Tech Write Tips

January 11, 2007

Best Practice: Search and Replace

Filed under: Best Practice — AndyR @ 1:15 pm

mag.gifOnce you have your topics in a strict XHTML form, you are able to work with them in more detail. You can use the ‘strict-ness’ to ensure that the content is more consistent.
Although this primarily enables you to use XSL transforms to check and move the content into any required format, it is often overlooked that the clean content is primed for a plethora of searches to ensure your standards are being applied.

A tool such as textpad provides enables you to performing the following S&Rs:

  • Terminology: Simple search for terms that are not used by your house style.
  • Formatting: Search that particular terms have the appropriate xhtml formatting.
  • Linking: Search to ensure all instances of particular types of elements are linked. For example, all instances of ‘dialogs’ and ‘tabs’ link to the appropriate topic.

Care should be taken when doing a global S&R as there is as much potential for creating global problems as there is for fixing them.

Textpad enables you to use regular expressions to refine these searches. Regular expressions enable you to identify phrases that are not (“a^b”) followed by particular characters. They enable you identify phrases that can contain optional (“a|b”) sections.


  1. Thanks, always good posts on your blog!

    Comment by Desktopjunk — April 22, 2007 @ 7:04 pm | Reply

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    Comment by Hasib Ahmed — November 13, 2008 @ 7:56 pm | Reply

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    Comment by Desmond — July 2, 2014 @ 9:16 am | Reply

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    Comment by foleyhendricks9524 — April 8, 2016 @ 11:53 am | Reply

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