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I am struggling to find some GREP to find lines before a string when I need to exclude the string itself from the selection.

In this example, I need to find the 2 lines before "Fox", but exclude "Fox" itself.

Apple   
Banana   
Carrot   
Duck  
Egg  
Fox  
Giraffe

"((.*(\n)){2})Fox" returns "Duck Egg Fox", so I just need to exclude "Fox" from the selection.

1 Answer 1

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You can use lookaheads in InDesign GREP queries, so you can just search for:

(.*\n){2}(?=Fox)

That will match Duck[break]Egg[break] (with the line breaks).

Some of the parentheses in your regex expression are not necessary, unless you need to capture each line as a subexpression as well.

(If your lines are delimited by paragraph marks, you would of course use \r instead of \n.)

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  • Thanks for your time Janus - it worked exactly as I hoped
    – RobC
    May 19 at 15:09

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