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Re: [Groff] gtbl, T{ ... T} doesn't work?

From: Ted Harding
Subject: Re: [Groff] gtbl, T{ ... T} doesn't work?
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 2004 16:30:54 +0100 (BST)

On 12-Jun-04 Dorai Sitaram wrote:
> I'm sorry.  My editor automatically filled my text (because of a lousy
> plugin I wrote :).  I meant:
>   .TS
>   tab(@);
>   l l l.
>   1 @ 2 @ 3
>   1 @ T{
>   a 
>   long
>   text
>   block
>   T} @ 3
>   .TE
> (with the common left margin elided).

If that's exactly how you entered it, then you should leave
out the spaces before and after each "@", i.e.

   l l l.

otherwise each space will be considered part of the table field.
In particular, "@ T{" will be read literally, and "T{" will not
be interpreted as markin the start of a text block. Also, your
"1 @ 2 @ 3" etc. would put the spaces into the table. It's better
to leave the layout to "tbl"!

> It appears that it is not enough for the T{ to be the last thing on a
> line and the T} to be the first thing on a line.  Apparently T{ should
> immediately follow tab or beginning-of-line, and T} should immediately
> precede tab or end-of-line.  However, I don't think I've ever seen this
> further restriction ever spelled out, in the online documentation or
> even the venerable UTP.

It's not even spelled out in the original "Tbl - A Program to Format
Tables" by M.E. Lesk, though it's implicit in the statement:

  "In order to include a block of text as a table entry, preceded it
   by T{ and follow it by T}. Thus the sequence
   block of
   is the way to enter ... Note that the T} end delimiter must begin
   a line; additional columns of data may follow after a tab on the
   same line."

The "implicit" bit is "block of text as table entry": this implies
that the entire table entry is the block of text, precluding the
use of spaces before T{ or after T}. The example at the end of the
manual also shows the format explicitly.

Best wishes,

E-Mail: (Ted Harding) <address@hidden>
Fax-to-email: +44 (0)870 167 1972
Date: 12-Jun-04                                       Time: 16:30:54
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