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Re: .SPACE in mom

From: Steve Izma
Subject: Re: .SPACE in mom
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2021 10:19:35 -0500

On Wed, Nov 10, 2021 at 08:50:29PM -0500, Douglas McIlroy wrote:
> Subject: Re: .SPACE in mom
> .sp |d, where d is some vertical distance, provides that much
> space from the top of the page above any immediately following
> text. The nominal height of such text is the line spacing,
> \n[.v].

While I think that this helps to clarify the use of "|" in .sp, I
suggest that it's important to show that ".sp |d" is essentially
a "vertical move to" instruction. It can be used anywhere on the
page to change the current vertical position. Important usages
are to move to the top of the next column (which is not
necessarily the top of the page) or to position a diversion in a
precise spot for output (the horizontal position of the output
can be made precise with a temporary change to the page offset
with .po).

This implies thinking about a page layout in a non-serial way,
which is very useful in complex layouts, either multi-column
pages or, especially, for single-page layouts with a variety of
elements in posters, flyers, ads, etc.

In multiple-page documents, like newsletters, I often set
"anchors" at the beginning of the document that give the page
number, column number, and horizontal and vertical origin
positions of a block, usually a graphic with a caption captured
in a diversion. My start-of-page macro first of all checks to see
if an anchor has been defined for the page, outputs the diversion
in the proper position, then sets traps so that the current text
flow moves around the output block. This is for occasions where
the output block needs to be always positioned in a particular
place and isn't really related to a position in the text flow
(banners, mastheads, ads, among other things).

    -- Steve

Steve Izma
Home: 35 Locust St., Kitchener, Ontario, Canada  N2H 1W6
E-mail:  phone: 519-745-1313
cell (text only; not frequently checked): 519-998-2684

The most erroneous stories are those we think we know best – and
therefore never scrutinize or question.
    -- Stephen Jay Gould, *Full House: The Spread of Excellence
    from Plato to Darwin*, 1996

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