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Cleaning up text with Find/Change

From: InDesign Typography

Video: Cleaning up text with Find/Change

In a very macro sense, one of the first things that we want to do when we place a text file is clean up that text file, by which I mean we need to remove any extra paragraph marks, any extra spaces, or any of the rubbish that's come in with the text file. It's very common to inherit text files that are in a less than pristine condition. I am going to work with a very long text file; specifically mobydick, so the text of Herman Melville's novel. I am going to autoflow this text. I could've done this using a primary text frame if I'm in CS6, but this approach is non-version specific, and that's autoflow.

Cleaning up text with Find/Change

In a very macro sense, one of the first things that we want to do when we place a text file is clean up that text file, by which I mean we need to remove any extra paragraph marks, any extra spaces, or any of the rubbish that's come in with the text file. It's very common to inherit text files that are in a less than pristine condition. I am going to work with a very long text file; specifically mobydick, so the text of Herman Melville's novel. I am going to autoflow this text. I could've done this using a primary text frame if I'm in CS6, but this approach is non-version specific, and that's autoflow.

Hold down a Shift key, and then click on page 1, and now it's going to autoflow all of the text, creating pages to accommodate the text. And we see that we have 660 pages. Now, as I mentioned in an earlier movie, it's a really good idea to work with the hidden characters turned on. So I am going to turn on my hidden characters, and we see that there is a hard return at the end of every line. Sometimes this will happen if you are copying and pasting text from an e-mail; sometimes it comes in this way if you have copied and pasted it from an HTML file.

However it got there, this is not how we want our text to be. This is going to be incredibly limiting. So we need to remove those hard returns; all 666 pages worth of them. Thankfully, we can use of Find/Change to very quickly come to our aid. So under the Edit menu, I am going to choose Find/Change. Now, what we're looking for here -- and this is why we are working with our hidden characters shown -- we want to find two consecutive end of paragraph marks, and this is what an end of paragraph marks looks like.

We could also insert one right there. But we want two of these, and we want to retain these, but then we need to remove the remaining end of paragraph marks that occur only at the end of a line. Thankfully, the paragraphs are differentiated by having two paragraph marks at the end of them. So I am going to change this to something that I am absolutely confident is not going to occur within the text, and that's going to be a series of bullets, three bullets, and I am searching in the whole document.

I will Change All, and imagine how tedious it would have been to do that by hand; 2,897 replacements. So now that we've isolated what will become the end of paragraphs, I am going to change the remaining paragraph marks to what they really should be, and that's a space. Another Change All, and then having done that, I will go back and change those three bullets to a paragraph mark, making sure that I remove the space that was previously in the Change to field.

So we should now see that our text has the right structure, the paragraphs are paragraphs, and we don't have paragraph marks at the end of every line. However, we do still have a lot of unnecessary formatting in there. We could continue using Find/Change to address those problems, and I could use these very handy saved queries. These queries ship with InDesign: Multiple Return to Single Return, Multiple Space to Single Space.

In fact, I am not going to use those, useful as they are. Instead, what I am going to do to get rid of those extra spaces after every period, and extra paragraph marks, what I am going to do to get rid of all of those in one fell swoop is use a script. And that script, buried away in the Application folder, in the Samples folder, and in the JavaScript folder, is called FindChangeByList. FindChangeByList is a sequence of find change routines strung together, and they all exist in this text document, FindChangeByList.txt.

If you want to look at that, you can. I am going to right-click on it, choose Reveal in Finder; there it is. I can then open it up in a text editor, and we see that this is just a series of find change routines, and it has written in plain English what each of them does. Now, I don't need to change that. I could if I wanted to; I could customize it, but all I am going to do is double-click on the script itself. I want this to affect the whole document.

And we see that it's removed all of that extra spacing; all of that extra paragraph spacing, all of that extra word spacing, and our document is now ready for us to apply our paragraph styles, and our character styles to further give it structure. Notice, too, the number of pages has changed, and that's because we are working with our Smart Text Reflow turned on, and remember that's a preference in our Type Preferences; Smart Text Reflow turned on, so that as we are making these changes, pages are being added, or specifically in this case, removed as necessary.

So the point I'm really making here is that sometimes you may get a text file, it may look like a dog's dinner, but it's often a very easy thing, just a few simple find change routines will make the world of difference to the structure of that text.

