Search and Replace via IDB

   As stated elsewhere, the Instant Database module is, at its core, a search and replace device. Not only can it be used to replace document variables with personal values, it can be used to replace any text (not just variables) with any value.

   If you have just a single word or phrase you want to change, you probably should just stick with Word's Find and Replace function. But if you want to perform searches and replaces on multiple words, consider the Instant Database.

   Simply call up the Instant Database screen (Alt-D) and start typing. Type the 'old' word or phrase in the left side of the screen,  and the replacement value at the right. To move from field to field, uncheck the "Left column locked" button in the lower left side of the screen. With IDB, you can replace a practically unlimited number of terms with new ones simultaneously. If you think you will might repeat the search and replace exercise at a later time, save the search and replace terms you have typed as a new record.

  Global (all open documents): when the first button in the Advanced Array (the series of checkboxes at the bottom of the IDB screen) is checked, the replacements will be made against all open documents. So if you happen to have all (or at least several) documents open in separate windows, each of which contain the 'bad' text, consider using the Instant Database to perform a search and replace against all open documents.

Click to reduce.

The first checkbox in the Advanced Array tells Pathagoras to perform the replacements against all open documents.


   Folder-wide: To replace variables across an entire folder, click the red Power Tools button. Then check the 'Whole Folder Search and Replace' box. The next action you take (where 'Scan' or 'Next' (meaning 'replace' this context) will initiate a routine for you to select the folder against which you wish to apply 'search and replace. Just follow the steps. See this link for a bit more illustration.


Once you have created a list of 'search for' and 'replace with' terms on the Instant Database screen,  ask yourself whether you might want to reuse this list. If you think you will, save it as a record or as a mask. Call it (for example) "S&R Terms" to distinguish it from client or customer records. By doing so, you can recall the record from the dropdown lists at a later time and use it over and over again.

You cannot type an 'Enter' into the replace box. If you need to add a paragraph mark as part of the replacement text, use <P>.

If you want to replace against all documents in a folder, use Pathagoras Search and Replace tool discussed in the previous section.)

You can activate the S&R tool while in the Instant Database screen. Just click the red 'Power Tools' button at the bottom of the IDB screen and click the 'Search & Replace' button.


  lightbulbsmallInstant Database is available as a MyButton in the Alt-Q (Quick Picks) menu.