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Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs

RTim 07 Jan 09 - 03:24 PM
RTim 07 Jan 09 - 03:26 PM
wysiwyg 07 Jan 09 - 03:28 PM
Ross Campbell 07 Jan 09 - 04:06 PM
Ross Campbell 07 Jan 09 - 04:21 PM
GUEST,Uncle_DaveO (on Firefox, no cookie) 08 Jan 09 - 10:11 AM
wysiwyg 08 Jan 09 - 10:15 AM
Uncle_DaveO 08 Jan 09 - 10:42 AM
JohnInKansas 08 Jan 09 - 01:09 PM
Acme 08 Jan 09 - 01:21 PM
RTim 08 Jan 09 - 02:47 PM
RTim 08 Jan 09 - 02:48 PM
Bert 08 Jan 09 - 03:06 PM
Bert 08 Jan 09 - 03:12 PM
treewind 08 Jan 09 - 03:43 PM
RTim 08 Jan 09 - 04:56 PM
JohnInKansas 08 Jan 09 - 06:46 PM
Joe Offer 08 Jan 09 - 06:47 PM
RTim 08 Jan 09 - 07:19 PM
JohnInKansas 08 Jan 09 - 07:47 PM
JohnInKansas 08 Jan 09 - 07:54 PM
Newport Boy 09 Jan 09 - 10:19 AM
Nigel Parsons 09 Jan 09 - 10:53 AM
Bill D 09 Jan 09 - 11:00 AM
Acme 09 Jan 09 - 11:01 AM
Bill D 09 Jan 09 - 11:05 AM
Bill D 09 Jan 09 - 11:08 AM
Tootler 09 Jan 09 - 03:54 PM
JohnInKansas 09 Jan 09 - 04:59 PM
JohnInKansas 09 Jan 09 - 05:22 PM
The Fooles Troupe 09 Jan 09 - 07:07 PM
JohnInKansas 09 Jan 09 - 10:55 PM
Artful Codger 10 Jan 09 - 07:26 AM
The Fooles Troupe 10 Jan 09 - 08:01 AM
Artful Codger 10 Jan 09 - 03:47 PM
JohnInKansas 10 Jan 09 - 07:05 PM
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Subject: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: RTim
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 03:24 PM

Hi all, I am currently writing on Mudcat while using a Mac running Firefox, and as can be seen from this post, it makes NO difference where I put line ending (here should be one) Or paragraphs! (another) The system just posts my script as a continuous line of text!?! SO - my question is - what can I do to correct this situation? Tim Radford.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: RTim
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 03:26 PM

As a follow-up - If I use Safari instead of Firefox, everything is OK - but Safari gives me other problems, so I don't use it unless i am writing a large amount of text to Mudcat. Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: wysiwyg
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 03:28 PM

Are you checking the "Automatic Linebreaks" box below the text-compose box?

I'm also in Firefox, with no problems. (PC)

~S~


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 04:06 PM

I have posted in both Safari and Firefox and don't find a problem (this is Safari).
(pressed return) should have a new line.
(again). Check "Preview" box and click "Submit Message" to see what it looks like. I have "Automatic Linebreaks" checked. This line has no breaks keyed in and may appear as a single line if you have a wide enough screen.
(return)
Looks OK from here
(return)
Ross


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 07 Jan 09 - 04:21 PM

Just checking if the "enter" key
(enter) has the same effect - seems to do.
(return) Unchecking the "Automatic Linebreaks box produces the effect you're describing.
(return) to see what happens. Preview. Submit Message.

The "Automatic Linebreaks" box is your friend - song lyrics come out the way you set them out. Mine seems to stay set for ever. The only people who need to unset it are those experts in HTML who can code stuff like that in for themselves ( I sometimes envy the effects it can produce (different fonts, sizes, colours, etc) but so far have resisted the urge to get that involved in code again.

Ross


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: GUEST,Uncle_DaveO (on Firefox, no cookie)
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 10:11 AM

For the present purposes I've changed to Firefox. (line break here) (And paragraph)

Where do you find a box for Automatic Linebreaks? I've never seen it as part of Mudcat, that I remember, and using Firefox doesn't appear to provide it. (line break and paragraph)

Using the Preview facility shows the breaks effective. (line break and paragraph)

People have told me I'm confused for years, and maybe this is just another instance. Educate me, please. (line break and paragraph)

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: wysiwyg
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 10:15 AM

This surrounds the box where I compose my reply:

Reply to Thread
Subject:          Help
From:         WYSIWYG

here's the box



Submit Message []Preview   [] Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")

====

Look next to the Preview check-box.

