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How to remove hard returns from end of each line only if not proceeded by a period, etc

New Here ,
Sep 26, 2023 Sep 26, 2023

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I have the ususal problem. I am trying to remove carriage returns at the end of each line but not if the carriage return is preceded by a period, exclamation point or question mark.

Just doing a find and replace with /r in grep removes all carriage returns so melds all paragraphs together as well as the intra-paragraph carriage returns. I would like to keep the paragraphs, but separate them with one carriage return.

How do I adjust the grep? Thanks.

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EPUB , Publish online

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Community Expert ,
Sep 26, 2023 Sep 26, 2023

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I think Positive Lookahead would the answer:

 

https://carijansen.com/positive-lookahead-grep-for-designers/

 

but you need to wait for experts to confirm. 

 

▒► ID-Tasker / ID-Tasker Server - work smart not hard ◄▒

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Community Expert ,
Sep 26, 2023 Sep 26, 2023

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Actually I think negative look behind, but I'm not one of the "experts".

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Community Expert ,
Sep 26, 2023 Sep 26, 2023

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(?<!\.|!|\?)\r

This will find a return only if not preceded by a period, exclamation mark, or question mark.

 

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Community Expert ,
Sep 26, 2023 Sep 26, 2023

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Well, I can't really call myself an expert either, but maybe I'm "intermediate"? (My syntax is going to be ugly.)

 

I've processed a whole lot of text extracted from PDFs in the last few decades.  The answer to your question, if taken literally, is quite simple:

(?<!\.|\?|\!)\r

It's what Peter suggested; a negative lookbehind. Lots of ways to do it, of course, but this is what immediately occurred to me as an answer to your question. This assumes, of course, that nowhere in the text you're cleaning up is there an instance of sentence-ending punctuation followed by a space, or a close quote, or a close parenthesis, or anything else. 

 

 

 

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Guide ,
Sep 27, 2023 Sep 27, 2023

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Find:  (?<![.!?])(\h*\r)+

Replace by: a normal space

 

(^/)  The Jedi

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