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Re: Emacs as word processor

From: Yuri Khan
Subject: Re: Emacs as word processor
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2013 10:06:22 +0700

On Mon, Nov 25, 2013 at 4:06 AM, Thien-Thi Nguyen <address@hidden> wrote:

> If "faces" (the concept) were to include these extra-character features,
> then their composition would be greatly complicated.  Too, application
> (i'm imagining the case of yanking text w/ a ‘face’ text-property that
> controls, say, pre-paragraph line-spacing into the middle of other text,
> which has conflicting specs, or a context where "paragraph" does not
> even have meaning).

In *Office, styles are subdivided into “character styles” and
“paragraph styles” (and, more recently, “list styles” and “table
styles”). Text that is cut or copied out of the middle of a paragraph
does not carry paragraph styles with it. Thus, pasted into a paragraph
with different spacing, it assumes the spacing of the target paragraph
(as spacing is a paragraph style feature).

On the other hand, a whole paragraph, when cut, carries all its
paragraph styles, and all its content carries its character styles.

Additionally, if text is not explicitly formatted with character
styles or character-level direct formatting, it behaves as plain text
when cut, assuming the character styles of the paste target.

Also, text can be explicitly marked as e.g. italic but otherwise have
no font-related formatting. Thus, it will inherit other properties
from the context: if pasted into a body paragraph whose base font is
black normal straight Times New Roman 10pt, it becomes black normal
italic Times New Roman 10pt; but pasted into a heading whose base font
is blue bold straight Arial 16pt, becomes blue bold italic Arial 16pt.

This is in fact very similar to Emacs’ face composition mechanism
where many faces may be applied simultaneously, with some properties
of some faces being undefined.

Now, problems arise when characters *do* have explicit character-level
formatting that is visually indistinguishable from the base paragraph
font. Such text *will* carry the font with it when copied and pasted,
giving the user the feeling of unpredictability and not being in

Another frequent problem with WYSIWYG formatted text editors is
pasting text copied from a different application, such as a web
browser or a different word processor. It is then common to retain as
much formatting as is available in the source document, which is
rarely what the user expects.

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