~S~


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 10:42 AM

Susan, you are right. Out of habit, I haven't been aware of that option for a long time; I've just taken it for granted.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 01:09 PM

I suspect that just checking the Automatic Linebreaks below the Reply to Thread box may solve the problem; but if something more is needed some clarification of terminology is needed.

Some people are (correctly) distinguishing between a "line break" and a "paragraph break," but various of us are using the terms differently and some are using other terms that could be either. Calling them by the names of the buttons on your keyboard may not be clear to others with different keyboards (and a different OS).

Once upon a time telegrams were received on a little yellow tape and had to be cut and pasted on a page for delivery. When someone figured out that it would be a lot easier to just print the message in multiple lines on a page, some new characters were invented:

An ANSI character called a "return" moves the entry point back to the beginning of the same line.

A different ANSI character called a "line feed" moves the entry point to a new line but it remains at the same point in the line.

A different ANSI character called a "newline" was invented a little later, and moves the entry point back to the beginning of the line and also drops down to a new line, so the sender didn't have to type lf ret or ret lf, and could just type nl.

"Modern" (less than a few decades old) keyboards automatically provide combinations of these "basic teletype movements" so that a "line break" and a "paragraph break" can be "typed" into text documents to do slightly different things.

In a "plain text" document, there is little apparent difference between a line break (in Windows, Shift+Enter) and a paragraph break (in Windows, just Enter) Note that even speaking exclusively of Windows, some keyboards call the "Enter" button a "Return."

In most Word Processing programs, there can be a significant difference between the two, since the Shift+Enter breaks the line but continues with the same line-to-line spacing (the new line is part of the same paragraph) while a bare Enter usually inserts a slightly different line spacing to denote that a new paragraph has been started. The Enter paragraph break may also, in a word processing program, insert indents, outdents, hangs, etc to provide "paragraph formatting" that requires tabs and spaces in plaintext if you want to "simulate" these format options. In word processing programs, you can set it up so that the "Enter" at the end of one paragraph style (e.g. a "Title" paragraph) makes the next paragraph have a different format (e.g. same example, "Body Text" format.)

In html, most "formatting" is ignored. Multiple spaces are "collapsed" to a single space, and there is no such thing as a "tab." (The simplest way to create "columns" in html usually is to insert a table, but that requires coding.)

At a basic level, the return-plus-linefeed characters should produce the same effect whether it's return-plus-linefeed or linefeed-plus-return, but some programs in the past have produced different results if the order was different.

The "Enter" break, in Word as an example, is quite complex, and is slightly different when typed on a Mac than when typed on a Windows keyboard. In Word, in either version, although it looks like just a simple "glyph" if you elect Display All, the "paragraph glyph" contains all of the instructions for the paragraph format, and you can copy it to a different paragraph to change the "style" of the paragraph. (And that's how some of us did it, sometimes, before the "copy format" paintbrush was added in Word.)

Most people at mudcat probably break lines in posts just by hitting Enter (or Return) and it seems to work well most of the time. To separate paragraphs, just Enter - Enter to insert a blank line.

If you copy a web page and paste it into Word, with "show all" turned on, you'll frequently see lots of "broken arrow" line breaks. (I don't find a glyph for this in any common enough fonts to post a sample of the glyph. The actual glyph seen on the screen varies with the program - and the OS - you're using, but most commonly is a little arrow pointing left, with its broken tail pointing up.)

A "paragraph break" in Word shows as a Pilcrow, ANSI decimal value 0182 or Unicode 00B6 (¶).

Word "Find" usually will find the broken arrow line breaks if you search for "^013" (without the quotes) and you can replace with "^p" to put paragraph breaks in to replace them, or replace with "nothing" to delete them, using Replace All. If your page width isn't wider than the screen width of the person who posted them, they can seriously hinder easy reading, so I usually just remove them, but many of these pages use a double line break to separate paragraphs so some additional "cleverness" may be needed to make a readable text with automatic linebreaks in the Word document.

