My instinct is this needs to be scripted. It's easy enough to use GREP to find these words, but changing the case to "normal" has no effect, as far as I can tell. You need to change to Sentence Case, and that isn't an option in Find/Change. You also run some risk of changing things you don't want changed, like state abbreviations and other acronyms.
In fact, Harbs has already written a short script that does this. You'll find it in the comments on theis page: http://indesignsecrets.com/using-grep-to-make-a-character-lowercase.php
You'll also find some more discussion at http://forums.adobe.com/thread/329167
Well, it would seem there is a definite need for some sort of extended 'search for uppercase convert to lowercase' and most likely vice versa lower to upper. But the examples were pretty much specific vs global as I wan't/need.
And you're right changing states and acronyms.
What's needed is a script builder like is built in to Photoshop.
The Upper to Lowercase command already exists on the type menu. The need is to import that command into a script to execute 1 by 1 as the need arises.
Which brings me back to the blue info button that appears when I create the grep command. It says 'search format exists'. And what does that mean ?
As was pointed out, the only way to access the change case commands (which is waht you want to do) is through a script interface. You simply can't do it with a Find/Change. You CAN set the search parameters, though, and then run the script that Harbs so generously posted. I'm sure if you post on the scripting forum, someone would probably be willing to also help you with adding a list of states and acronyms you know you don't want to change, or perhaps adding a pause for confirmation at each hit.
This is just too complex to have an simple all or nothing solution since there are always likely to be workd you actually DO want to have as all caps (but maybe if you add a character style to those that forces all caps, you'd get away with changing everything after all).
I'm just learning indesign. I found a bunch of adobe videos on adobe.tv, but the adobe viewer claimed the videos were in the wrong format or other. This is an OLD problem with adobe viewer.
I just figured maybe there was a simple solution [nothing in the helps had anything on it.]
And it would seem my history with program problems is still true to form. Problems I find, normally don't have a solution.
We've already pointed you in the direction of a solution. If you've used styles (as you should) there's a good chance you can limit the GREP search parameters using styles and or limited search (story, selection) to eliminate a lot of the false positives you might otherwise see.
If you don't wnat to try what's offered, that's another story.
Harb, sort of along the same lines, but not exactly. I am looking for the code (if it exists) to find where the ALL CAPS style has been applied (i.e. Command+Shift+K). Your GREP code is doing a good job at catching where someone typed multiple CAPS in a row, but not if someone types lowercase and then applies ALL CAPS.
I have your GREP set up in the paragraph style, and it activates a character style to flag the text as pink text, and it is working well on everything but the ALL CAPS style.
What do you want to do when you find the text to which All Caps is applied?
Since this text is really lowercase, with the All Caps attribute added, there's probably not a lot that can be done with GREP styles that you would want to do, since it would affect all lowercase text with that paragraph style (and as before, a character style that sets the case to Normal does nothing here).