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Old 10-26-2012, 12:18 PM   #1
dicknskip
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Broken dialog regex

I have several cases where inadvertant paragraph breaks are found in quoted text. I have a regex that will search for all sets of typographic (curly) quotes, but it finds all of them in the book. I can't think of or find, and I have searched, a method to locate cases of matched quote sets that also include a </p> or a <p> (either one should do) in the quoted text. Being able to do that would sure shorten the find and fix process.
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:49 PM   #2
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I would say post a lot of samples of what you want to fix, and the regex you currently are using.

I would probably use something along the lines of this, but unless we know specifics, the perfect regex cannot be built:

Code:
([“][^”<]+)</p> <p>([^”]+)
Replace with:

Code:
\1 \2
It might be a little more complex if you want to handle "dumb quotes", since it is tough to tell which is left or right, although I believe you would be going through these manually one by one, and not pulling a "Replace All".
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:19 PM   #3
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The type of thing I have is <p>Some words, “some more words.</p> <p>Some more words.”</p> There are line ends involved as well. Everything between the quotes is one statement. I am using “(.*)” Yes, I do a single find search with dotall and minimal turned on and fix by hand. I'll try the code you gave above.
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:01 PM   #4
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Will this do?
Search:
Code:
(“[^”]*?)</p>\s+<p>([^“]*?”)
Replace:
Code:
\1 \2
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Old 10-26-2012, 07:18 PM   #5
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Even though you'll probably not run across it all that often, keep in mind that dialogue that spans multiple paragraphs (same speaker) might not have matching open/close quotes. And that's intentional.

<p>"Blah, blah blah.</p>
<p>"Blah, blah, blahblahblah.</p>
<p>"Blahblah, blah, blah, blah, blahblahblah."</p>

Would be perfectly valid, typographically speaking, yet will likely cause any "hands-free" Find & Replace regex/script/routine (that's predicated on one-to-one matched open/close quotes) to barf pretty hard.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 10-26-2012 at 07:20 PM.
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Old 10-27-2012, 03:21 AM   #6
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A good idea is to first make a regex that matches paragraphs without closing quotes, you usually don't find too many. Check these paragraphs to make sure that they are correct, then use a special character that is not used in the book to make a pseudo-closing mark. Else add in the missing quotation mark. e.g.:
Code:
<p>"Blarg something happened.</p>
Becomes:
Code:
<p>"Blarg something happened.~</p>
Edit your regex to now close with both the quotation and your new mark, you shouldnt hit anything this time round, meaning that there are always closing pairs.

Now make your regex for replacing the quotes. The trick is to preserve your pseudo-closing.
Code:
<p>Blarg something happened.~</p>
Finally remove the closing+following pseudo-closing.
Code:
<p>“Blarg something happened.</p>
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Old 10-27-2012, 09:49 AM   #7
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I do understand the multi-paragraph dialog/quotation structure, that's why I only use a find and fix manually approach to this problem. Also, since the new release of Sigil added the very easy special character insert and stored clips/searches I ensure all books I edit use typographical quotes. I'll try these ideas and see how it works. I'll have to create test cases as I don't have a current text with the problem. Thanks all.
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Old 10-27-2012, 10:44 AM   #8
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SOLVED

I built a test file and tried the suggestions. The one from Perkin worked like a charm. I think I'm on my way. Thanks to all for the advice and to Perkin for the working code.
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Old 11-09-2012, 01:52 PM   #9
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I'm have the trouble with a regex I've been using. It's a slightly modified version of one I found in this thread.

Find
Code:
(“[^”]*?)</p>\s+<p.+>([^“]*?”)
Replace
Code:
\1 \2

Sample
Code:
<p class="calibre1">“The cat</p>

  <p class="calibre1">sat on</p>

  <p class="calibre1">the mat”</p>
Gives me

Code:
<p class="calibre1">“The cat</p>

  <p class="calibre1">the mat”</p>
ie the middle line gets deleted. Why? I thought it might have been the clean source but I turned that off and restarted with the same results.
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Old 11-09-2012, 02:22 PM   #10
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I do not use this as a search and replace. I only use it as a search and then hand fix the located parts. The replace part is just too variable to work well. For example, a long speech may contain multiple paragraphs, and that is correct. It will be caught by the search as the proper grammer is to have an opening quote for each paragraph in the speech and a closing one only on the last paragraph. Use it to search and then hand fix the areas.
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Old 11-09-2012, 03:08 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steadyhands View Post
ie the middle line gets deleted. Why?
<p.+> matches any paragraph (e.g. <p class="calibre1">sat on</p>) and since it doesn't contain any brackets for back-references whatever it matches gets deleted.
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Old 11-09-2012, 04:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dicknskip View Post
I do not use this as a search and replace. I only use it as a search and then hand fix the located parts. The replace part is just too variable to work well. For example, a long speech may contain multiple paragraphs, and that is correct. It will be caught by the search as the proper grammer is to have an opening quote for each paragraph in the speech and a closing one only on the last paragraph. Use it to search and then hand fix the areas.
I don't auto replace, I make the decision each time. I agree about the paragraphs that span many paragraphs. I flip between Find, Replace/Find and manual edits. It's good at finding orphan words that are a single paragraph.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
<p.+> matches any paragraph (e.g. <p class="calibre1">sat on</p>) and since it doesn't contain any brackets for back-references whatever it matches gets deleted.
Thanks
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