Create a “Clear All” Find/Change Query
When you do a lot of Find/Changes in InDesign — or even just a couple — you’ve probably noticed that the dialog box retains all your settings from one search to the next. If you keep running the same Find/Change over and over again, I guess you could consider this a feature. (But I smell an oxymoron in there somewhere …)
Book designer and InDesign professional Ariel Walden does make heavy use of Find/Change, but usually he’s running different Find/Change queries each go-round. So like the rest of us, he has to first tediously clear out all the old settings before entering new ones almost every time he uses the feature.
But unlike the rest of us, Ariel came up with a fix! Lacking a “Clear All” or “Reset” button, he suggests you create the equivalent as a custom Find/Change query. “It’s saved me dozens of clicks already!” he says, and I agree!
To create your own, open up Find/Change and (if necessary) clear the decks manually. Here’s what mine looked like when I started, revealing my most recent Find/Change (which was from a few days ago):
To completely clear it back to the default settings, do this: click in the Find What field, Select All, delete, tab to Change To, delete, deselect all Filters (those icons under the Search: menu) except for Include Footnotes, and if you have any Formatting options enabled, click the trashcan icons next to the Find Format and Change Format fields.
Oy — that’s a lot of clicking! But it’s clicking that you’ll never have to do again after you do the next step.
Save this cleaned-up Find/Change query by clicking the disk icon at the top of the dialog box. You might want to name it “Clear All” or “Ariel You’re So Clever.” I called mine “Clean Text” (thinking I’ll do the same for the GREP tab later and call it “Clean GREP”).
That’s all there is to it. The query is saved on your hard drive and is available in the Find/Change query menu for any document you open in InDesign from then on.
Now, the next time you open up Find/Change and see a bunch of old information from your previous use, just choose the “Clear All” query you saved. Everything is reset to the defaults, ta-da!
Interestingly, the “search scope” choice you make in the Search menu is not saved in the query, so you’ll still have to double-check that on your own.