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The Find/Change command searches for and replaces text, text attributes, or style sheets in the currently active layout. Choices made on the left side of the Find/Change palette define the text or attributes to be searched for; choices made on the right side define what the text or attributes will be changed to.

To find and change spaces, characters, style sheets, or attributes:

To limit the search to a story, choose the Content tool and click in a story. And set the stage: Choose a decent-sized zoom level for the layout so you'll be able to see the highlighted text on screen without squinting, and make the project window smaller so the Find/Change palette won't get in the way.

If you're going to search for type attributes, (e.g., point size, style), click in a word that contains those attributes. They will automatically register in the Find What area of the Find/Change palette if you uncheck Ignore Attributes.

Choose Edit > Find/Change (Cmd-F/Ctrl-F).

To search the entire layout, regardless of which page is currently displayed, check Layout. Uncheck Layout to search from the current cursor position forward or to search for synchronized text (see Chapter 21). Regardless of whether this option is checked or not, only the currently displayed layout will be searched.

Note: To find/change only text characters, follow this step and skip step 5. To find/change attributes only—not text characters—skip this step. To find/change text characters and attributes, follow both this step and step 5.

To change text characters, type up to 80 characters or spaces in the Find What field (the text to be searched for) . If Ignore Attributes is unchecked, check Text, then enter text in the Find What field.

Optional: Uncheck Whole Word to also search for any Find What text that may be embedded in a larger word.

Optional: Uncheck Ignore Case to search for only an exact match of the upper and lowercase configuration that was entered in the Find What field.

To find/change attributes in addition to or instead of text characters, uncheck Ignore Attributes. Then, on the left side of the palette, do any of the following:

To search for instances of a character or paragraph style sheet, check Style Sheet, then choose from the pop-up menu.

To search for a font, check Font, then start typing a font name or choose from the pop-up menu.

To search for a specific point size, check Size, then enter a size or choose from the pop-up menu.

To search for a color, check Color, then choose a color from the pop-up menu.

Finding non-printing characters

CharacterKeystroke (or type it)Field will display
Tab \t
New paragraphCmd-Return/Ctrl-Enter\p
New lineCmd-Shift-Return/Ctrl-Shift-Enter\n
Next columnCmd-Enter/\c\c
Next boxCmd-Shift-Enter/\b\b
Current boxpage #Cmd-3/Ctrl-3\3
Next box page #Cmd-4/Ctrl-4\4
Previous box page #Cmd-2/Ctrl-2\2
Wild cardCmd-?/Ctrl-?\?
SpaceSpace bar/Space bar 
Flex space\-f/Ctrl-Shift-F\f
Punctuation spaceCmd-. (period)/Ctrl-.\ .
BackslashCmd-\ /Ctrl-\\\

To search for type styles, check Type Style, then click any style button to search for that style (make the button black; you may need to click it twice). Leave a style button white to exclude it from the search. A grayed style, if found, won't be changed.

Be sure to uncheck any category that you want the search to ignore.

On the Change To side of the dialog box, do any of the following :

Check Text, if necessary, then enter up to 80 characters or spaces of replacement text in the Text field. Or leave this field blank to have all instances of the Find What text be deleted (yes deleted!).

If Ignore Attributes is unchecked, you can choose a replacement style sheet, font, point size, color, or type style. An activated (black) Type Style will be applied to the text; an inactive style will be removed from the text; a grayed style will be ignored (no change). Click the P, for Plain, to remove all the styles.

Again, be sure to uncheck the box for any category that you want the search to ignore.

Now, to begin the search:

Hold down Option/Alt and click Find First to search for the first instance of the Find What text in the current layout.

Got carried away?

If, like we do, you tend to speed too quickly through Find/Change, clicking one wrong button after another, the good news is that you can undo those changes by using the Undo command. If you click Change All in the Find/Change dialog box, Undo will even reverse those changes.


Click Find Next to search for the next instance of the Find What text, starting from the current cursor location.

If no instances (or no more instances) are found of the Find What text and/or attributes, a beep will sound.

Click the Change, then Find button to change the current instance and search for the next instance in one step.


Click Change to change the current instance, then click Find Next to resume the search.


Click Change All to change all the instances in one fell swoop. A prompt displaying the number of found instances will appear . Click OK.

A summary will appear after you click Change All.

Optional: If a prompt appears, saying “Search will start at the beginning...,” you can click Yes or No.

You can edit your layout and zoom in or out while the Find/Change palette is open. To close the palette, press Cmd-Option-F/Ctrl-Alt-F or click the Close button.



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