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Re: Wordprocessor behaviour

From: address@hidden
Subject: Re: Wordprocessor behaviour
Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2003 15:30:46 -0400
User-agent: KNode/0.7.1

Daniel Andersen wrote:

> Hi all!
> I'm quite new to emacs and I have a question which has bothered me a
> long time. I'm writing a book and started using emacs insteed of Word,
> which I got pretty much tired of, but there is one thing which annoyes
> me; when I have written a long sentense and it is wrapped to many lines
> on the screen, then when I want to go on "screen-line" up in the same
> sentence, it jumps to the previous paragraph insteed, which means that I
> have to move the cursor along the line insteed to get upwards.
> I have searched for information on this but couldn't find any myself; I
> know that one can have emacs break long lines itself, but I don't want
> it to do so...
> Hope anyone can help me!
> Daniel Andersen

There's also refill mode, which wasn't in the documentation that came with 
my version. It'll auto-fill and then go back and refill automatically 
without having to do the M-q thing.

It does have some drawbacks. One is that it appears to work best with the 
paragraph formatting you see here--no indentation and separated by a blank 
space. If you're using LaTeX to produce documents that's not a problem, 
since that's the format it uses. However, refill conflicts with LaTeX.

Like M-q it leaves newlines (a lot of people call them carriage returns) at 
the end of each line.

Refill also is greedy. If you type this:

A few
every line.

It'll put them together into "A few words on every line." I toggle it for 
this reason. I bound it to a function key.

If you do tab in regular text mode EVERY line after that will be tabbed. 
Frankly I find it easier to type things out in block form like this and use 
a macro to convert the paragraphs. It's easier because I don't accidentally 
hit the Caps Lock key and start eVERY PARAGRAPH LIKE THIS.

There is a paragraph-indent-minor-mode which allows you to use refill AND 
tabs. The problem I've found, at least on my machine, is that for some 
reason the size of the tabs varies. No it doesn't make sense to me either.

So I write text files like this, using a macro to convert it to tabbed 
paragraphs with long lines when I'm done and just grump a lot.

For what it's worth, I'm a news writer who works at home using Emacs on a 
Linux box. I send my work out as straight text files by e-mail. When I have 
something destined for paper (beyond throwaway notes) I use LaTeX.

I just figure it's the price I pay for all the rest of the advanced 
features. But it sure would be nice if someone could make a proper word 

Hope this helps


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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