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GREP style to catch all hyphenated words

Community Beginner ,
Sep 12, 2019 Sep 12, 2019

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I currently use a GREP style, "\w-\w" to catch all hyphenated words such as "4-year" or "end-to-end" but I'm not entirely confident as to how robust it is and where it might fail and catch something unintended. What winds up happening is InDesign catches 4-y" or "d-to-d" and applies my no break style to the text. While this seems to be working fine, I'm about to apply this to a MUCH longer document and I want to make sure I'm not going to encounter any unforeseen issues because this seems too expansive a search for GREP to work with. Does anyone have a snippet they use all the time to handle this sort of thing?

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Community Expert ,
Sep 12, 2019 Sep 12, 2019

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Why not test your text with a GREP search first? If that seems fool-proof, allow it to become a GREP style.

Mike Witherell

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 12, 2019 Sep 12, 2019

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Two reasons. First, I'd love to have a fool-proof go to GREP style to work with whenever I needed it. While it may work on this document, it mat have problem in with future ones and I;d have to retest each time I implemented the style. Second, this is a very long document with a lot of hyphenated footnote markers. It will take tie to go through each instance of the hyphenated words that I'd rather avoid. I was hoping someone may have solved this already and has a snippet they would be willing to share.. I'm trying to learn to use GREP more and more but sometimes I run across something that alludes my limited skills.

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LEGEND ,
Sep 12, 2019 Sep 12, 2019

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Why a no-break over hyphens? There is a non-breaking hyphen for that.

You can use GREP to find-and-replace: search for "(?<=\w)-(?=\w)" and replace with .. uh, the GREP code for a non-breaking hyphen. (Look in the "@' dropdown menu.)

The advantage is that if it gets applied to something unexpected, you can simply replace that instance with a regular hyphen.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 12, 2019 Sep 12, 2019

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See above. I would prefer this to be a GREP style I can easily reuse without having to intervene every time the document gets updated or changes are made. This seems to be something well within the wheelhouse of GREP but I'm just a little concerned that my initial attempt ay be too inclusive.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 08, 2021 Feb 08, 2021

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Did you ever get confirmation about this? I use the same style but after Googling there seems to be a lot of more complicated GREP styles which makes me wonder if my simple style is not adequate.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 08, 2021 Feb 08, 2021

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Why not just apply the GREP style and see what happens? You can use Find/Change to search for the character style and see where it is applied. You can also alter the style to include a highlight colour to make instances easier to spot.

 

See, even if someone gives you the answer you are looking for, I hope you would check to see that it accoomplished what you want. How do you plan to do that without checking the entire document?

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New Here ,
May 17, 2023 May 17, 2023

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I came looking for this answer and found it on CreativePro.com by a poster BradWalrod
"Here are the two GREP styles (applying a “nobreak” character style to both) that I've been using for text paragraphs for a while:

 

[lu]+(?=[—–-])

 

(?<=[-–—])[lu]+

 

(That's a hyphen, en dash, and em dash that it's looking for. I like how you've added the apostrophe, but I wouldn't have gussed that ID would hyphenate before or after one.)

 

I suppose that instead of your [w|’] and my [-–—], we could consider [S], which would catch anything that's not a space."

The question was simple, how do you automate the process.  Hope this helps.

 

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Community Expert ,
May 21, 2023 May 21, 2023

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<editorial thought in case it helps>

Sometimes it seems that what you all really want is to turn off hyphenation in the paragraph styles. You can turn this off in select paragraph styles; probably not all of them. Or another approach within paragraph styles is to go into Hyphenation and turn up the requirements for eligibility to hyphenate by setting it to 9, 3, 4, 1, off, off, off (or even numbers higher than 9 letters). Many times the basic problem is that folks are not using paragraph styles to begin with, and so have all these laborious work-arounds they seem to have to contend with. The heart of InDesign is reliance on paragraph styles.

</editorial thought in case it helps>

Mike Witherell

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New Here ,
May 21, 2023 May 21, 2023

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The poster's original question wasn't regarding how to eliminate hyphens from the text. It was regarding managing compound phrases autonomously rather than trying to devise complex "work-
arounds." Turning off hyphens forces Indesign to keep words together rather than line-breaking them and inserting a hyphen. It does nothing for compout phrases that are typed with hyphens such as the words, "work-arounds" and "line-break." 

Ironicaly, the work around isn't complex at all, the poster just needed to be provided the GREP code to make it happen. Those that don't know, should not be the ones providing solutions.

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