Application to find paragraph codes, etc and replace

Hello, back in the dark ages, PAGES allowed us to find invisibles by searching for, example paragraphs using paragraph codes. I need to clean up text and found this application was easy. The newer versions of PAGES no longer had that feature. What can I use now?
Thank you

BBEdit ( can do that. It’s paid but I believe that in free mode you can see invisibles and search for them.


BBEdit can do it, easy. It’s my go-to text-processing workhorse. But it works only on plain text (or marked-up text, such as Markdown), so it’s not a good option for anything with styled text.

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You can still do that in current versions of Pages.

For example, to search for paragraph breaks:

  • View > Show Invisibles;
  • Select a paragraph marker
  • Edit > Find > Use Selection for Find

Now you can search for paragraph markers. If you open the Find dialog, you will see that a shortcut for the paragrph marker is “\n”, a code that will be familiar to Unix users.


Another option is to get DEVONtechnologies’ free “WordService” Services (plugin) and use the Reformat option, or any of the other many options it offers to clean up text

Caveat Emptor: Make sure to select only text to reformat. If there’s an image in the selection it will disappear.

BBEdit is my basic workhorse. I can open anything - even if oops! that’s a binary - I can paste whatever’s on my clipboard, and best of all I can paste almost any text and sort, filter, remove dups, run a reg-ex, change line-ending, split, … . So grateful it['s still around.


BBEdit indeed has many text editing functions and works with really large files (e.g. text file that is larger than 1GB):


The Find (and Replace) interface allows for quick inspection of files, by using regex (e.g. [^[:alpha:][:digit:]]).

The Text Factory interface allows for operations to be sequenced one after another, and applied to text files, which is somewhat similar to pipe operations in Unix/R etc.

I’ve been happily using TextSoap for that and similar things for years.