How to hide (*) using wildcards in Word
Thread poster: Emma Goldsmith

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:22
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
May 27, 2012

I have a several lists in a very big Word document:
(a) apples
(b) pears
(c) bananas
and I want to hide the (a-z) in order to translate the file in a CAT tool.

I'm trying to figure out how to use wildcards to do this, but of course parentheses are used in Wildcards so I can't see how to do it. I thought it might be ((*)) or ((a-z)) but that doesn't work.
I thought of replacing the opening and closing brackets with $$ first, but then all the brackets will be replaced in the document, including those that aren't in a list.

I know how to hide the text in the replace box, with format>font>hide, but I'm stuck on the brackets.

Can anyone suggest how to do it?


 

Adam Łobatiuk  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 16:22
Member (2009)
English to Polish
+ ...
Escaping May 27, 2012

You should use \ before each bracket: \(?\)
I also think that ? will be safer than *, as there only seem to be single letters in those brackets.

Good luck


 

Tony M
France
Local time: 16:22
Member
French to English
+ ...
Your CAT tool May 27, 2012

Can you not configure your CAT tool simply to ignore things in ( )? Or consider them as placeables, for example, as I assume you will need them again in your target document?

Wordfast Classic has a special way of handling things in ( ), though I've never so far had occasion to use this feature


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:22
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
hiding text problem May 27, 2012

@Tony, you might well be right, but I thought I would hide the bullets points and lists in Word and then unhide them afterwards. Codezapper is hanging on this long document for some reason, which is why I'm doing it by hand.

@Adam, brilliant, escaping with the slash works perfectly. The only problem now is the replace box, which I thought I could manage on my own! If I use \1 and hide, then it all disappears (not because of the hiding).

What do I have to write in the replace box if I want it to stay the same, but hidden?

Thanks,
Emma


 

Tony M
France
Local time: 16:22
Member
French to English
+ ...
Fudge May 27, 2012

I don't know how to do it 'properly', but I'd think about searching-&-replacing using some particular style, for example, and then set that style to 'hidden' in your style sheet. What about twin4ext or something?

 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:22
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Keep it empty May 27, 2012

Emma Goldsmith wrote:
What do I have to write in the replace box if I want it to stay the same, but hidden?


If you want the formatting of the replace box to be applied to everything in the find box, then the replace box must be empty. Using \1 should also work, though...


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:22
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, Samuel! May 27, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:

the replace box must be empty.


Thanks, Samuel! That works perfectly.
I'd started doing it by hand, with a macro for hiding selected text, but using \(?\) and leaving the replace box empty is the answer.

Thanks, everyone!


 

Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 16:22
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
Matching only numbers May 27, 2012

Emma Goldsmith wrote:
Using \(?\) and leaving the replace box empty is the answer.


Your search will match (1) as well as (a). To match only (1), use \([0-9]\). To match (1) as well as (10), use \([0-9]@\).


 

Emma Goldsmith  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:22
Member (2010)
Spanish to English
TOPIC STARTER
Practice makes perfect! May 27, 2012

Samuel Murray wrote:

Your search will match (1) as well as (a). To match only (1), use \([0-9]\). To match (1) as well as (10), use \([0-9]@\).


More interesting stuff, thanks, Samuel. I really need to practise using wildcards more so that I remember it.


 

István Hirsch  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:22
English to Hungarian
Back to backslash May 28, 2012

When \1, \2 etc. is used in the Replace box, they refer to the 1st, 2nd etc. group in the Find box. These groups should be separated with (put between) brackets in the Find box: these brackets function in this case as metacharacters.

Sometimes characters which are used as metacharacters are also used as literal characters and the latter is shown by a preceding backslash: so ’(’ in Word regex is a metacharacter, '\(' is a simple bracket character.
In the present case, \(?\) is still not grouped (brackets here are „normal” characters), so you cannot refer to them in the Replace box as "the first group" (\1). To make using \1 possible in the Replace box, you should put this between metacharacters:

(\(?\))

where the outer brackets function as metacharacters, the inner ones (following the backslash) as literal (normal) characters.


 


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How to hide (*) using wildcards in Word

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