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Old 05-23-2009, 04:06 AM   #1
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Underscore to Italics in OpenOffice

I'm working on a few text that use underscores in place of italics - _italic here_ - and I was wondering if anybody knows the find/replace code to use for restoring these back to italics in Openoffice?

In word it's _(*)_ using a wild card and then a clean-up afterwards of the stray _ characters. Using 'regular expressions' in OpenOffice this same methodology just doesn't work. I know I'm doing something wrong, and that the answer is probably very simple.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-23-2009, 04:51 AM   #2
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Moejoe,

If you're working with text files, try the attached freeware tool, "textify". It's what I use for all my books that start off as text files. It will remove inappropriate line breaks and, if you choose the "HTML" output option, convert underscores to italics.

It's a command-line tool. Just type "textify" and follow the on-screen prompts.
Attached Files
File Type: zip Textify.zip (44.1 KB, 290 views)
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Old 05-23-2009, 05:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Moejoe,

If you're working with text files, try the attached freeware tool, "textify". It's what I use for all my books that start off as text files. It will remove inappropriate line breaks and, if you choose the "HTML" output option, convert underscores to italics.

It's a command-line tool. Just type "textify" and follow the on-screen prompts.

Ta for that, it was driving me crazy trying to figure it out.
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Old 05-23-2009, 05:51 AM   #4
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I have used textify in another aspect and for sure this can solve your problem on italics.
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Old 05-23-2009, 06:13 AM   #5
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If you want (pcre) regex in HTML:
Code:
Find: \_(.*?)\_
Replace: <i>$1</i>
m a r
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Old 05-23-2009, 09:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue_ronin View Post
If you want (pcre) regex in HTML:
Code:
Find: \_(.*?)\_
Replace: <i>$1</i>
m a r
.* would eat up also all underscores, because the star quantifier is "greedy"
so:
abc abc _def def_ abc abc _def_ abc
will become
abc abc <i>def def_ abc abc _def</i> abc

I would suggest something like
Code:
[^_]*
instead of
Code:
.*
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:12 AM   #7
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suggested [partial] solution in OOo Writer
Find and replace
Find:
_([^_]*)_
find an underscore _, followed by character that is not underscore [^_] that is being repeated as many times as possible * followed by an underscore _. Put characters between underscores into replacement group represented by $1 ()
Replace:
$1
select: More options
check "Regular expressions"
click on replacement expression $1, now click on button Format and select "Italics"

click "replace all"

Please note:
This does not work for italics spanning more than one paragraph.
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:50 AM   #8
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? is the "ungreedy" character. match would end before the second _ character.

m a r
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:34 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogue_ronin View Post
? is the "ungreedy" character. match would end before the second _ character.

m a r
Sorry for not recognizing an ungreedy quantifier *? in Perl syntax.

My favorite tool for working with text using regular expressions is gvim.
gvim alone has 4 (yes, that is FOUR) different syntaxes for writing Regular expressions (and you can combine all four in a single RE, using flags (Magic, NonMagic, VeryMagic, and VeryNonMagic)

The nice thing about standards is that there are so many to choose from.
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