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One of the most time saving features of InDesign is actually its Find/Change command, and specifically the fact that it can actually used saved queries, so you might do an elaborate Find/Change process or query, and then you can actually save that so you can reuse it later on, and actually InDesign has a bunch of built-in saved queries for you to take advantage of. Well, when might you use these? Well, you might be getting text from someone else, and they don't know the proper way to actually input type, and they do the classic mistakes like using multiple spaces after punctuation. Yes, there should only be one space after punctuation. Since I'm the author of this title, I can be correct. Lots of debate over that. No! It's two spaces.
No! It's one space. Other things, using multiple carriage Returns between paragraphs is another no-no. It just creates all sort problems for you later on when you are trying to work with flowing text. Let's go ahead and get out of Preview mode here. Then I am going to go to my Application bar and turn on Hidden Characters so you can actually see some of the issues with this particular document. On this page you can see I have got straight quotes instead of curly quotes for the headline, straight apostrophes instead of curly apostrophes for the 'by the way I'm right', right there where it says, "I'm right", and then double hyphens instead of an em dash.
We'll go ahead and zoom in a little bit, so you can kind of see this a little bit better. So quite a few things that you want to clean up. Now, this is a very small set of text, but imagine that this was flowing across a hundred pages, right, and you had all sorts of these type of issues that you wanted to just cleanup automatically, without having to go from page to page, from paragraph to paragraph. Well, that's what Find/Change is all about. So let's get back into Preview mode, and we'll just hide all this garbage for now. Okay, and we'll go ahead and zoom down just a little bit, Command+Minus and pan this over by holding on the spacebar, so we can actually see this, really nice and big.
Okay, so I have got issues here. I want to get rid of the straight quotes and make them curly. I want to get rid of the space after every punctuation, and just be one space instead of two. I want this double hyphen to be turned into an em dash, and actually maybe control a few things about those as well. So let's bring up the Find Command. It's Command+F or Ctrl+F, pretty straightforward, and this is a special type of dialog. It's not a modal dialog, which means you can actually still interact with your document while the dialog is open. So you can move the dialog around. You can select other objects, and keep the dialog open.
You can even have it on the second monitor if you want. Okay, so what do we want to find? Well, I want to find all the straight quotes, and turn them into curly quotes. The problem is that you have to know how to type in a straight quote. That's not just something on your keyboard, right? If I type the character here, it might not be the right thing. So this is where the saved queries come in handy. It turns out that InDesign actually ships with a saved query already straight double to typographers quote, and that actually types in the correct of meta-characters for you to accomplish that search-and-replace.
So I am going to go ahead and hit Change All, and it tells me how many it found and how many it fixed. So there's my curly quotes now, very good. Let's do the same thing for Straight Single to Typographers Quotes, and you'll see right here where it says, "I'm". I'll go and highlight that right there. Good. That's going to turn into a curly apostrophe there. So I'll go ahead and Change All, and again, they found two. By the way this is all undoable, so I can do Command+Z, Command+Z or Ctrl+Z. Ctrl+Z to get back if I need to. Let's do the Punctuation Saved Query, so let's go for Multiple Space to Single Space. Excellent.
I don't have to worry about typing that. And this is a bunch of gibberish here. Don't bother worrying about that too much. That's looking for a ton of multiple space scenarios. I am going to go ahead and hit Change All. This has taken advantage of GREP expression codes, by the way. You don't have to really worry about that though because you're just going to use the saved query. Go ahead and hit Change All. Again, it found two issues, and fixed them all. Then last, there's another one here Double Dash, to Em-dash. So Dash Dash to Em-dash.
Now the other way that this document has been created is that it's actually been a physical space on either side of the double hyphen. And you may not want that much space when you have and em space or an em-dash in your documents. So let's go ahead and hit Change All, and it shows you what that looks like. That is a lot of space to come between and after a em-dash, at least for my preference, so I am going to Undo that Command+Z, Ctrl+Z, and in my Find what, I want to add a space. It's literal to before and after that double hyphen and then this is the special character for em-dash. I want to add a smaller amount of space.
Did you know there's actually six different space characters? It's not just the one space character that you hit with your space bar. You can actually change the width of those spaces by using special space characters. So in the far right of the Change To field, there is this little pop-up menu, where you have a bunch of shortcuts to get to specific types of things you are looking for. So in this case, White Space, and you can see there's a whole bunch of different space characters. I am going to change this to a Thin Space on either side of that em-dash, Actually I might even want to change that to, instead of a thin space, I am going to change that to a Sixth Space. Yeah, that looks good. And then on that side as well, we'll change that too a Sixth Space.
And again, it puts in the special character for you. I am going to go ahead and hit Change All, and click OK, and you see I have still a little bit of space between the word and the hyphen, but it's not as big as a regular punctuation space. Now if you find that this is the type of query that you would like to keep to resolve this issue, again, you could always save this query yourself, and call it your customed dash dash. I am going to hit the Save button, I am going to call it, 'My Em Dash Replacement'.
Call it whatever you want. Click OK, and now that's a saved query that you can use in any other InDesign document, the next time you want to resolve that issue. So pretty cool. A little bit off the beaten track for a power shortcut, but there is a lot of power in here for cleaning up your document. And then last one we'll use is the built-in Multiple Return to Single Return shortcut. Go ahead and hit Change All, and it gets rid of those extra carriage Return. So now if I want to control the amount of space that comes between paragraphs, I'll go ahead and select this range of paragraphs, and I'll use the proper paragraph space before widget in the Control panel and that way I can get it exactly the way I want it, instead of having to rely on that extra carriage Return.
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