Old timers here will remember that it used to be necessary to "code" all line breaks by typing a <br> wherever you wanted a break. You can still do that, but it shouldn't be necessary now; and using that method now is "deprecated by management." (You likely will be forgiven if it's the only way you can get an appropriate post to be what you need it to be.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: Acme
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 01:21 PM

On my computer the automatic linebreaks is checked by default.

If it won't stay checked or if you can't see it, a little html will do the trick.

You can choose to mark the paragraphs by using <P> at the paragraph beginning and end with </P> (I used html to make those display properly) or you could skip the paragraph markings and simply use <br> (linebreak) at the end of each line when you want the next sentence to be a line lower. Using it twice will give you a larger gap.


Thus:

<P>You can choose to mark the paragraphs by using <P> at the paragraph beginning and end with </P> (I used html to make those display properly) or you could skip the paragraph markings and simply use <br> (linebreak) at the end of each line when you want the next sentence to be a line lower. Using it twice will give you a larger gap.</P>

OR

You can choose to mark the paragraphs by using <P> at the paragraph beginning and end with </P> (I used html to make those display properly) or you could skip the paragraph markings and simply use <br> (linebreak) at the end of each line when you want the next sentence to be a line lower. Using it twic will give you a larger gap.<br>

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: RTim
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 02:47 PM

I am trying to use the info sent by Stilly River Sage

This means there should be a linebreak and an empty line above this?

Followed by a paragraph?

I do have Automatic Linebreaks ticked (or checked in USA)

I am now going to paste in something below this line from my
Mircosoft Word library on my Mac

George BlakeŐs Alphabet & several Toasts. A covetous man is never satisfied Be wise and beware and of blotting take care Command you may your mind from play Duty, fear and love we owe to God above Every plant & flower sets forth GodŐs power Fair words are often followed by foul deeds Get what you get honestly & use with frugality He is always poor who is never contented ItŐs an ill dog that donŐt deserve a crust Judge not of things by their outward appearance Kings are seldom happy Learn to live as you would wish to die Many thinks not of living till theyŐre near dying Never study to please others to ruin yourself Opportunity lost can never be recalled Provide against the worst and hope for the best Quiet minded men have always peace within Repentance comes too late when all is spent Some go fine and brave only to play the knave Those who do nothing will soon learn to do ill Unite in doing good Vice is always attended with sorrow Wise men are scarce Xenophon counted the wise men happy Your delight and care should be to write fair Zeal in a good cause have great applause. June 1906 - St. Denys

Starting a new paragraph - What does that look like
Tim Radford - who thinks using HTML code is a backword move!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: RTim
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 02:48 PM

So the piece I pasted in - that is perfectly OK in Word
Is RUBBISH!!!!! - Why?
Tim (frustrated) Radford!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: Bert
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 03:06 PM

Er, 'cos Word is rubbish maybe?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: Bert
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 03:12 PM

View it as html in Word and cut and paste the text part.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: treewind
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 03:43 PM

Tim: Word has its own formatting information, hidden from view. If you copy text from Word and paste into a plain text box like the Mudcat message editor you lose all the formatting info and get just the plain text characters.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: RTim
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 04:56 PM

OK OK - But why is it ok if I use Safari rather than Firefox?

Tim


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 06:46 PM

RTim -

In my IE browser, quite a few of your individual characters "fail" and display as inappropriate glyphs. It seems to be a characteristic of Macs, if you paste directly from Word, since you and Amos are about the only ones where I consistently see this behavio(u)r.

Mac "punctuations" and some "formats" often are handled differently than in Windows, even if both are using Word. (And believe me, it drives the page layout people bonkers in the book publishing business, especially when a MAC writer tries to be "helpful" and apply "formatting" to text instead of leaving it up to the book layout people.)

In your post above, all of the apostrophes (') display as upper case O-tildes for me. Copying them to my Word, and using the Word "Unicode detector" shows the errant characters as actually being, in the page code, hex U-00D5 (decimal 0213) which actually is an Õ according to common Unicode font tables.

Assuming that "following Stilly's instructions" means you were typing <P> to start a paragraph, and </P> to end one, if you right click on the page and choose "View code" (works in IE and should in any browser?) I find one of your "paragraph breaks" consisting of:

"<br>&#13;&#10;<P>&#13;&#10;&#9;"

The <br> alone will produce the line break that you want.