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This video is part of

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InDesign Typography

107 video lessons · 19838 viewers

Nigel French
Author

 
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  1. 4m 4s
    1. Welcome
      55s
    2. Using the exercise files
      51s
    3. Customizing the workspace for type
      2m 18s
  2. 55m 41s
    1. Working with text frames
      8m 26s
    2. Using a primary text frame (CS6 only)
      3m 59s
    3. Understanding text flow methods
      6m 25s
    4. Understanding text threads
      3m 40s
    5. Understanding Smart Text Reflow
      2m 27s
    6. Mocking up pages with placeholder text
      5m 47s
    7. Placing multiple text files
      3m 50s
    8. Using Auto-Size text frames (CS6 only)
      4m 1s
    9. Copying and pasting vs. placing
      2m 25s
    10. Cleaning up text with Find/Change
      5m 46s
    11. Using the Story Editor
      3m 41s
    12. Spanning columns
      5m 14s
  3. 45m 50s
    1. Choosing your type
      6m 46s
    2. Understanding text essentials
      6m 37s
    3. Scaling type
      2m 27s
    4. Using italic and oblique type
      4m 33s
    5. Working with condensed and extended type
      4m 26s
    6. Setting type in all caps
      3m 46s
    7. Setting type in small caps
      4m 21s
    8. Underlining type
      4m 11s
    9. Using superscript and subscript
      4m 35s
    10. Applying baseline shift
      4m 8s
  4. 16m 6s
    1. Understanding type anatomy
      3m 25s
    2. Exploring serif and sans serif
      2m 48s
    3. Comparing points, picas, and ems
      8m 34s
    4. What's in a name?
      1m 19s
  5. 16m 27s
    1. Setting leading
      4m 56s
    2. Avoiding auto-leading
      4m 12s
    3. Leading shortcuts and preferences
      4m 7s
    4. Using autoleading with inline graphics
      3m 12s
  6. 21m 25s
    1. Defining kerning and tracking
      2m 5s
    2. Understanding kerning methods
      5m 10s
    3. When and how to kern
      5m 53s
    4. When and how to track
      8m 17s
  7. 45m 48s
    1. Working with quotes, primes, and apostrophes
      8m 16s
    2. Using dashes
      5m 24s
    3. Using ellipses
      2m 56s
    4. Working with accents and special characters
      4m 1s
    5. Using space characters
      4m 15s
    6. Working with ligatures
      4m 29s
    7. Setting fractions
      3m 56s
    8. Using lining and proportional numerals
      2m 49s
    9. Using alternates, swashes, and ornaments
      5m 2s
    10. Working with optical sizes
      4m 40s
  8. 57m 20s
    1. Understanding alignment
      3m 47s
    2. Working with left-aligned type
      3m 24s
    3. Working with justified type
      7m 5s
    4. Using Optical Margin Alignment
      3m 39s
    5. Determining column width
      4m 53s
    6. Working with center alignment
      5m 36s
    7. Working with right alignment
      1m 22s
    8. Aligning to or away from the spine
      1m 50s
    9. Understanding the Paragraph Composer and Single-line Composer
      3m 44s
    10. Combining alignments
      9m 20s
    11. Using hanging punctuation
      2m 13s
    12. Working with vertical alignment
      10m 27s
  9. 14m 9s
    1. Using first-line indents
      2m 26s
    2. Using indent alternatives
      2m 3s
    3. Working with left and right indents
      4m 0s
    4. Using last-line indents and outdents
      1m 26s
    5. Using paragraph spacing
      4m 14s
  10. 23m 19s
    1. Setting hyphenation
      6m 14s
    2. Working with line breaks and discretionary hyphens
      4m 48s
    3. Balancing ragged lines
      1m 36s
    4. Using the No Break feature and non-breaking characters
      2m 52s
    5. Using frame, column, and page breaks
      3m 42s
    6. Defining Keep Options
      4m 7s
  11. 37m 53s
    1. Understanding tabs
      8m 58s
    2. Considerations for table text
      3m 55s
    3. Table tips and tricks
      11m 55s
    4. Creating a bulleted list
      6m 50s
    5. Creating a numbered list
      3m 46s
    6. Creating a multi-level numbered list
      2m 29s
  12. 23m 12s
    1. Understanding drop caps
      11m 3s
    2. Navigating tricky drop caps
      5m 14s
    3. Using a nested character style with a drop cap
      3m 59s
    4. Other uses of drop caps
      2m 56s
  13. 1h 11m
    1. Understanding paragraph and character styles
      7m 13s
    2. Creating, applying, and editing styles
      7m 3s
    3. Removing overrides
      4m 58s
    4. Creating and applying character styles
      5m 4s
    5. Creating and applying nested styles
      12m 30s
    6. Using GREP styles (regular expressions)
      4m 8s
    7. Creating and applying sequential styles
      6m 19s
    8. Using paragraph rules creatively
      11m 48s
    9. Mapping Word styles
      6m 12s
    10. Working with anchored objects and object styles
      6m 24s
  14. 25m 30s
    1. Applying a text wrap
      6m 7s
    2. Making items ignore a text wrap
      1m 46s
    3. Using text wraps for flexible layouts
      3m 2s
    4. Working with difficult text wraps
      8m 39s
    5. Inverting text wraps
      2m 7s
    6. Setting text wrap preferences
      3m 49s
  15. 29m 33s
    1. Choosing a page size and setting margins
      6m 33s
    2. Setting up columns
      2m 53s
    3. Dividing a page into rows
      3m 27s
    4. Setting up a baseline grid
      5m 40s
    5. Handling baseline grid problems
      3m 37s
    6. Baseline grid tricks
      7m 23s
  16. 12m 19s
    1. Looking at screen documents
      4m 2s
    2. Setting size, leading, and line length onscreen
      3m 13s
    3. Exploring typefaces designed for the screen
      3m 36s
    4. Accessibility: Contrast and color
      1m 28s
  17. 28s
    1. Goodbye
      28s

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