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I love LibreOffice / OpenOffice, but some tasks we cannot do in it, like mentioned in this question title: search and replace special characters in Writer. Someone does know how to do that?

You can do that tasks in MS Word (for instance, search for "^p", that is paragraph mark, and replace it with "^t", tabulation).

Also, you can do that also in Notepad++ (in showed example, using "\n" and "\t").

But in Writer, although there is a option "regular expressions", I cannot search for special characters with it - I always have to copy+paste text to MS Word/Notepad++, do what I want and copy+paste back to Writer...

Edit #1:

With tabulation mark it functions searching for \t.

What about with paragraph marks or line breaks? It does not. I've already tried \r, \n, \r\n, \n\r, ^p, ^l...

Edit #2: Almost solved by @Linker3000, but what about paragraph marks?

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The $ sign will search for a paragraph mark, but not replace with one. – user114967 Jan 23 '12 at 20:40
up vote 8 down vote accepted

You can certainly use regular expressions in LibreOffice 3.4 as I have just tried it:

enter image description here

There's a fuller list of what can and can't be used here:

Edit: There's some comments on how to deal with paragraph marks here:

share|improve this answer
but what about paragraphs, line breaks...? – kokbira Jun 17 '11 at 14:18
Try the regex expressions like \n – Linker3000 Jun 17 '11 at 18:45
With tabulation mark functions, but paragraph or line breaks it does not. I've already tried \r, \n, \r\n, \n\r, ^p, ^l... – kokbira Jun 17 '11 at 18:54
I.e., it is impossible to do a single search for paragraph marks :( You can search for line breaks "shift+enter" (or a <br> in html) with "\n". You can search for a text in a beginning of a paragraph, like "^thing" will search for a text "thing" that is in beginning of a paragraph. But paragraph mark no! :( Think that: I have a long text and I want to change all occurrences of "two enters" (not "shift-enter") with "one enter" (not "shift-enter"). How to do that? In MS Word, it's only replace of "^p^p" with "^p"... – kokbira Jun 17 '11 at 20:25

Even better (in my opinion) to do it with AltSearch. See this post. In the GUI of AltSearch You'll easily find codes all the non-printing chars and much more.

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Are there any official download link? How to use it? – kokbira Apr 22 '13 at 12:43
It looks like got renamed to Alternative dialog Find & Replace for Writer. Ages ago I used to code regular expressons in ~/.config/libreoffice/3/user/config/AltSearchScript.txt (I'm on linux) -- then I would assign them hotkeys using AltSearch GUI. I coded quite a number of text tranformations this way. Which exactly do You need? – Adobe Apr 22 '13 at 21:13
Only an effective way to replace tabulation marks with paragraph marks and vice-versa... E.g., I use that to transform some data organized in lines to spreadsheets. Currently, I use more than one application to do that if using Libre Office / Open Office. With MS Office it is so easy - on Word: 1) replace all ^p^p with ^l, 2) replace all ^p with ^t, 3) replace all ^l with ^p, 4) ctrl+a, ctrl+c; On Excel: 1) ctrl+v... – kokbira Apr 23 '13 at 12:30
I would suggest posting sample data: how it looks like after Ctrl-v. Then how You'd like to be -- after transformation. I'm sure it is possible with altsearch. It also might be possible with default LibreOffice find-replace. Please start a question and give a link here. – Adobe Apr 23 '13 at 13:05

Try this extension: Alternative dialog Find & Replace for Writer

share|improve this answer
Add a bit of detail, please. – vonbrand Apr 20 '13 at 14:28
I installed that extension, but how to use it? – kokbira Apr 22 '13 at 12:38
Hmmm... The same suggestion as @Adobe? – kokbira Apr 22 '13 at 12:42

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