A More Robust Way to Do Find and Replace

1 08 2013

Ever needed to do systematic cleanup of a document but been overwhelmed by all the find and replace steps you’ll need to do? Thanks to this post by Bohyun Kim on the ACRL TechConnect Blog, you can quickly learn how to do use regular expressions to create a powerful little rule that will shave hours off of repeated find and replace chores.

I can think of many times when I’ve copied text from a PDF or from a table on a web page and pasted it into Notepad or Excel and found the data I’ve copied to be displayed in all kinds of disarray. Although I’ve never tried regular expressions before, thanks to this post by Kim, I can see it’s within my reach to try them. One of the highlights of the post can be found near the bottom of it where Kim offers real world examples from librarians of how they use regular expressions to solve problems in their day-to-day jobs.


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2 responses to “A More Robust Way to Do Find and Replace”

1 08 2013
Kimmy (14:14:39) :

Thanks for sending this. Regex is a tool of the trade for programmers, but it’s nothing like a clearly written how-to for librarians like us.

Your blog post prompted me to search a bit further about doing regex searches specifically in Word. Here’s a “further reading” that might be useful to us:

http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/help/add-power-to-word-searches-with-regular-expressions-HA001087305.aspx

1 08 2013
Stephen Francoeur (14:17:02) :

Over on FriendFeed, a librarian shared with me a site that will test your regular expressions (for syntax, I suppose): http://rubular.com/




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