Delete Tab at Beginning of Paragraph and Apply a Paragraph Style
In a comment on another post, BT wrote:
I am revising someone’s layout. Hundreds of paragraphs were started with a tab. I want to remove the tab and apply a style that indents the first line.
This is an excellent question, because while it’s easy to search for tabs and delete them, and it’s easy to search for tabs and apply formatting to the paragraph (using the tricks in that blog post linked above), it’s not obvious how to to do both of these at the same time. And, in fact, it’s not possible in a single step using the normal Text mode of the Find Change dialog box.
You can do it in two steps: Search for a tab and apply the paragraph style, then search for tabs and delete them. But to do it in a single step, I believe you need to use the GREP tab. (Don’t worry; it’s a really easy one!)
Type this into the Find What field:
^\t(.) and type this in to the Change To field:
Then set the Change Format field to apply the paragraph style.
That GREP expression means “find a tab at the beginning of the paragraph, followed by any single character, and remember what that character is.” The change-to expression just means “put that single character back in.”
Hit Change All, and you’re good to go! If you’re going to use it regularly, remember to click the Save Query button at the top of the find/change dialog box, so you can choose it again quickly.