I am copyediting a novel and I see that the html file, now imported into Scrivener, has a recurring problem with spacing between an end quote and the first word of the following sentence. (The problem could be in the original html file and it is now manifesting itself in Scrivener)
For example: “My mom lives up that road."He pointed to Country Club Road behind them.
After searching the forums for “regular expressions”, “find and replace spacing”, etc., I don’t see an answer to my question, which is: Is there a way to use Find and Replace to correct this formatting problem (and ones similar to it)? Or is there another method that could be used?
I have used regular expressions in the past a few times with applications such as Dreamweaver.
I went ahead and corrected each instance manually, but I could have saved quite a bit of time by automating the process. I like the Spelling and Grammar functions, especially catching the lack of an opening or ending quote which saved me a lot of grief. It would be great to find out how to do the more complex formatting changes easily and quickly.
Scrivener’s find and replace doesn’t support regular expressions, so although you can do this, it’s not as clean a complex replacement and so might not cover all the scenarios properly.
First, you’d want to set the quotes to smart quotes if they’re not already, so you can distinguish between an open and close quote. Then you could use the find/replace tool to search for the close quote (Opt-Shift-[ will give you the character) and then replace it with a close quote followed by a space. To make it cleaner you could first go through and replace closing quotations followed by a paragraph character with some nonsense tag, then run the other replace, then replace the nonsense tag with the close quote and carriage return. This still leaves you with extra spaces anywhere that a space was properly put in originally (if any were) and with unwanted spaces where quotes were interrupted using a dash immediately after the close quote. Might be others I’m not thinking of right away. Also of course if your open and close quotes aren’t right, you could end up with a space at the beginning of a quotation, or still not getting one at the end. Although that would clue you in to the wrong typographer’s quote being used there.
MM, your solution could be tweaked as follows:
The first search-and-replace finds each a close-quote and replaces it with close-quote + space.
The second search and replace would find close-quote + 2 spaces and replace with close-quote + 1 space.
That would avoid having close-quotes with two spaces at least, though the other special cases you mentioned would still slip through.
Point. If you didn’t want double spaces at all you could also use the Format>Convert>Multiple Spaces to Space command on the whole document.
Thank you all for your suggestions. Scrivener does allow these kinds of solutions to manifest!
I’m missing something here.
If the error is
“My mom lives up that road."He pointed to Country Club Road behind them.
Can’t you Search for ."
And Replace All with ."[space] ??
It doesn’t matter what letter follows the close quotes.