GREP in InDesign
By Peter Kahrel
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: October 2008

Updated: June 2015. Author Peter Kahrel updated this Short Cut to cover InDesign CC. Several examples have been added, and most examples are now analysed in more detail.

Updated: August 2010. Author Peter Kahrel updated this Short Cut to cover InDesign CS5.

Updated: November 2009. Author Peter Kahrel updated this Short Cut to address typos and reader comments.

GREP (short for "General Regular-Expression Print") is a powerful tool that lets you use wildcards ("jokers") to search and replace text. InDesign's GREP implementation can be used for text and also for formatting codes, finding patterns in text as well as literal text.

GREP moves beyond the restrictions that hampered earlier InDesign search features, but unfortunately it does have the reputation of being difficult to master. As with many things, it can be challenging to learn, but, fortunately, a lot can be done with surprisingly simple expressions. The aim of this Short Cut is to show how to create simple but powerful regular expressions.

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oreillyGREP in InDesign
 
4.7

(based on 7 reviews)

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Accurate (6)
  • Helpful examples (6)
  • Concise (5)
  • Easy to understand (5)
  • Well-written (5)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Intermediate (7)
  • Novice (6)
  • Student (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Designer (6)

Reviewed by 7 customers

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5.0

A book that fits perfectly for my students

By ADevil

from Herentals, Belgium

About Me Designer, Educator

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate
    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly GREP in InDesign:

    This is the ultimate guide for my students 'Expert class Book design' cours at the Plantin Institute of Typography in the Plantin Moretus Museum in Antwerp, Belgium.

     
    5.0

    A Must-Have for Serious InDesign Users

    By Terre Spencer

    from Atlanta, GA

    About Me Designer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Concise
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Expert
      • Intermediate

      Comments about oreilly GREP in InDesign:

      As an InDesign user of over ten years, and one who has used ID for everything from technical documents to long-form documents to party invitations,the ability to use GREP is critical to an efficient and accurate workflow.

      "GREP in InDesign" is to ID users as "The Joy of Cooking" is to cooks: a must-have reference and inspiration.

       
      4.0

      A must have for Indesign

      By xDave

      from Paris, France

      About Me Designer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Helpful examples

      Cons

      • Difficult to understand

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly GREP in InDesign:

      This saved my *** on a very tedious document with lots of numerals to change in hundreds of table cells. Mixing the power of GREP with Indesign search was the way to go.

       
      5.0

      Very very helpful!

      By eclarson

      from Santa Barbara, CA

      About Me Designer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Accurate
      • Concise
      • Easy to understand
      • Helpful examples
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly GREP in InDesign:

        This is a very good introduction to the subject. It isn't exhaustive (but refers often to another tome that is), but it's more than enough for many users. Some of the later examples are rather complicated, but the explanations are miraculously lucid. I was able to begin using techniques I learned immediately.

         
        5.0

        No, there is no better PDF

        By gasyoun

        from Krasnodar

        About Me Educator

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise

        Cons

        • Difficult to understand

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice

        Comments about oreilly GREP in InDesign:

        I'm fascinated.

         
        4.0

        Mastering GREP made easy!

        By Fried Spark

        from Aerdt, Netherlands

        About Me Designer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

        • Design could be better

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly GREP in InDesign:

        As a designer I started to use GREP in InDesign a half year ago, bit by bit, but reading the Adobe InDesign Help section was not very encouraging. After reading this book I use GREP every working day. And it is addicting: every time I find new ways to speed up formatting and to avoid mistakes. Boring Find-Change actions become magic tricks and entertaining puzzles, with a lot of satisfaction (and time saving) solving them. Every InDesign user should understand and use GREP, and this book is the best way to master it.
        No five stars: I don't like the design. And as a Dutchman, knowing the author is dutch, maybe someday a Dutch version would be awesome!

        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Excelent reference

        By profeivan

        from Bogota, Colombia

        About Me Designer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Novice

          Comments about oreilly GREP in InDesign:

          There´s a lot of information about GREP coding, but this book is excelent in demostrating, through precise examples in InDesign, how to make searches with this powerful tool. A must have reference for busy designer.
          Un libro excelente!!!

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