Advanced Text Search in Pages and TextEdit

Pages has a pretty basic text search function, but with a few hidden tricks. TextEdit has a more robust pattern matching system and can even reorder text using replacements.

Comments: 5 Responses to “Advanced Text Search in Pages and TextEdit”

    John Carter
    7 months ago

    I have to keep in mind that almost no one whom I have encountered needs that level of complexity, and introducing it to them only creates confusion in their minds - TMI (too much information). Still, this needs to be put out there.
    You did a good job demonstrating the advanced features of Find and Replace.

    Jak G
    6 months ago

    Thanks for the video. For so long I've been using a Windows freeware called Metapad, because it used the \n, \t wildcards. And in MS Word I use ^p, ^t. Now that I am mostly Mac based, I was disappointed that these options didn't work in TextEdit. I didn't think to try the Insert Pattern option. Thanks again. Jak.

    Timothy Murphy
    6 months ago

    Thank you very much for this insight Gary.
    I think this would be very useful in my case when I have to copy a table from PDF or even as text from an image, and need to paste it into Numbers. I can see that placing the text into TextEdit first, for tidying up the format into a clean csv or tsv file by removing double spaces and converting these to tabs plus adding line breaks at the end of each line. Very useful, time saving and robust when you have to deal with a large table.

    6 months ago

    I hope I can find the bookmark I’m going to create for this when I need it. :)

    Iain Houston
    2 months ago

    Serendipity! Just came across Gary’s revelation of TextEdit Insert Pattern on the day I need to edit a machine-generated text file into a human-readable report. This happens every six months or so when I have to struggle to remember my REGEXP (Regular Expressions) syntax. This is going to save me so much time!

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