How to Find Number Words in Your Transcript

How to Find Number Words in Your Transcript

The Problem

You are proofreading a transcript in AutoScript Desktop (ASD). You need to find all of the places where a number was spelled out to make sure the transcript adheres to your agency's style guidelines. The transcript is over 100 pages long and your eyes are tired already after 5 pages of review. We can help you!

The Solution

Use the Regular Expression option in the Find tool, and a nifty regular expression we've built for you. Here are the steps.
  1. Open ASD and open a job where you need to proofread for this issue.
  2. Open the Find tool. You can use the default keyboard shortcut [Ctrl]+[F] or you can click the [Find] button on the Home tab.
  3. Click the down-facing arrow next to the Find text box, and check "Regular expression.

  1. Copy the following search string and paste it into the Find text box.
[\s,\-]eight[\s,\.,\,,\?]|eighteen|[\s,\-]eighty|eleven|fifteen|fifty|five|forty|[\s,\-]four[\s,\.,\,,\?]|fourteen|hundred|[\s,\-]nine[\s,\.,\,,\?]|nineteen|ninety|[\s,\-]one[\s,\.,\,,\?]|[\s,\-]seven[\s,\.,\,,\?]|seventeen|seventy|[\s,\-]six[\s,\.,\,,\?]|sixteen|sixty|[\s,\-]ten[\s,\.,\,,\?]|thirteen|thirty|three|twelve|twenty|two|thousand|million|billion|trillion
  1. Press [Enter] -OR- use the right and left arrows to navigate all the search results.

How Does it Work?

First, let's talk about regular expressions. A regular expression (shortened as regex or regexp), sometimes referred to as rational expression, is a sequence of characters that specifies a match pattern in text (Wikipedia). In short, it's a very powerful, but possibly complex way to find things in a document that basic search strings can't handle.

Now, let's look at the pieces of the regular expression above so you can understand how they work together.
  1. The pipe character "|" means "or". So we are looking for something "or" something else. In our case, there are quite a few ORs.
  2. The brackets "[  ]" are a list of possible characters we want to match
  3. The comma is used to separate each character in the bracketed list.
  4. The backslash+character format is used to look for special characters. For the first one, "\s", we want to look for a space. And for the second one, "\-", we're looking for a hyphen.
So now, let's break down the first part, "[\s,\-]eight[\s,\.,\,,\?]"
  1. [\s,\-]   we want to find either a space or a hyphen; this is important because "eight" can be part of many words, such as freight, or weight, and we don't want to find those
  2. eight  after the space or hyphen, we want to find the word "eight"
  3. [\s,\.,\,,\?]  lastly, we want to exclude words such as "eighth", so we look for a space, a period, a comma, or a question mark.
You'll notice many of the words in the search string are there without any extra characters surrounding them. That is because they do not occur as parts of other words, and so we can search for them on their own.


If you'd like to learn more about using regular expressions, feel free to reach out to our support team using the Request Help link above. They are a powerful feature available to you in AutoScript Desktop. Let us help you make the most of that feature.
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