Thanks for introducing a fundamental concept that my brain had not yet grasped. As for the details:
On 2020-07-20 18:49, Brian Barker wrote:
At 16:38 20/07/2020 -0400, John Kaufmann wrote:
Documents archived in Project Gutenberg are typically simple text, with each line ending in <CR><LF> (Hex:0D0A), so that
paragraphs are separated by an empty line <CR><LF><CR><LF>. I thought it would be simple to convert one such
(5657.txt) to format in Writer, ...
... but stumbled on elementary problems in Find-&-Replace [Ctrl-H] using regular expressions:
(1) "\n" is not found. Should not "\n" match one of the codes in <CR><LF>? [If not, what code(s) should
First, once you have your text in a word processor, you do not have <CR> or <LF> or <CR><LF> or anything else like that in your text;
instead you have *paragraph breaks*. There is no character there, despite the pilcrow that you can get Writer to display. And what you are calling "empty
lines" are actually empty paragraphs. "\n" in the "Search for" field matches line breaks, not paragraph breaks. (And line beaks are line
breaks - also no "codes".)
You sent me to do something I should have done before asking the question: examine a hex dump of an ODT content.xml file. I
see what you mean about "no codes": A paragraph is just a text string between XML bounds <text:p ...> and
</text:p>, and a line break (inside the paragraph bounds) is just <text:line-break/>. Sorry; I should have done
that sooner, rather than rely on a different paradigm that once worked for me.
(2) Although "$" is found (matches to <CR><LF>), ...
No, "$" does not match anything; instead, it anchors the expression before it to the end of a paragraph. So
an expression ending with "$" will match text only if it comes at the end of its paragraph.
... "$$" (for successive occurrences of <CR><LF>) is not found. Why?
"$$" has no sense. If anything it means "this pattern needs to match something that is *really, really*
at the end of a paragraph"!
:-)! Given what I learned after your answer on (1), this (2) is obvious.
(3) Doing Find "$" & Replace with " " (single space), <CR><LF> is replaced by " " (single space). However, doing Find "$" & Replace
with "@" (single @char), <CR><LF> is replaced by "@@" (double @char). Why?
I don't think that's true. In any case, there are no <CR><LF>s present.
You're right. Examining again, I note that the "@@" was a remnant of a prior attempt to replace the <CR><LF><CR><LF> of the
original text file with "@@" (prior to replacing all other <CR><LF> with " "). A faulty mental model led to a bad approach and a
misreading of the result.
To achieve what you want:
First combine single-line paragraphs:
o Apply Default paragraph style to all the text.
o Select all the text.
o Apply AutoCorrect.
(You may need to adjust the minimum length of such paragraphs in AutoCorrect Options - possibly to
Thank you! - that is not obvious (and I had not found it in the Help or the Writer Guide), but was worth the price of having this problem arise. AutoCorrect had the effect of changing most non-empty
"Default Style" paragraphs to "Text Body" style, with the rest chosen [by spacing hints?] to be "Hanging Indent", "Heading", "Heading 1",
"List", "List 1", "Numbering 2" or "Text Body Indent". (Empty paragraphs remained "Default Style".) That was a MUCH more elaborate and sophisticated
AutoCorrect than I ever would have imagined.
Now I understand the point of AutoCorrect Option "Combine single line paragraphs if length greater than 50%".
But how do you "adjust the minimum length of such paragraphs in AutoCorrect Options - possibly to 0%"? (The
fact that I don't find the setting suggests that I may have also missed something basic in your explanation.)
Note: Even after having this excellent explanation on a use of AutoCorrect, I went back to the
Writer Guide and still don't find it. So it may take quite some time to learn enough of such
subtleties to feel that I have a solid grasp.
Then remove empty paragraphs:
o Search for "^$" (no quotes) and replace with nothing.
("^" anchors your pattern to the start of a paragraph and "$" to the end. So "^$" matches a
paragraph with nothing in it.)
Again I like your pedagogical approach, matching the action with the reasoning. You should be a
I trust this helps.
Helps?! It was an education. (If you could just answer the follow-up question on AutoCorrect
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