The &#13;&#10;< is approximately a line feed + return, which is redundant and may or may not be ignored by browsers, and probably means you hit an Enter/Return or whatever it's called on a Mac.

The <P> is a "new paragraph" in html,

followed by another line feed+return and an apparently extraneous "number nine" character - (&#13;&#10;&#9;)

[vague memory is that the char with decimal value 009 is a tab, which html ignores completely.]

The <P> tag does produce a new paragraph and is consistent so far as I know. The problem is that each <P> in principle should be followed by a </P> or the html parser (the one in your browser and sometimes the one at mudcat) gets jammed up. Some browsers (actually most reasonably current ones) allow you to omit the "closing" </P> (except for the last one) and most should handle missing ones okay, since the standard is "soft" on whether closing the paragraph tag is required; but a few browsers, especially older ones, may perform unpredictably.

The simpler <br> is one of extremely few html tags that does not ever require that the tag be closed hence less danger of mangled posts.

If you compose in Word, when you're happy with what it looks like, open Find and Replace and "find" ^p and "replace with" <br> using replace all. The mess that you get will be all one line, but when posted, run through the mudcat sorter, and then back through the viewers' browsers it should look just like what you typed to begin with.

Mudcat, and most browsers, should recognize the ¶ paragraph break in Word when you past from Word to the input, but sometimes the first one is ignored and it takes two to get a break.

Explanation: ANSI 0010 + ANSI 0013 is the correct pair of control characters to get both a drop down to the next line and a return to the start of the new line. It isn't supposed to make a difference which order the two chars appear, but for some programs - including some browsers - it does. HTML deliberately "ignores anything it doesn't understand;" but if it ignores the first one, the opposite sequence is "embedded" in the "set of four" chars it sees when two ¶ chars are adjacent (10 13 10 13 contains a 13 10 in the middle and 13 10 13 10 contains a 10 13 pair in the middle).

There's sort of an explanation for the weird tilde chars from Macs, I think, but it's not brief like the above.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 06:47 PM

Good question, Tim. I'm hoping somebody can come up with an answer for you. I'm thinking there are two aspects to your question, and neither has been completely answered.
#1: Line breaks:
Generally, if I type or paste text into a Mudcat message box and the "automatic linebreaks" box is checked, Mudcat will put a <br> line break every place where I've typed a carriage return. Are you saying there are carriage returns in your text, and whey you copy-paste from Word, the carriage returns don't carry over? I'd like to know more about this issue.

#2 Strange characters:Word makes curly quotation marks and apostrophes and custom-size dashes and a few other characters that aren't in the Standard Character Set used by Mudcat. If you paste those characters into a Mudcat message box, you may have trouble. Sometimes, I've had luck pasting my messages into a text editor like Notepad, saving as a text document, and then copy-pasting from Notepad to Mudcat. If you saved a Word document as a text document, I wonder if the same would happen.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: RTim
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 07:19 PM

To Joe Offer -
Yes - when I paste in copy from Word - with carriage returns, and The
Auto Lines is checked - they are ignored!!
I am glad you can see my problem....
I don't want to put HTML characters all over mt text
Like I am now!!!!!!
To think I was once a Computer Professional.

Thanks - Tim R.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 07:47 PM

Joe -

In Word, you can choose whether to use curly quotes or straight ones. While theoretically the curly ones shouldn't break a post if they're just in text, they're not recognized in places where quotes are called for in html code and it's recommended that you not use them anywhere in html-ish situations lest they creep in where they aren't appropriate.

If you set your Word to NOT USE curly quotes, and then replace " with " all the curly ones should disappear and be replaced by straight ones. You should also, with the same setting, replace ' with ' to get rid of curly apostrophes for consistency.

The setting in Word used to be at Tools | AutoReplace but nobody knows where they put it in Word 2007. I found it once and turned off the curlies.

[Insert a pause]

Okay - after a ten minute search:

In Word 2007 click the cow splat.

At the bottom of the drop-down click "Word Options."

Since you're wanting to change what Word does as you type, obviously you want to click "Proofing." (Silly me, I'd always done the proofing after I was done typing, but Mickey knows better.)

Near the top, you'll find "Autocorrect Options" and when you click there there's a section "Autocorrect as you type" where you can UNCHECK the "straight quotes with smart quotes."

(Five clicks in the new Word is lots better than three in the old ones.)

