I'm using an app called Scapple which (I think) accesses the built in Find and Replace of Mac OS.

It's a mind map app into which I'm pasting dozens and dozens of paragraphs from Kindle books. Each time you paste from Kindle, it adds the book title and location at the bottom of the pasted section. Like this:

AuthorSurname, AuthorFirstname. Book Title (Kindle Locations 637-639). Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

I want to get rid of these, and deleting them one at a time is getting laborious. I could remove them in seconds with a Find and Replace leaving the Replace box empty, if it weren't for the Location changing every time.

Is there a way to use wildcards in a Find and Replace in Mac OS apps?

So my Find string would look something like:

AuthorSurname, AuthorFirstname. Book Title (Kindle Locations ???-???). Publishing House. Kindle Edition.

  • I think you could also do this at pasting with an app like Pastebot, Alfred, QuickSilver, or Launchbar
    – samh
    Apr 26, 2019 at 10:31
  • @samh Thanks... I'm not familiar with these apps. As in, I could copy from the Kindle Book and use them to automate the strip out of the erroneous references before pasting?
    – GGx
    Apr 26, 2019 at 11:03
  • I haven't used Alfred, QuickSilver or LaunchBar personally, but I believe that is the case. I use PasteBot and you can set up custom filters on pasted text, including search & replace. If this is a one-time need, then it's probably not a good investment. But I use this feature all the time.
    – samh
    Apr 26, 2019 at 13:50

1 Answer 1


macOS's built-in text find and replace, NSTextFinder shown below, does support wildcards available from clicking the search button and choosing Insert Pattern (⌃⌥⌘P).

Other third-party search dialogs may support regex search. For example, in Scrivener, which is developed by the same company as Scapple, you can perform a regular expression search — [0-9]{3} matches a digit 0-9 exactly 3 times.

  • Thanks so much. I have Scrivener as well and you're right. The option is there in Scrivener but not in Scapple. So I'll have to open a change request with Literature and Latte. Really appreciate your time.
    – GGx
    Apr 26, 2019 at 10:27
  • Then I suspect Scapple isn't using the OS Find after all. Since, if I click inside the Find box in something like Notes, I get the option to Insert Pattern. If I do the same in Scapple, the only options open to me are Recent Searches and Clear Recent Searches. No option for a pattern search. But, it's good to know that's there for other apps in OSX. Back to the change request, I guess. Thanks!
    – GGx
    Apr 26, 2019 at 10:39

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