Regular expressions provide an extremely flexible and advanced method for cleaning and rearranging source data into a format more suitable for publishing within a catalog.
Regular expression will involve adding or altering the start or end of a field, replacing or reformatting specific values or targeting one or more parts of a field. Regular expressions can be very handy when a field needs to be reformatted, creating an inline heading in bold, or adding/tidying bullets.
Regular expressions used within EasyCatalog are very similar to regular expressions used within other operating systems / programming languages (e.g. Python, Perl, C++, PHP).
A notable exception is that InDesign uses the ^ character as a signifier for its own extended characters (e.g. ^p = paragraph; ^t = tab). To target the start of a string you need to use two carets, i.e. ^^.
Common regular expressions
Common regular expressions target the start or end of a field, or replace or reformat part of the field.
|^^||Find at start of field||REGEX:^^Apple=Banana;||Replaces Apple at start of field with Banana|
|$||Find at end of field||REGEX:apple.$=banana.;||Replaces apple. at end of field with banana.|
|[abc]||A single character||REGEX:[c]=C;||Replaces cat with Cat.|
|[^abc]||A character except||REGEX:[^c]=x;||Replaces cat with cxx.|
|.||Any single character||REGEX:.=grape;|
|^x$||Find whole field||REGEX:^^0.00$;||Replaces 0.00 with nothing (Values such as 10.00, 12.34 will remain untouched)|
|/1||Find first part of field|
Complex regular expression samples
Advanced regular expression statements and operations containing multiple expressions may be used to dramatically transform underlying data.
|Find at start of field
Find at end of field
|Adds superscript “$” to start of field, removes “.” and converts cents to superscript, e.g. 12.34 changes to $1234.|
Regular expression builder
Web-based regular expression builders provides valuable insights into targeting regular expressions for parts of your chosen string, for example: