newbie script question re Find command

Peter Brigham MD pmbrig at
Tue Mar 22 18:37:08 EDT 2011

On Mar 22, 2011, at 5:31 PM, Timothy Miller wrote:

> Hiya,
> I guess I never tried to write a script like this before. Thought it  
> would be simple... Well, it is simple, probably, just not simple in  
> a way that I actually understand.
> How do I find multiple instances of a string in a given field of a  
> given card and record each foundchunk in a variable, and then stop  
> repeating the find command when the last instance is found?
> I want to do this in the context of a repeat loop that goes to all  
> the cards in the stack in sequence.
> Sooo, I also need to know... How do I tell the repeat loop to move  
> on to the next card:
> - if no instance of the string is found on the card
> - and
> - after the last instance of the string is found on the card
> Hope that's clear.
> I understand I'll probably want to nest a repeat loop using the find  
> command on each card, with exits when certain conditions are met.  
> I'm choking on the details.
> I don't need a complete and accurate script. Just the general idea.
> Thanks in advance.
> Tim (the world's oldest newbie)

It's never too late to be a newbie!   :-)

Here is a function that returns the all the offsets of a string in a  

    function offsets tStr,tCntr
       -- returns a comma-delimited list of all the offsets of tStr in  
       put "" into mosList
       put 0 into startPoint
          put offset(tStr, tCntr,startPoint) into os
          if os = 0 then exit repeat
          add os to startPoint
          put startPoint & "," after mosList
       end repeat
       if char -1 of mosList = "," then delete last char of mosList
       if mosList = "" then return "0"
       return mosList
    end offsets

Using that, you could first

    mark cards where fld <tFld> contains <tStr>

then loop through the marked cards and find the full list of  

    put empty into foundList
    put length(tStr) into strLength
    repeat with c = 1 to the number of marked cards
       put the name of marked cd c into cdName
       put fld <tFld> of marked cd c into fldContents
       put offsets(tStr, fldContents) into offsetList
       replace comma with cr in offsetList
       repeat for each line f in offsetList
          put f & "|" & f+strLength-1 & "|" & cdName & cr after  
          -- use pipe char as delimiter,
          -- or any other char not found in data
       end repeat
    end repeat
    if char -1 of foundList = cr then delete char -1 of foundList

this will give you the full list of foundchunks in the form:

78|85|card id 1016
266|273|card id 1016
13|20|card id 1018
... etc.

and you can parse this by setting the itemdelim to "|" and referring to

    char (item 1 of line n of foundList) to (item 2 of line n of  
foundList) of <tFld> of (item 3 of foundList)

to get the chunks.

Not tested, and can probably be streamlined, but you get the idea....

-- Peter

Peter M. Brigham
pmbrig at

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