Learning GREP with InDesign

with Michael Murphy
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Learning GREP with InDesign
Video duration: 0s 3h 45m Intermediate


Learning GREP with InDesign decodes the language of GREP for InDesign users. It shows how this versatile tool can be used for describing text, which can speed up or automate everyday formatting tasks. InDesign expert and graphic designer Michael Murphy introduces the basic concepts of GREP, and shows how to build powerful expressions using metacharacters. Michael also explores many of the little-known features of GREP, explaining how GREP styles and Find/Change can be used to rearrange data and dynamically format text. Exercise files accompany this course.

Topics include:
  • Using metacharacters, the building blocks of GREP
  • Describing text that may not exist with zero operators
  • Applying multiple character styles to the same text with GREP styles
  • Eliminating orphaned words at the ends of paragraphs
  • Preserving and recalling subexpressions
  • Customizing a GREP-based text cleanup script for long documents


(Music playing.) Hi! I am Michael Murphy and I'd like to welcome you to InDesign CS4 Learning GREP. In this course, I'll show you how to use GREP expressions in Adobe InDesign for automatic, dynamic text formatting, and powerful search and replace operations. I'll introduce you to all of the basic and advanced concepts of GREP, including metacharacters, expressions, and how to describe text as patterns. We'll explore how GREP is integrated into Adobe InDesign in both the Find/Change feature and in CS4's new GREP Styles.

Using examples designed to get anyone new to GREP started out on the right foot and anyone familiar with GREP up to the next level, I'll show you how to use GREP Styles and Find/Change to eliminate repetitive tasks and potentially reduce hours of work to mere minutes. Along the way, you'll discover many undocumented features and learn how to combine GREP with other InDesign features for even greater power and efficiency. GREP may be the greatest InDesign feature you never knew you needed. Now let's get started with InDesign CS4 Learning GREP.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Learning GREP with InDesign .

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Q: In the “Dynamically fixing orphaned words with GREP” tutorial the author uses the term:
In an earlier course the author described the + (one or more) modifier as unusable in a lookbehind or lookahead i.e. (?<=.+). What's the difference here?
A: The limitation mentioned in an earlier movie referred only to positive lookbehind and negative lookbehind. I was able to use the one or more times (+) metacharacter in the positive lookahead portion of the expression because that limitation doesn't affect either positive or negative lookahead. It's only when looking backward that GREP ignores the repeat metacharacters.
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