Grep is perhaps the most powerful tool for searching text. Since everyone asks, g/re/p (“globally find regular expression and print”) was an early Unix command that found a text pattern (regular expression) and printed its occurrences. It has a long and colorful history.

Literal strings are easy to look for, but more abstract patterns require some thought and some code. InDesign comes with much of that code built into the special character menu in the GREP section of Find/Change, and there are many online resources to help us build useful queries. There are wildcards that represent letters, digits, upper- and lowercase characters, and even locations in text (the end or beginning of paragraphs, for example).

Code for Good

Let’s revisit ...

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