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Tips & Tricks:- Search using GREP expressions

Adobe Employee ,
May 04, 2023 May 04, 2023

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We can create GREP expressions to find alphanumeric strings and patterns in long documents or multiple open documents. You can enter the GREP metacharacters manually or select them from the Special Characters For Search list. GREP searches are case-sensitive by default. 

How to Search using expressions:-

  • Select Edit > Find/Change, and select the GREP tab.
  • At the bottom of the dialog, specify your search range from the Search menu and select icons to include Locked Layers and Locked Objects, Parent Pages, Footnotes, and other items in the search.
  • In Find What, follow any of these options to construct a GREP expression:-

          > Enter the search expression manually. (See Metacharacters for searching.)

          > Select the Special characters for the search icon to set your search criteria.

  • Type or paste the replacement text in Change To.
  • Select Find.
  • To continue searching, select Find Next, Change, Change All, or Change/Find.



Tips & Tricks for constructing GREP searches:- 

  • You can create and use GREP Styles in the Paragraph Style Options dialog. The GREP Styles tab is an excellent way to test your GREP expression. Add the examples you want to find to a paragraph, and then specify a GREP expression in the GREP Styles tab. When you turn on Preview, you can edit the expression until it affects all your examples properly.
  • Enter a backslash (\) before the character to indicate that the character that follows a ‘\’ is literal. For example, a period ( . ) searches for any character in a GREP search; to search for an actual period, enter ‘\.
  • Save the GREP search as a query if you intend to run it often or share it with someone else.
  • Use parentheses to divide your search into subexpressions. For example, if you want to search for “cat” or “cot,” you can use the c(a|o)t string. Parentheses are especially useful for identifying groupings. For example, searching for “the (cat) and the (dog)” identifies “cat” as Found Text 1 and “dog” as Found Text 2. You can use the Found Text expressions (such as $1 for Found Text 1) to change only part of the found text.


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