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I have content in google docs that is being converted to HTML. The main trick is that there are a number of italic sections which I would like to add <em> tags or markdown asterisks.

I tried pasting it into Word and using find and replace with wildcards, with formatting set to italic, but it finds each character separately rather than the italic section as a whole.

If I save it out as html from word of course the formatting is utterly ridiculous (I need clean html, not a font-tag riddled mess)

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Don’t search for a wildcard; just search for a blank search (“Find what”) string, with italics specified.

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^& is the “Find What Text”; i.e., what was found, like & in *nix’s ed, sed, vi, vim, csh, bash, etc… programs.  (And of course you could use asterisks or underscores just as well as <em> and </em>.)

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