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 08 Jan 09 - 07:54 PM

RTim -

Forget the coding and try just inserting TWO CARRIAGE RETURNS each place you want the line to break. Paste something and preview it, and see if that works.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: Newport Boy
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 10:19 AM

RTim - try using a program other than Word. I use a number of programs for text (none Microsoft) and pasting from them all works fine.

Phil


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 10:53 AM

John(inK)
Thanks for a couple more informative posts.
I've been annoyed for a while (but not enough to research) when EBay listings always puts a triple line space in my descriptions. I'll have to try Shift+Enter

Cheers
Nigel


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 11:00 AM

First...the C & P post looks ok in my Opera browser....though I'm not sure exactly how you INTENDED it to look. So...I'm curious...

This is how it looks when I look at it in "view source" in Opera (a screen copy)

Let me try something. I copied it from the thread and pasted it into a simple little text editor, then REcopied it and am now going to paste it into this post below.

"George BlakeŐs Alphabet & several Toasts. A covetous man is never satisfied Be wise and beware and of blotting take care Command you may your mind from play Duty, fear and love we owe to God above Every plant & flower sets forth GodŐs power Fair words are often followed by foul deeds Get what you get honestly & use with frugality He is always poor who is never contented ItŐs an ill dog that donŐt deserve a crust Judge not of things by their outward appearance Kings are seldom happy Learn to live as you would wish to die Many thinks not of living till theyŐre near dying Never study to please others to ruin yourself Opportunity lost can never be recalled Provide against the worst and hope for the best Quiet minded men have always peace within Repentance comes too late when all is spent Some go fine and brave only to play the knave Those who do nothing will soon learn to do ill Unite in doing good Vice is always attended with sorrow Wise men are scarce Xenophon counted the wise men happy Your delight and care should be to write fair Zeal in a good cause have great applause. June 1906 - St. Denys"





Then I will look at it again in "view source"...and post the screen copy.....I am hoping it looks much simpler.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: Acme
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 11:01 AM

I've cut and pasted from many programs (including browsers) into this Mudcat reply form and had them work fine. Hard and soft returns are the main thing I've had to overcome in formatting the appearance here on Mudcat. You seem to have some hyper-sensitivity to the formatting, with cut and paste picking up all of the background formatting far beyond carriage returns.

The industry standard for Word or PC users for plain unadorned text is to use Notepad, found in the accessories section of your programs if you're using a PC with Windows. I send the icon to my desktop and use it frequently as a place to park items I want to edit then paste. If you don't want your returns to show then go to the Format menu and de-select "word wrap."

SRS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 11:05 AM

So....Here it is after the text was copied from a simpler text editor...Metapad.

Obviously, Word does as JiK says, and does a LOT of hidden stuff which complicates things.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 11:08 AM

(My wife uses Word for many things...I NEVER do unless I need to open a .doc file from somewhere....and I do have programs which 'will' open those without Word.)

For simple tasks, it is often better to use a simpler tool.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: Tootler
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 03:54 PM

If I am copying and pasting into Mudcat, I use a plain text editor. It seems the best plan.

Mostly I don't use MS Word at all these days, I use Open Office instead. For the most part, it is as good as Word, it will open and save to .doc format (The latest version will also open .docx files). I keep a copy of Word 2003 on my PC as there are occasions when I have to use it. Mainly because formatting has got mucked up somewhere.

Finally Open Office is totally free.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 04:59 PM

Bill D -

I'll agree that for simple tasks, sometimes a simpler tool is better, however in my use what starts out as a simple task often evolves into something a little more complex. By using Word for it all, and learning a few things about how to use Word I find it quite easy to do plain text or formatted documents all in one program.

(Unfortunately, the latest incarnation in Office 2007 makes it much easier for those reluctant to learn how to use a program to do "simple things" inadequately, and impossible for them ever to learn to do any of the more complex and extremely useful things, and riculously difficult for those who know what the "power features" are to actually use them.)

Generally, it should be noted that there are hidden but very significant differences between Mac Word and Windows Word. The "polluted chars" (here Ő in place of ') are a well-known Mac Word "feature," when Mac Word documents are ported to Windows or other systems. Explanations have been posted in brief form in other threads. although they weren't specifically directed at Macs and it may be hard to make the link.

