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Re: Word wrap

From: platter
Subject: Re: Word wrap
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 13:43:33 -0600

Hi everybody,

Thanks for the responses.  I think I just confused things by mentioning
the WP word, because it set people off thinking that I don't know the
difference between a you-know-what and a text editor.

So let me just wipe the slate and give a concrete example of a
situation that I run into all the time:

I am editing content in an HTML file (or an email, for that matter).
I decide to go back and change around a paragraph, add some stuff, take
out stuff, whatever.  If I have added newlines, or used something like

(setq-default auto-fill-function 'do-auto-fill)
(setq fill-column 50)

in my .emacs file, then I wind up with ragged lines (unless my change
happened to line up correctly, which is a very low probability).  At
this point I have to either be happy looking at the ragged lines, or
go back and manually replace the newlines, or run HTML tidy.  Either
way, I have to either put up with ragged text or perform a step that
takes me away from the flow of writing text.

This is why I would like some way of having the text displayed
automatically to a certain line length, without having to use a tool
other than emacs.

I could be wrong, but I think this falls fairly within the domain of
emacs because it concerns editing text files.

Does anyone have any suggestions on solving this issue within emacs?
I just have this feeling that someone has invented this wheel before,
and reinventing the wheel is, well, you know.

Thanks in advance,


    >> Every "word processor" that I have ever used does this
    >> automatically, but it seems to be completely foreign to emacs.

     > Because Emacs isn't a word processor?

My mistake; implied emacs was a WP.

     > If I type email, I use line breaks.

What if you are writing a longer email, and want to go back and change
stuff (see above)?  Lines become ragged and if you change something
early in a paragraph, you have to correct more carriage returns.

     > If I type a document, I use LaTeX and I use line breaks (they
     > won't show up in the final layout).

     > I fail to see why you want long lines.  I think the problem
     > comes from a Unix versus non-Unix history.

Because it is more comfortable for me when the lines are always a
certain length when I am editing.  If I never changed stuff, auto-fill
would be all that I need.

     >  Unix: We create a file and expect tools to show it exactly as
     > we created it, line breaks and all.

     >  Non-Unix (e.g. Windows): Users type in text using some tool
     > and save it to disk.  They don't care too much about the actual
     > format of that file.  They expect to view the file using some
     > other software and have it look good, albeit formatted
     > differently.

     > Two different visions of how to do things.

     > Peter

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