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Re: soft wrapping and line numbers

From: address@hidden
Subject: Re: soft wrapping and line numbers
Date: Fri, 02 May 2003 15:06:37 -0400
User-agent: KNode/0.7.1

Stefan Monnier wrote:

>>>>>> "address@hidden" == address@hidden com <address@hidden>
>>>>>> writes:
>> Refill also has problems with tabs--indenting everything.
> I'm not sure what you're referring to here.  Could you expand on it
> a little ?
>> That's not a bad way to work if you're like me and tend to hit the caps
>> lock when you're reaching for the tab key. But if you want your text to
>> have proper tabs you can do my Handy-Dandy, Patented, Kludgey, Little
>> Genius Workaround.
> You might want to try longlines.el which does the same as your workaround
> but differently and allows you to deal with short unwrapped lines (using
> use-hard-newlines).
>         Stefan

I hope I'm remembering all this correctly. It's been about a year.

With the refill mode in standard text mode using the tab, the tab will tab 
every line right after that. With paragraph-indent-text-mode I had problems 
with the size of the tab indents varying. That is, sometimes they might be 
the equivalent of eight spaces, sometimes five. Cutting and pasting from 
DOS files seemed to exacerbate this. Sometimes they'd be spaces rather than 
actual tabs. Since the original files were tabbed, and not spaced, I don't 
know why this is. It also did this with just general cut and pasting within 
the file.

I'm a writer so I just switched to writing in the TeX style of 
double-spacing between paragraphs using regular text mode instead of 
tabbing. Then I use the macro I described to convert it to long lines when 
I'm finished. I send out my work by e-mail so I don't want shortlines when 
I'm pasting into the e-mail program. This could result in the receiver 
getting weird line breaks.

One of the side benefits, that I mentioned, was that I have a lot less 
trouble with hitting the caps-lock when I'm reaching for the tab. So I'm 
getting in the habit of working this way. Lots less capital cleanup.

I also had to make three companion macros. One that removes tabs and 
converts everything back to double-spaced paragraph form. Another to paste 
copied text in a filled manner, so I don't have to go back and fill it 
manually. And another to unfill paragraphs for times when I DO need to keep 
things in the double-space form.

For what it's worth, I'm using version 21.1.1. Maybe there's a better answer 
out there and I didn't have to go to all this trouble. Maybe I just 
displayed my ignorance in front of the world. But it still seems to me like 
the most sophisticated editor in the world should have the basic capability 
of wordwrap without newlines. Like I said, Windows Notepad can handle it. 
Emacs should also. I suspect it would become a whole lot more popular among 
writers if it could do this without going to a lot of trouble.

I was reluctant to even say anything to the first poster--probably I 
shouldn't--because, since Emacs is a free program, I feel like an ingrate 
complaining about it.


Author of "Linux for Non-Geeks--Clear-eyed Answers for Practical Consumers" 
and "Boring Stories from Uncle Rod." Both are available at

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