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Re: Does the groff -ms implementation have a way to switch to a new colu

From: G. Branden Robinson
Subject: Re: Does the groff -ms implementation have a way to switch to a new column in .2C mode?
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2022 23:35:04 -0500

[Rise from your grave, little sister^Wthread!]

On Thu, Jun 6, 2019 at 2:09 PM T. Kurt Bond <> wrote:
> I didn't see it documented in GROFF_MS(7).
[from a later message]
> The context is that I've got a part of my text that needs to stay
> together, and it is being split across columns, so I need to switch
> the column before that part starts.  I have used a .br and .ne X,
> where X is guesstimate at the lines needed, but wondered if there was
> a cleaner approach.

Hi Kurt,

There's not a column break macro like `me` has (`.bc`).  But for what
you're discussing, it sounds like keep macros are exactly what you want.
I'm attaching a file I used to test this.

Our ms(7) documentation did _not_ explicitly discuss this, so I've got a
change pending that should be landing in my next push.

Here's a quote from the man page; the same material will be in and
our Texinfo manual, of course.

   Multiple columns
       ms can set text in as many columns as reasonably fit on the page.
       The following macros force a page break if a multi‐column layout
       is active when they are called.  \n[MINGW] is the default minimum
       gutter width; it is a GNU extension.  When multiple columns are
       in use, keeps and the HORPHANS and PORPHANS registers work with
       respect to column breaks instead of page breaks.

       .1C    Arrange page text in a single column (the default).

       .2C    Arrange page text in two columns.

       .MC [column‐width [gutter‐width]]
              Arrange page text in multiple columns.  If you specify no
              arguments, it is equivalent to the 2C macro.  Otherwise,
              column‐width is the width of each column and gutter‐width
              is the minimum distance between columns.


Description: Troff MS-macros document

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