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Re: [O] [RFC] Shrink columns dynamically

From: Kaushal Modi
Subject: Re: [O] [RFC] Shrink columns dynamically
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2017 17:56:44 +0000

On Tue, Jul 11, 2017 at 8:26 AM Nicolas Goaziou <address@hidden> wrote:

I don't use column narrowing; I don't know what other users expect from
it either.

I use column narrowing when I need to fit all columns of an org table in a screen width (roughly 100 chars wide).

If I have a column called "Description" that can have 100's of characters in a cell, I'd like to not push the other columns to the right outside the screen.

- Having line truncation on hides the columns that go beyond the screen width
- Disabling line truncation makes org tables difficult to read
- So the column width cookie is the best thing we have at the moment
The latter table without truncation enabled:

Are there some rules to decide what would be an acceptable narrowing
(e.g., narrow columns larger than 10 characters by half or to 20
characters, whichever is the smaller) or do users really need to decide
piece-wise the number of characters needed?

In my use case above, I would do the narrowing just enough to have the tables fit in my usual window widths.
If the latter, would
a numeric argument for the narrowing command be sufficient?
If the column widths do not get saved, it would get tedious to repeat those narrowing steps each time the same Org file is opened.

Note that in
this case, it may not be possible to narrow multiple columns at a time.

Narrowing multiple columns would be a necessity. That, plus doing so automatically when an Org file is opened. See above screenshots to see my typical use of column width cookies.
Also, do we need to commands for that, or would cycling between
expanded/narrowed by some factor (see above)/shrunk states be

I typically just set it and forget it. If I need to remove the widening, I comment out the "#+STARTUP: align" line and do revert-buffer.
IOW, let's discuss about specifications.

1. Need to save the column narrowed state somehow individually for each column, specific to a table in a document.
2. Alternative: Look at the window width and calculate the factor by which all columns should be narrowed so that the whole table fits the window (Sounds very complicated). 

Kaushal Modi

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