the digit 1. All I'm going to do here is apply Myriad Pro to this particular character and the character that I want is not all digits, just the digit 1. It's easy.
I just have to type 1 in here and it will just look for the number 1 to apply Myriad to. Let's go ahead and click OK and we can immediately see that that's a 1 and that's an lb, this is a 1. I also see that there is an error in here because this was supposed to be all digits, 5 digits, and someone snuck in a lowercase l instead. So I'll hit 1 and that cleans it up. So you can see that using GREP Styles to apply a different font to one or more characters can really save you a lot of time.
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