Script to add / remove underscores?

Hi, I’m using a set of TaskPaper files to organize sets of hashtags, and I’m wondering if anyone could help me with a script (or two scripts) for (1) removing all underscores (2) adding underscores (preferable just for second level items) wherever there’s a space separating words/text.

Thanks so much for your help with this!

Wouldn’t the Find and Replace command do that?

Under the Edit menu > Find > Find and Replace

Or type ⌘⌥F


Thanks! Well that could very well work for removing all underscores.

But what about adding underscores (preferable just for second level items) wherever there’s a space separating words/text?


Although not as easy, you can use the Find and Replace command for that too.

Type a space in the Find field.
Type a underscore in the Replace with field.

Then use the Next button to skip through spaces that you don’t want to replace. When you get to a space that you want to replace, use the Replace or Replace & Find button.

I hope that helps!

1 Like

Thanks very much. Appreciate your help!

1 Like

So…I’ve been using the Find & Replace approach, and it has generally worked fine, but…I’m not having to switch back and forth between finding & replacing multiple formatting.

Is there a simple script or approach in AppleScript or Keyboard Maestro that would enable me to do this? Thanks again!

Hi @printer printer. I have seen similar things to what you have requested done with RegEx. You will have to come up with the RegEx (expression) that accomplishes what you want. Then you can run that many different ways.

I am not sure if there is a forum for RegEx experts that can help you come up with that first. Maybe it is a question for StackExchange. You will have to define specifically what you want so they understand your request. I think that there are a couple of people in this forum that are very fluent in RegEx, but I haven’t seen them in a while. @mattgemmell is the one that comes to my mind.

My understanding is that you will need two RegEx

  1. One that selects all the hashtags that have underscores in them and then selects the underscores in that hash. You can then remove them easily
  2. One that selects all the hashtags that have spaces in them and then selects those spaces. This is be more challenging since you have to somehow determine how many spaces your hashes can have or you need a particular way to tell the computer when you are done with your hash. You then can substitute those particular spaces with something else.

Having those RegEx’s you can have a simple script that runs through the RegEx’s and checks for the level location.

Good luck with your

1 Like

This regular expression should select all instances of underscores: /_/g

See it in action here.

1 Like

Hey @printer, I tried to figure out your problem using

It seems as if what you want is REALLY REALLY difficult because you need a way to know when your tag is done. I would not like to say that you want is impossible because RegEx is its own programming language with experts there. But I would recommend you to try something other than spaces. I have seen people using comas to distinguish when the tag is done, like the following

#This is, #an, #example

That way you can have the program know when the tag is done. If you think that you like spaces, then comas are the way to go. Of course, that complicates the RegEx expression even more, but I think that someone can come up with something to help you.

Also, you will have to make sure that you are ONLY placing the tags at the end of the line. If you add any other text at the end of the line, the RegEx will fail. Hope this helps.

1 Like

Thanks so much for everyone’s input! I greatly appreciate it, and I’m sorry for my late reply… Basically, I’m imagining two scripts that would toggle between two functions:

  • Find & Replace: # ‘s - with nothing ; :’ s - with nothing ; and _ 's with a space;

  • Undo the Find & Replace functions above;

That’s it!

So, how’d you suggest I set up scripts to accomplish this?