View Full Version : Convert hyphen to en dash in ID, how?
04-27-2006, 11:49 PM
Sometimes the text I get from my book reviewer is full of hyphens that need to be replaced with en dashes. I've tried to do it this way: Ctr+A to select all, Ctr+F to get Find/Changedialog box. In the "Find what" drop down menu I select "Nonbreaking Hyphen" and in the "Change to" menu I select en dash, than click Change all, but no results. The message I got is: Search is completed. 0 replacement(0) made. I've tried to fix the problem using TextCleanup script, but no results either. Any idea why?
04-28-2006, 12:29 AM
Using my psychic powers, I infer that you are talking about Word: right?
If so, then either the search is crapping out - which does happen sometimes for no apparent reason, in which case the cure may be to close Word and start a fresh session.
More likely is that you are looking for the wrong character: are you sure they are non-breaking hyphens? They might well be minus signs or conditional hyphens for example. You could try copying and pasting the offending character in the 'find what' field, though this doesn't always work for some non-printing characters.
04-28-2006, 12:53 AM
Sorry Lois, my mistake, forgot to clearify it: I'm using InDesign CS2, not Word, but thanks for the effort anyway. Cheers
04-28-2006, 04:07 AM
Could your problem be that these are not non-breaking hyphens. Try placing a regular hyphen in the search box, and it should work. The Cntrl-A stage can be skipped. You don't need to select text for S&R to work, unless you want to only search part of the document.
But how do you prevent hyphenated words from getting en dashs? Surely that can't be the goal. If the hyphens are space-hyphen-space, you are better to search for spach-hyphen-space and replace with space-en-dash-space.
04-28-2006, 04:28 AM
I don't have InDesign and have never used En Dashes, but some OSX fonts have a special feature called 'Hyphen to En Dash', which works when you type (letter) (space) (hyphen) (space) letter).
In applications that support the OSX text engine, you select the Hyphen to En Dash feature and the Hyphen is substituted by an En Dash (which is slightly wider). All subsequent Hyphens are substituted automatically by En Dashes. The substitution will only take place if the font contains an En Dash.
Your problem could be that InDesign is expecting spaces before and after the Hyphen.
Adding this feature to a font is straightforward; it can be a simple drag and drop operation, but the substitution only works with OSX apps (Text Edit, Pages, Create, Nisus Writer, etc).
04-28-2006, 06:10 AM
Sometimes the text I get from my book reviewer is full of hyphens that need to be replaced with en dashes. I would search on space-hyphen-space and replace with space-endash-space.
After that, I do a search on hyphen, with no replacement called for, and look at each of them to make sure they do not need to be changed manually.
And finally do a global search on space-space and replace with space, to make sure no double spaces have crept in.
Kathleen's method is also the one I use, but as I prefer em dashes, I change the spacd-hyphen-space to thin space-em dash thin-space.
This stops the em dash bumping into the characters to either side.
04-29-2006, 02:41 PM
This stops the em dash bumping into the characters to either side
It does, but a thin space (em/6 or em/5?) may be a bit too much; some advocates careful spacing say that a hair space is enough, and should be omitted after certain letters. I don't like it, but in England the en-dash preceded and followed by a normal space is all the rage, both in papers , magazines, and books. Then you have the type designers that have shortened the em-dash somewhat and made sure that the side bearings are generous enough to avoid apparent touching of neighbouring letters (Carter, for instance, in Georgia).
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