Microsoft has apparently been giving some attention to tailoring the Mac Word to improve compatibility in the most recent versions. Apple may have been doing some things as well, although typically they don't tell anyone when changes are made. The issue does seem to pop up less frequently for newer Mac Word versions.

User preferences in either Mac or Windows Word can aggravate that particular problem; but some of the applicable settings appear to be defaults, or are just more commonly set, by Mac users.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 05:22 PM

Nigel -

For Mac users, it more likely is the "Shift-Enter" break that causes the problem cited in posts at mudcat.

IF your paragraph format is set in Word to add space between paragraphs (or to indent or otherwise format a new paragraph), the simple Enter adds the space and starts a new paragraph. IF you need to break the line without adding the space, or indenting, etc., the Shift-Enter breaks the line but doesn't end the paragraph so no extra space or other paragraph start features are added. If your paragraph format is not set to add a space and not to indent, the result is the same for either in Word, but the difference between the two kinds of breaks may cause problems elsewhere.

Mudcat makes no distinction between the end of paragraph break and the line-break (when the line break works), so there's NO REASON to use anything but "paragraph breaks" in a post. Use TWO CONSECUTIVE PARAGRAPH BREAKS if you want a space (blank line) to show that you're starting a new paragraph.

If your computer/program (usually a Mac) flips the 0010 and 0013 chars in the text stream, and if it causes a problem, TWO CONSECUTIVE PARAGRAPH BREAKS will only give one line break, but THREE CONSECUTVE PARAGRAPH BREAKS should give you a break plus a blank line.

Gettiing rid of the Shift-Enter (Windows) "soft line break" and using ONLY paragraph breaks likely should solve the problem here. If not, using NO TYPED BREAKS and inserting <br> where the breaks are wanted - WITH NO OTHER BREAKS AT ALL - should work until a more complete fix can be worked out.

Composed in Word with only paragraph breaks, and replacing all paragraph breaks (^p) with <br> will make it look pretty messy in Word, but when it's pasted into the Reply box and posted (after previewing) it should come out fine.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 07:07 PM

Old farts and HTML.... sigh...

Once upon a time the <P> thingy was used - in spite of the 'alleged recommeded standard' of always using a closing </P> - on its own because certain browsers - probably for ease of 'quick & dirty coding' in writing the browser - on its own, so it became the 'new default standard'....

I went thru and fixed all my web pages once I discovered this - it was called in some circles using 'buckets' - or containers for code concepts - and it made using my bought colour coded text editor work properly - and later on the new HTML standard introduced the concept of the <P /> closing the end of the buckets ... I'm not changing hundreds of pages again!

Sigh - old fart here.... :-)


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 09 Jan 09 - 10:55 PM

I really hate it when a youngster like the Foolestroupe affects an age of understanding and tries pretend he's one of the knowing elders like me.

I certainly can understand his desire to be one of the wise; but ...

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: Artful Codger
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 07:26 AM

Safari naturally handles MS Word text better than Firefox because it is Apple's browser, and Apple is far more sensitive to the vagaries of Word (especially Word for Mac) and Apple clipboard ("pasteboard") interaction than the Firefox folks. After all, handling Word documents is crucial to Apple's strategy to lure defectors from the ranks of the Microheads.

Even though Mudcat posters like you don't want to code HTML, your Mudcat messages must conform to HTML conventions to display properly. In particular, any characters outside the ASCII range should be converted to HTML "character entities". Otherwise, they will not appear in the resulting post as you think they will. The sole exception is that if the "Automatic Linebreaks" box is checked, Mudcat converts standard linebreak sequences (LF, CR-LF or LF-CR) to HTML breaks. It will not (at present) help with other line break sequences.

Text pasted from word-processors or web pages is particularly troublesome, because quotes, dashes and the like map to non-ASCII characters, not to the simple apostrophe, double quote and hyphen in the ASCII set. No proper HTML conversion is performed for these symbols (or for non-English characters) when you paste the text into Mudcat messages.

On Mudcat, when pasting text containing "smart" quotes or dashes, diacriticals, "foreign" characters, or symbols, preview your message! Do not judge by how it appears in the message entry box.

To get the right stuff, you might save your text within Word as HTML, then switch to viewing the text as raw HTML and cut/paste from that. But within your text Word might intersperse formatting directives that, when pasted into Mudcat, result in improper HTML.

