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RE: usability problem of emacs describe-mode

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: usability problem of emacs describe-mode
Date: Mon, 2 Mar 2009 07:50:50 -0800

> > Description:
> i'm having some problem customize this.
> Basically, all i want is a single horizontal bar, in complete black,
> that's about 60 chars long. (which is a bit longer than the default)
> I tried to customize the string, or the font... basically now and then
> spend some 30 min but can't achieve this.

I'm guessing it would help to get more familiar with the Customize UI, in
particular for faces. It's not ideal, but it is usable once you are familiar
with it.

> i use customize-group. Each time, i have to reload pretty-control-l-
> mode, then call describe-mode again to see.

To see what? You should never need to do that. Have you tried `M-x

> The pp^l string i tried 60 spaces, to make it longer.
> The pp^l highlight i tried adjust the box, but then i got 2 bars. Then
> i tried turn off the box and use strick-through... but it became too
> thin.

Emacs offers no way to change the strike-through thickness, AFAIK. I'm guessing
(only guessing) that things like strike-through are dependent on the font you
choose. And perhaps on your platform (?).

> Also, i think when box is off and strike thru is on and string is
> spaces, it doesn't show the strike thru.

It does for me. Perhaps report an Emacs bug for your version and platform.

> Can you tell me what's the setting to use to get what i want? And,
> would you consider this as default? i.e. just a simple black
> horizontal line that's about 60 char long.

1. Customize face `pp^l-highlight': Remove the boxing.

2. Customize option `pp^L-^L-string': Use a 60-char string of underline
characters, e.g. (make-string 60 ?_).

3. `M-x refresh-pretty-control-l'.

In what way doesn't that give you what you described? 

Turn Strike-through or Overline on (also) if you want a double line:
==================. Or use a string of spaces, and turn on Underline and/or
Overline and/or Strike-through. Each of those lines can be colored, etc. Don't
forget to use the Value Menu to turn these attributes on - it's not enough to
check the box. This is no different from customizing any face.

I want the default string value to be what it is. It lets users, especially new
users, clearly recognize a page separator (and not mistake it for something
else). It's easy to customize it to get something different (once you are
familiar with Customize ;-)).

The default value practically shouts, "(1) I'm a page separator; (2) I cause
page separation when you print too; (3) Customize me, if you think I'm ugly".
About the only thing it doesn't advertize is that you can move among pages (`C-x
]' etc.) and otherwise operate on pages.


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