Peter Kahrel’s GREP in InDesign, 3rd edition, a page PDF ebook at the end of a story · Making a character lowercase · Video tutorial on GREP (pre CS3) . A GREP Style is a way to apply a character style to some text inside a paragraph, based on a GREP pattern. GREP, as we’ve discussed, is a. InDesign Secrets provides a list of GREP resources at . string only if it is followed by the specified pattern.

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Search for and change specific occurrences of characters, words, groups of words, or text formatted a certain way.

You can also search for and replace special characters such as symbols, markers, and white space characters.

Wildcard options help to broaden your search. Use advanced, pattern-based search techniques to search for and replace text and incesign.

Search for and replace formatting effects and attributes in objects and frames. For example, you can find objects with a 4-pt stroke and replace the stroke with a drop shadow. You can also choose wildcard options such as Any Digit or Any Character. As search Forward is enabled by default, you can switch to Backward to reverse ttutorial flow of the search.

You may also need to expand your search.

For example, you may be searching only a selection or a story instead of the document. Or, you may be searching for text that appears on an item, such as a locked layer, footnote, or hidden conditional text, that is currently excluded from the search. You can select a search string from the menu to the right of the option. Vice-versa, you can click Fewer Options to view lesser options. For information on OpenType and other formatting attributes, search for the related topic in InDesign Help.

To search for or replace with formatting only, leave the Find What or Change To box blank. If you specify formatting for your search criteria, info icons appear above the Find What or Change To boxes.

These icons indicate that formatting attributes have been set and that the find or change operation will be restricted accordingly. Clipboard for metacharacter searches. To search for metacharacters such as em dashes or bullet characters, you may want to select the text first and paste it into the Find What box to spare the trouble of entering metacharacters. InDesign automatically converts pasted special characters to their metacharacter equivalent.

Replace with clipboard contents. You can replace search items with either formatted or unformatted content copied to the clipboard. You can even replace text with a graphic you copied. To remove unwanted text, define the text you want to remove in the Find What box and leave the Change To box empty make sure that no formatting is set in this box. Search in forward or backward direction. You can search in a forward or backward direction.

This enables you to search for text in case you skip the text when searching for it. So, searching in forward and backward directions helps find text as compared to finding the search again. Search all text in the currently selected frame, including text in other threaded text frames and overset text. Select Stories to search stories in all selected frames.


This option appears only if a text frame is selected or an insertion point is placed. Search from the insertion point. This option appears only if an insertion point is placed. Searches for text on layers that have been locked using the Layer Options dialog box. You cannot replace text on locked layers.

Searches for text in stories that have been checked out as part of an InCopy workflow. You cannot replace text in locked stories. Searches for text on layers that have been hidden using the Layer Options dialog box. When text on a hidden layer is found, you can see highlighting where the text appears, but you cannot see the text.

You can replace text on hidden layers. Searches for text on master pages. Searches for only the word or words that exactly match the capitalization of the text in the Find What box. Disregards search characters if they are part of another word. For example, if you search for any as a whole word, InDesign disregards many.

GREP searches are case-sensitive by default.

Find/Change text in InDesign

At the bottom of the dialog box, specify the range of your search from the Search menu, and click icons to include locked layers, master pages, footnotes, and other items in the search.

Enter the search expression manually. See Metacharacters for searching. Click the Special Characters For Search icon to the right of the Find What option and choose options from the Locations, Repeat, Match, Modifiers, and Posix submenus to help construct the search expression. When you turn on Preview, you can edit the expression until it affects all your examples properly. However, indseign all metacharacters follow this rule.

For example, a period. Save the GREP search as a query if you intend to run it often or share it with someone else. Use parentheses to divide your search into subexpressions. Parentheses are especially useful to identify groupings. The first and third groupings search for any quotation mark, and the second grouping searches for one or more word characters. You can use the Found Text expressions to refer to these groupings. Indeign example searches only for single words enclosed in quotation indesig.

InDesign includes a number of search presets that you can choose from the Queries menu. For ggep, you can choose the Phone Number Conversion query, which looks like this:.

Phone numbers in the United States can appear in a variety of formats, such as, This string looks for any of these variations. The brackets [ ] locate any character within grpe, so in this case, [.

The question mark after the brackets indicate that the items within it are optional in the search. Finally, the digits are enclosed in parentheses, which signify groupings that can be referred to in the Change To field. You can edit the grouping references in the Change To field to suit your needs.

For example, you could use these expressions:. The negative lookahead matches the search string only if it is not followed by the specified pattern. The positive lookahead matches the search string only if it is followed by the specified pattern.

Use similar patterns for negative lookbehinds? The searches for any character. Metacharacters represent a character or symbol in InDesign. Save time fixing punctuation errors by saving search strings as queries. Gerp sure that the categories you want to search for are indesig the appropriate state. You can use one of three states for each Effects category: For example, setting Drop Shadow to On includes drop shadow formatting ondesign the search; setting Drop Shadow to Off searches for objects in which drop shadow formatting is turned off; setting Drop Shadow to Ignore leaves drop shadows out of the search.


InDesign Secrets provides a clear example about finding and changing glyphs at Finding and Changing Glyphs.

Tips & Techniques: An InDesign GREP tutorial

The Font Family menu displays only those fonts that are applied to text in the current document. Fonts in unused styles do not appear. Click the button beside the Glyph box, and then double-click a glyph on the tuforial. This panel works like the Glyphs panel.

You can use other methods to enter the glyph you want gfep find in the Glyph box. Select a glyph in the document window and choose Load Selected Glyph In Find from the context menu, or select a glyph in the Glyphs panel and choose Load Glyph In Find from the context menu. You can then replace any fonts except those in imported graphics with any other fonts available on your system.


A font name is listed once for its use in the layout and listed each time in imported graphics. For example, yrep you use the same font three times in the layout and three times in imported graphics, it will be listed in the Find Font dialog box four times—once for all layout instances, and three more times for each imported graphic. If fonts are not completely embedded in graphics, the font name may not be listed in the Find Font dialog box.

You can find and change composite fonts, but you cannot change component fonts that are part of composite fonts.

To find the first occurrence in the layout of the font selected in the list, click Find First. The text using that font moves into view. The Find First button is unavailable if the selected font is used in an imported graphic or if you selected multiple fonts in the list. The graphic also moves into view.

To change just one occurrence of the selected font, click Change. This option is not available if multiple fonts are selected. To change all instances of the font selected in the list, click Change All.

If you want any paragraph or character style that includes the font tutotial searched for to be redefined, select Redefine Style When Changing All. When there are no more occurrences of a font in your file, its name is removed from the Fonts In Document list.

To change fonts in imported graphics, use the program that originally exported the graphic, and then replace the graphic or update the link using the Links panel. You can open the Find Font dialog vrep while preflighting a document.

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