The solution I recommend is to use one of my "htmlesc" scripts, which I've posted in these threads: [Python script - Mac only] [Java source - cross-platform]. These scripts convert the text on the clipboard, translating all non-ASCII characters to appropriate HTML equivalents. So you copy the text you want to the clipboard, run the script, then paste to the Mudcat message box. And, of course, preview before submitting.

As others have noted above, you may have configured your Word program to generate non-standard line breaks. If so, you could edit one of the scripts to convert the value of the unrecognized line break to a standard linefeed character (0x0A) or HTML break directive. That might take care of the problem while still converting clipboard text from other sources properly.

I've discovered one conversion bug in the scripts: Z/z with caron is converted to a named entity escape which is not recognized by some browsers; deleting the map entries for these characters fixes the problem--they'll be replaced by HTML hexadecimal escapes instead.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 08:01 AM

I still have the magazine with the construction kit for the Altair 8008...

:-P


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: Artful Codger
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 03:47 PM

I forgot to mention that three ASCII characters should also be encoded with HTML escapes:

Angle brackets: use &lt; (<) and &gt; (>)
Ampersand: use &amp;

For complete compliance, double quotes (&quot;) should be encoded, as well. It is quite common not to realize that these are special HTML markers. While generally you'll still get what you expect, it results in improper HTML which some browsers may munge, and it is more likely your posts will become unreadable as the net transitions toward XHTML and XML.

Another technique that might work for you is to bracket your text with CODE directives, which tell the browser to treat the text within specially. Among other things, the browser will not replace all adjacent whitespace characters (spaces, tabs and newlines) with a single space. Example:
<code>Here you can freely put text with line breaks
    and indentation,
and they will be preserved as entered.
</code>

A similar directive is PRE. With both, you must still encode all non-ASCII characters, angle brackets and ampersands. You can still embed HTML formatting directives, such as for italics. Note that if you don't put the directives on the same line as your text, the line break next to the directives will be preserved, producing blank lines you probably didn't intend. As you can see above, the browser renders the bracketted text in a monospace font (all characters have the same width), which helps align chords with words when they come from plain-text files.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Help with Line Ends & Paragraphs
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 10 Jan 09 - 07:05 PM

Mudcat has a filter that usually will detect & characters that you type into the text and will display them just as the character; but for safe posting it's a good idea to use the code - &amp; - if there's any possibility that it might be mistaken by the html parser for a code.

Any character can be safely coded by using "&#nnnn;" where the nnnn is the decimal number for the character from the ANSI or Unicode standards, or using "&#Xaaaa;" where the aaaa is the hex number for the character. This should be used carefully since having the correct code for a character is useless if the person reading your post is using a font that doesn't include the one you post. And don't forget the ";" on the end.

For easy entry, a number of "special characters" have "special forms" so that you don't have to look up the numbers:

&amp;    prints &
&copy;    prints ©
&iquest;    prints ¿
&reg;    prints ®
&aelig;    prints æ

There are quite a few others.

It's suggested that you get a list if you have a need for special chars (that might be common enough that people will be able to read what you post) and select the ones you want to remember.

The <pre> tag can be used at the start of something, with the closing tag </pre> at the end, and as noted the post will preserve spacing, tabs (usually), and other "layout." It's best to compose the post using a monospaced font like Courier since the pre tag will display in a monospaced one. It's especially useful for posting chord names above lyrics, if you're willing to do the layout to get the spacing right.

Another tag that will preserve most simple formatting is the <cite> which displays your text always in italics but with most spacing and breaks intact. The cite tag must be closed with the </cite> tag at the end of what you want it to include.

If you type multiple spaces in a post, the html parser will collapse them to a single space, and like an old linotype it inserts a tab as a series of spaces which it then collapses to one space - if it recognizes the tab character at all. You can simulate tabs by using "nonbreaking spaces" - &nbsp; - that    won't    be    collapsed, but since users can be looking at the result in either variable or mono spaced reader fonts, the "tabs" may be a bit ragged for some readers.

If you really need a "tab effect," it's probably best to use a table. Coding a table isn't really too complex, and you probably can find instructions easily enough if you're smart enough to use them.

(Actually I'm joking about the requirement to be smart enough. Lots of 'catters can make tables; but the instructions are too lengthy to duplicate here what's easily found elsewhere.)

John


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