Breaks. Why Did It Have To Be Breaks?

That list of 1,347 annual donors is staring at you on the screen. Each donor name is separated by a paragraph break and your department director just casually asked you to convert this to line breaks because it needs to take up less space in the program book.

You’re not crazy, that list is mocking you with delight over having ruined your morning. It’s practically quivering at the thought of triggering to your repetitive stress syndrome. But if you know this simple Find and Replace trick, you can tell that list to sod off and finish the entire task in seconds. Hint: it involves the caret character.

I published an article at with step by step instructions for this chore along with how to go about converting a paragraph or line break list into a comma separated list.

The Secret To Converting Paragraph Breaks Into Line Breaks And Creating Comma Separated Lists


About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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