# how to use search & replace to make superscripts? [closed]

I am editing a document and want to change numbers used in scientific notation to superscript. For example, I would like to make all occurences of -5 appear as superscripts. There must be a way to use search and replace to change all -5s, then all -6s, etc. I just don't want to make each change individually.

In the search and replace window, there is a superscript option. However, it searches for superscripts. I don't want it to do that but rather to change normal numbers to superscripts. What am I missing?

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### Closed for the following reason the question is answered, right answer was accepted by Alex Kemp close date 2020-10-16 23:23:45.251329

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You can use some RegExp magic.

Let's assume you are searching for something like 10-5 or 10-77 but not 11-2 or 10 - 7 (notice the space), and you want to select the negative exponents only to raise them. Open the full search-replace tool with Ctrl H → More options → check Regular expressions. On the Search box type something like

(?<=0)-[:digit:]+

This is a "look-behind expression" that search for a "minus" (here a dash, if your text have real "minus signs" --U+2212-- you'll need to change the expression accordingly) and one or more digits that follows a zero, but without selecting the zero. Of course it will be quite difficult to find positive exponents without messing up proper numbers, but at least you have something :)

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Search for the value you want to change using Find all - once found the values will be selected and you can apply a pre-existing style, or use Format | Character to change the selections to superscript.

If this answer helped you, please accept it by clicking the check mark ✔ to the left and, karma permitting, upvote it. If this resolves your problem, close the question, that will help other people with the same question.

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Thank you, robleyd. I should have thought about that. It would often work just fine but sometimes I may want to make changes on a case-by-case basis. Any way to do that?

( 2017-10-07 06:20:28 +0100 )edit

If by case-by-case you mean some but not all of the e.g. -5 then unless there is an additional search parameter that will identify the cases - for example followed by a full stop - then you'll need to do them individually.

And remember you can use regular expressions to find.

( 2017-10-07 07:18:09 +0100 )edit

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