The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #67222   Message #1126990
Posted By: JohnInKansas
01-Mar-04 - 10:41 AM
Thread Name: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
Subject: RE: Tech: Alternatives to Office and Word
clueless don

Everything that's in the formatting is displayed in format windows, so there are no "secrets" to be revealed by "opening up" the carriage return. If you want to know the paragraph style, you look in the style window. If you want to know about the paragraph indents, etc., you look in "format paragraph," and get a pretty "plain english" description. The font (typeface) name and point size are always displayed, but if you want more information you look in the "format font" window.

In all probability the carriage return is only an anchor (reference point) for pointers to where things happen in the document. The actual format "instructions" are most likely in the file trailer. It might be clearer to say "the & is formatted and the format of the & controls the format of the preceding paragraph."

The point here is that if you copy a carriage return symbol, and paste it onto the end of another paragraph, both paragraphs will be "formatted" the same.

The "practical" significance of knowing that the carriage return "contains" the paragraph format is that it helps you remember that something happens when you delete one. If you put your cursor to the left of a carriage return and delete it, the format of the preceding paragraph "continues into the following one." If you put the cursor to the right of a carriage return, and "backspace" over it, the format of the "following paragraph" is "carried" with the cursor into the preceding one.

Twenty years ago, we'd have been debating the difference between the "paragraph mark" (& ANSI 038), the Carriage Return (ANSI 013), and the Line Feed (ANSI 010). In most command line programs (and in WordPerfect?), the & is a CR/LF pair, and in some old programs it mattered whether it was 010-013 or 013-010. It took several years that I recall before the ANSI 038 could be fairly universally "interpreted" by a lot of old - but living - programs; but the "object" that's displayed in Word by the glyph for a "paragraph" is accurately described as "none of the above." If you use an ANSIVAL() function (e.g. in Visual Basic, or C) to "read" what one is, it will tell you it's an ANSI 13, but in a Word document it's a formatted ANSI 013, (and maybe some other things as well,) so you've only gotten part of the story.

"Disassembling" the & would be somewhat akin to taking off the wheels and removing the drivers seat in order to decide whether to change the engine oil. It ain't gonna tell you much that's applicable to anything that should concern you, and it's gonna be a whole lot of work. Add a quart and drive on.