TaskPaper tag system and GREP


I understand that there are those in the TaskPaper community who are fiercely protective of TaskPaper remaining as it is without using styles or graphics in TaskPaper. I completely respect that and I am offering the following suggestion only as one users opinion for his own workflow. I do not wish to stir a debate, but only to humbly offer an opinion here.

I believe that Jessie uses a library or a code structure from which he designs TaskPaper. I don’t have enough information about that to know for certain if what I am about to suggest is doable or not but, here it goes …

I would like to suggest that more styles could be applied to a TaskPaper document, by adding additional tag systems to a future version of TaskPaper. That is to say, instead of the one tag system that TaskPaper now uses (marking all tags starting with the character “@”), two more tag systems could be added (for example marking tags that start with the characters “#”, and “&”.

The reason that I am offering such a suggestion is because, I find my primary use of TaskPaper is as an organization tool that is particularly useful as a writing instrument. I use it to keep track of the many parts of a very long and complex (legal) document. Saving searches with tags is very helpful. I also have some basic tags for adding bold, italics, and bolded italics, to any paragraph using the .less file.

I was wondering if any sort of GREP logic is available to Jessie when he is writing from his code base when he creates future versions of TaskPaper? I don’t know what code library he is using so I don’t know if what I am going to suggest is possible. If so, I was thinking that, suppose there was a kind of tag that only affected everything to the left of it until it came to a space? This would allow a tag to affect a word within a paragraph and to bold, color, italicize, or underline that word. Naturally you don’t want to use an existing tag to do this which is why I was suggesting adding a different tag trigger.

You could also offer a tag that affected all the information to the left of it until it hit a period or a return character. This would allow for styling to be applied to only a line in the midst of a paragraph.

If GREP parameters could be used and if you could set a tag to the parameters I have suggested, you might also have a preference setting for custom tags which the user would specify to their own preferred GREP parameters (beginning of a sentence, return character, etc.)

I understand that eventually I am going to have to port my project to a word processor environment. I offer this suggestion here for TaskPaper as it is very challenging to review what I have to write and compare it with what I have already written - looking for brevity, avoiding repetition, and seeking better clarity with constant revisions. Because of this, when using TaskPaper as a draft writing mode - as I am organizing my ideas, I would find it very useful if I could color or bold a word in the middle of a paragraph that would be otherwise unaffected.

This would be very helpful to me as I scan what I have written for key words or terms.


The system uses REGEX on its query system. That means that you have as much power in Taskpaper already as if you were using grep. Since grep uses regex for its avance options, you probably can do it just changing your grep query.

Now… Although TaskPaper uses REGEX for its query, it cannot do much other than displaying the results. For that you will have to use one of the many scripts available. You can probably modify one of them to your liking or needs.