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Sharing Find/Change Queries with Other Users

The InDesign Conference just wrapped up and it was better than ever! There was a lot of InDesign and InCopy goodness that was presented and I had the opportunity to talk with and help users with InCopy questions ranging from “how do I get started” to specific and detailed InCopy workflow questions.

During one of my InCopy sessions, I demonstrated how you can use InCopy to perform basic Find/Change searches as well as more complex GREP searches to clean up text in an InCopy file or InDesign layout. One of the attendees, amazed at the capabilities of this feature and how much time that it could save in their workflow asked if it was possible to share these Find/Change queries with other users once you’ve created them on their machine. The answer of course was yes, but I didn’t have time to show how to do it. So I promised to write a post on how to share these saved Find/Change Queries with other users. So here goes!

Saving a Find/Change Query

Several posts have been written on this site regarding different uses for Find/Change including the powerful GREP search. So I’ll focus here on saving a query (search), and then locating that file. To start, within the Find/Change dialog box, you need to save your current query by clicking on the Save Query button in the upper-right corner of the dialog box.

Provide a name for your saved query in the Save Query dialog box and click OK. This will save your query and you’ll now see its availability in the drop-down menu at the top of the Find/Change dialog box.

More after the jump! Continue reading below
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Locating the Saved Query

Due to the various operating system platforms in use (Mac/Windows) as well as the various versions of those operating systems, you’ll have to use the file path that applies to you. Below I’ve provided the paths for these locations.

Mac OS X

Application “Roaming Data Folder”
/Users/[User Name]/Library/Preferences/Adobe InDesign/Version #

Application “local cached data folder”
/Users/[User Name]/Library/Caches/Adobe InDesign/Version [#]


Windows XP

Roaming Data Folder:
C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Application Data\Adobe\InDesign\Version [#] Local Cached Data Folder:

C:\Documents and Settings\[User Name]\Local Settings\Application Data\Adobe\InDesign\Version [#]

Windows 8/Windows 7/Windows Vista

Roaming Data Folder:
C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\InDesign\Version [#] Local Cached Data Folder:

C:\Users\[User Name]\AppData\Local\Adobe\InDesign\Version [#]\en_US\Cache

Once you locate the folder path described above, you’ll also find a language folder within based on the language you are using. For English, the folder will be called “en_US”. Inside of that folder you’ll locate several other folders, one of which is called Find-Change Queries. That folder will be organized by the type of search either Glyph, GREP, or Text. Open the appropriate folder and you’ll find an XML file with the name of your saved query. Copy this file to a jump drive or server volume that can be accessed by another computer.

Copying the Query to Another Computer

Go to the computer to which you want to copy this saved query. Essentially you’ll use the same file paths as above (or slightly different depending on their platform and OS), to copy the saved query file to this new computer. Depending on your environment, you may or may not have write permissions to this folder so you may need to obtain the help of your IT department (stop laughing). They should be able to assist you with copying the file to the new location.

I’d love to see Adobe make this process easier by providing an export and import option within the Find/Change dialog box. Until then, it’s totally achievable but it takes a little bit of work.

Chad Chelius is an Adobe Certified Instructor, Author, and Consultant in the Philadelphia area and works with clients to improve their creative workflows using Adobe products. He's also the author of several courses on He specializes in PDF accessibility using Adobe InDesign and is a regular speaker at The InDesign Conference and PePcon.
  • R Thomas Bernr says:

    Thank you.

  • Jestli nÄ›kdo neustále vlepuje jedny a ty samé nesmysly, polopravdy a lži, tak jen dokazuje jaký je hlupák bez vlastních argumentů. A hlupákem je i ten, který nedokáže pochopit ačkoliv to již slyÅ¡el mnohokrát, že tady je zájem o názory čtenářů ne o pÅ™edem pÅ™ipravené absolutní pravdy.

  • Alok Rawat says:

    Thank you very much!!

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