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This article is from August 19, 2006, and is no longer current.

My interview on InDesign Secrets Podcast!


So, did anyone notice that I was the special guest visitor on David and Anne-Marie’s famous InDesign Secrets podcast?the famous podcast for all things InDesign heard round the world!

I would like to tell you some of the “behind-the-scenes” information on the podcast.

My morning started with a white, stretch limousine picking me up and whisking me off to a small airstrip outside Manhattan where David’s private Gulfstream jet was ready to fly me to Chicago where we would pick up Anne-Marie for the trip to Seattle. There we woud…

errr…what’s that David?


David says I have to be honest and explain that the whole interview was done over the phone with each of us in our respective homes. Oh well…the fantasy was fun.

Meanwhile here’s another bit of useless trivia that I remembered after the Obcusre Feature of the Week (…week…weeek…week).

Let’s say you have all sorts of strange spaces inserted in your text. Flush spaces, hair spaces, thin spaces, etc. And you want to turn them all into normal spaces.

Instead of running a search for each type of space, go to the menu triangle next to the Find field in the Find/Change dialog box. And scroll all the way to the bottom.

You’ll find a listing for white space. This white space will find any kind of white space in the document?regardless of its width.

It’s one of the wild-card characters. And although I haven’t had any files that required it, it might be helpful for cleaning up those weird spaces that sometimes come in with Word document. If someone has one of them, let me know.

Sandee Cohen is a New York City-based instructor and corporate trainer in a wide variety of graphic programs, especially the Adobe products, including InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Acrobat. She has been an instructor for New School University, Cooper Union, Pratt, and School of Visual Arts. She is a frequent speaker for various events. She has also been a speaker for Seybold Seminars, Macworld Expo, and PhotoPlus conferences. She is the author of many versions of the Visual Quickstart Guides for InDesign.
  • Oscar Stoneman says:

    Hello vectorbabe,

    > Let?s say you have all sorts of strange spaces inserted in your text.
    > Flush spaces, hair spaces, thin spaces, etc. And you want to turn them all into normal spaces.

    I would like to look for the “zero width no-break space” (U+FEFF) and turn it to something other. Do you know how to search for it? Searching for “” does not work. But I can turn other things (e.g. “#*#”) to “”.

    Until now, I have to look at each character of every story if it’s contents is “zero width no-break space” (by script). But this is a very slowly method.


  • Oscar Stoneman says:

    > Searching for “”

    this should read “Searching for ””. The forums software interprets this string and turns it to a “zero width no-break space” . ;-)


  • Oscar Stoneman says:

    Oh, I am fighting against windmills. ;-)

    Searching for “” should read as searching for the Unicode FEFF in angle brackets.

  • Anne-Marie says:

    Oscar, sorry about WordPress messing up your code … it’s trying to be too helpful I think.

    Anyway, what script are you using to create the zero width no-break space? (and what would that be used for, I’m curious.)

    Also what version of ID and which platform?

  • Oscar Stoneman says:


    you could use this the zero width no-break space to avoid a line break after “/” at strings like “10 miles/h” or “3 l/s”.

    And if you open a Quark XPress document with InDesign all Xpress bookmarks (or are they notes?) will be replaced with a useless zero width no-break space.

    Here is the script to erase them:

    // eraseNotes.jsx

    var myCode = 65279; // = zero width no-break space = 0xFEFF
    var myDoc = app.documents[0];
    var myCounter = 0;
    for (oneStory = 0; oneStory =0; oneChar–) {
    try {
    if (myStory.characters[oneChar].contents.charCodeAt(0) == myCode) {
    catch (e){}
    if (myCounter > 0)
    alert (“Ready!\r” + myCounter + ” notes erased.”)
    alert (“Ready!”)

    Thanks Oscar

  • Oscar Stoneman says:

    Sorry, instead of the decimal code (65279) for zero width no-break space you can use hexadecimal code (0xFEFF) in the script above too:

    var myCode = 0xFEFF;

    But is there another (faster) way to find 0xFEFF and replace it with nothing.


  • Oscar Stoneman says:

    You can delete InDesign/InCopy notes (which are 0xFEFF too) like this:


    But this doesn’t erase those notes/bookmarks from XPress.

  • Oscar Stoneman says:

    Ah, at least I have got it:

    You can delete bookmarks (from XPress or InDesign, which are 0xFEFF too) like this:


    Thanks for paying me attention

  • Thanks, again, Sandee, for being on the podcast. We’re sure to do that again sometime. Sorry we couldn’t pull off the gulfstream jet — it was in the shop. ;)

    Oscar, it’s very interesting that searching for angle-bracket-FFEF-angle-bracket doesn’t work. That’s probably a bug. But even stranger is that if you export a document with that unicode character in it as InDesign Interchange (INX) and then reopen that file, the character appears to disappear by itself! Does that happen to you, too?

  • Oscar Stoneman says:


    yes, it does, if angle-bracket-FFEF-angle-bracket is insertet as “zero width no-break space”. But if it is inserted as a note or a bookmark (the do have the same unicode value) then after the reimport there are still notes and bookmarks.


  • Sue Klefstad says:

    According to the Adobe forum discussion, this character code is also left-over XML tag marker code. We’ve encountered it when doing a new edition with files that were previously tagged (but are no longer).

    When this is the case, the above bookmark and note removal code doesn’t work.

    You can remove these old tags with changeText():

    app.findTextPreferences.findWhat = “”;
    app.changeTextPreferences.changeTo = “”;
    toc_dest.parentStory.changeText (false);

  • Sue Klefstad says:

    Ooops, I don’t learn from others’ difficulties.

    The findWhat should have
    angle bracket feff angle bracket
    within the quote marks

  • Maria says:

    I wanted to know in the TOC, what must I do so that it pickup automatic the roman figure eg. (ii), it only show in the TOC eg. i, ii, or iii. Can somebody help me

  • @Maria: This is probably a better question for the forums. Try clicking on Forum at the top of the page. There is an option in the TOC dialog box to grab the paragraph number. Perhaps that helps?

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