One of my favorite InDesign playthings is GREP. Don’t let the techno-acronym scare you…GREP is not only fun, but so useful that I wonder how we got along without it before. In my GREP tips, I hope you’ll get a little taste of what GREP is and what you can do with it. GREP appears in two main places in InDesign: The find/change dialog box and in paragraph styles.
At the core, using GREP in InDesign can be boiled down to finding strings of text that fit a particular pattern, then doing something to that found text. If you use the Find/Change dialog, you’re making changes to existing type. This is great if your text is finished and you don’t expect any changes. If, however, you want to affect strings of text dynamically on-the-fly, you might want to build a GREP style into your paragraph styles. GREP is most useful when you have the need to change or style lots of text and there’s a distinguishable pattern to that text.
I am working on all new videos to go over using GREP in InDesign. So much of what I originally posted (when I was first learning GREP) was outdated or just plain wrong. Iâ€™ve simplified a lot of my GREP strings as Iâ€™ve worked with GREP over the years.
Be sure to download my free GREP Cheat Sheet to help you with GREP issues. Also, check out my video channel and look for GREP topics or shoot me an email. Lastly, if you have GREP questions, there is a wonderful Facebook group called Treasures of GREP. You have to ask to join, but once you do, youâ€™ll find so many people willing to walk you through the GREP maze! Thanks for visiting.
Thank you for your website. Very informational.
I’m trying to use grep to make words bold before a colon (:) at the beginning of a paragraph. I can do one word at the beginning of a paragraph, but if there are more than 1 I’m stuck.
Here is what I’m using for the first word bold
I added a few things and the first letter of the next word is now bold.
Any help would be so appreciated!
Sorry I didn’t see your comment earlier (notifications were off)…you might want to just build a nested style. Using a character style of bold, you can indicate in your paragraph style that all words up until the first “:” are using the bold character style. Hope that helps! -EG