Batch Processing / Automation Tips

Text Processing

Dreamweaver Find and Replace (w/ Regular Expressions)

Finding and replacing text is pretty straightforward. For example, you can find all text matching “car” and replace them with “cars”. Other types of find and replace are not so obvious. Here are some examples.

  • Replace “x” with “x followed by a tab”
    This is useful when you want the text to be tab delimited so you can copy and paste it all into Excel so that each column (separated by a tab) will appear in its own column for further processing.
    FIND: x
    REPLACE: xt
    REGEX: checked
  • ┬áReplace new lines with “x newline”
    This is useful if you need to edit text that appears at the end of a line.
    FIND: n
    REPLACE: xn
    REGEX: checked
  • Wrap multiple values (one on each line) with single quotes (‘x’)
    This is useful when you’re building a long drop down list of options in the format
    <option value=’a’>a</option>
    <option value=’b’>b</option>
    <option value=’c’>c</option>

    FIND: n
    REPLACE: ‘n’
    REGEX: checked

Excel

In Excel, you can do a lot of text processing. There are many string editing functions including “concatenate” to append multiple text together. There are also many mathematical functions such as average (AVG), sum (SUM), etc. For example, if you wanted to subtract $5 from a column of prices, in the first cell of another column you can enter “=A1-5” (assuming A1 is the cell of the original price, and then drag the corner handle of the new column all the way down to subtract $5 from all prices.

Searching and replacing all text can be done column by column. Just select the column you want, hit Search and Replace and enter the values you want to search for and replace with.

RegexBuddy Find and Replace

RegexBuddy is great for building regular expressions in different regex flavors. It also can return all matches from a large block of text for further processing.

Image Processing

Photoshop

When you need to process many images, use the Recording function in Photoshop and then the Batch Process command. I’ve used this to resize many images and it sames me a lot of time. When you need to remove the background of a many images to isolate the subject, then you’ll probably have to do that manually. In that case, outsource to India/

eLance / India

Certain things are good to outsource to India. Here are some:

  • Background image removal
  • Data entry
  • SEO / Link Building