Adobe InDesign CS2-Going Beyond Finding Text

If You Can Find It, You Can Change It

The Find/Change feature in InDesign CS2 goes way beyond just finding and changing text. As a matter of fact, after reading this article you’ll probably use it less and less for finding and changing text and more and more for finding and changing text attributes. In this tutorial, we’ll cover the different ways to harness the power of the Find/Change dialog, but first, we’ll take a look at using the Find Font dialog to solve a common problem: missing fonts. Then, we’ll go into overdrive and show how to use the Find/Change command to make hundreds of changes and corrections throughout a document in a matter of seconds.

Replacing Missing Fonts

STEP 1 Open a Document with Missing Fonts
This first technique may be a little difficult for you to simulate because in order to see how it works you need an InDesign document that contains fonts that you don’t have active on your system. If you use a font management utility, the easiest thing to do would be simply turn off some of the fonts you know your document uses. Otherwise, you might have to wait to put this one to use for when the situation arises. However, if you can find or create a document with missing fonts, go ahead and open it.

STEP 2 Access the Find Font Dialog
Depending on the kind of document you open, you may or may not get the Missing Fonts dialog. We opened a legacy QuarkXPress document in InDesign CS2 and didn’t get the warning dialog; however, the pink highlighting on the text was a dead giveaway that fonts were missing. If you get the Missing Fonts dialog, click the Find Font button; otherwise, choose Find Font from the Type menu.

STEP 3 Select a Missing Font in Find Font Dialog
The missing fonts will be the ones with the yellow alert triangles to the right of them. Any fonts below these are not missing in the document. At this point you have two choices: you can turn on or load the missing fonts either in your font management app or in the OS, or you can use this dialog to replace those fonts with ones you do have. Select a font with a yellow alert next to it and then choose the font you want to replace it with at the bottom of the dialog.

STEP 4 Replace One by One or All at Once
Once you select the font that you want to replace the missing font with, you can replace occurrences of the original font on an individual basis by choosing Find First/Next and then clicking Change. If you simply want to change all occurrences at once, just click the Change All button. When you change fonts in a layout, things will most likely move around in your document, so be sure to review your document after you make these changes. Keep in mind that you can use Find Font to replace any font and not just missing fonts.

Finding and Changing Text

STEP 1 Open Find/Change Dialog
Now that we’ve taken a look at finding fonts, it’s now time to see how to find and change text. This is the most common use of the Find/Change feature, but it’s still good to review it. Choose Find/Change from the Edit menu or press Command-F (PC: Control-F) on the keyboard. This feature is good for when you need to make global changes of a reoccurring phrase or other text in your document; for example, changing “OtherWorlds” to “Planets” throughout an entire publication.

STEP 2 Set Your Find Options
Key in the text you want to find in the Find What field and the text you want to replace it with in the Change To field. You can search the current document, all open documents, the current story, or from where your cursor is to the end of the story. You can also designate whether or not the text being searched for must be the Whole Word and/or Case Sensitive. If you use the Whole Word option, the word “OtherWorlds” would be found but “” would not.

STEP 3 Change All or One by One
If you’re sure that you want to change every occurrence of the word(s) you entered, then you can click the Change All button. Otherwise, you could play it safe and click the Find Next button to look at each occurrence before you change it. Luckily, InDesign CS2 can undo this feature if you find that you changed things you shouldn’t have.

Replacing Special Characters

STEP 1 Replace Extra Spaces
Now it’s time to move on to something a little more powerful. The concept doesn’t change, but the usefulness increases dramatically. We’ve all been in those situations where we need to replace two spaces after a period with a single space. Well that’s pretty easy. Just type two spaces in the Find field and put one space in the Change field. However, what if you wanted to replace three spaces with a Tab? Bring up the Find/Change dialog again and clear it out if it has any text in it. Now key three spaces into the Find field.

STEP 2 Enter Special Characters into Find/Change Fields
The trick is telling InDesign that we’re looking for a special character and not text, so we need to use InDesign’s ability to give us the ASCII character for Tab. Next to the Change field (and the Find field for that matter) there’s a pop-up menu that allows you to choose the special character you’re looking to find or change. When you choose Tab from the pop-up menu, InDesign enters ^t into the field. Thankfully, you don’t have to know that by heart. Just as in the previous examples, you can find and change them on an individual basis or all at once.

Replacing Styles

STEP 1 Create Document and Format Text
I have to thank my colleague Colin Fleming for this next tip. This one is all about style. As you know, you can format any individual selection of text with various characteristics and fonts. However, it can be painful if you need to update them. Not only can you find and change them, but you can also find the things that were styled manually and replace them with style sheets. Create/Open a document and format some of the text with bold or italics. In this example, we used Myriad Pro Bold and Myriad Pro Italic.

STEP 2 Create More Text and Format Differently
Now, create another text entry that uses a different font that has bold and italic. In this example, we used Minion Pro Bold and Minion Pro Italic. We also increased the point size to 14 point and changed the color of the bold text to blue and the italicized text to red.

STEP 3 Create Character Style from Text
Highlight the bold blue text and bring up the Character Styles palette (Window>Type & Tables>Character Styles). Click the Create New Style icon at the bottom of the palette to create a new character style based on your highlighted text. Just so you know what’s what, you should probably double-click on your new style in the Character Styles palette and rename it in the Character Style Options dialog. Do the same thing for your red italicized text.

STEP 4 Show Options in Find/Change Dialog
Bring up the Find/Change dialog by pressing Command-F (PC: Control-F) on your keyboard. Clear any existing text from the Find What and Change To fields. Click the More Options button to show your Find and Change Format Settings. Now let’s find any text that’s bold but not using your new bold style.

STEP 5 Choose the Character Formats to Change
Click the Format button next to the Find Format Settings box. In the Find Format Settings dialog, change the Character Style to None and then click the Basic Character Formats category on the left. Choose Bold in the Font Style pop-up menu. Click OK. Next, Click the Format button next to the Change Format Settings box and then choose your bold character style. Click OK and then click the Change All button. This will find any text that’s bold and apply your bold blue character style to it. You can do the same thing for your italicized text as well.