Re: the Tab prblem -- request for input

Subject: Re: the Tab prblem -- request for input
From: Randy Kramer (
Date: Sun Oct 07 2001 - 09:48:37 CDT


Interesting question. I just tried it in Word97 for kicks, on a single
and a multiline paragraph. The behavior is something like your no. 2 --
as you insert tabs, the text moves further and further to the right,
wrapping more and more to the next line.

Not every tab does this, and it seems to depend on something I haven't
quite put my finger on yet. Depending on something, the first tab(s)
may or may not move the line to the right and cause it to wrap more to
the next line. Sometime later, one or more tabs will not cause this,
but simply fill the line up with more tabs. Finally, when the line is
filled with tabs all the way to the left margin, each press of the tab
key will force the line further to the right and wrap more to the next

Anyway, as is often the case, I like to use Word97 as a guide to
behavior -- if anyone actually uses tabs on a right aligned paragraph,
this might be the behavior they expect.

For what it's worth,
Randy Kramer

Tomas Frydrych wrote:
> I have started working on the Tabs, and then it dawned on me; a
> tab in a right-aligned paragraph does not make much sense. The
> point of a tab is to push text right-wards, but the right-aligned text
> is alread pushed right to the limit. We have two options:
> (1) we push the text leftwards to the _previous_ tab stop. This
> rather cumbersome, and probably will not produce the result the
> user wants, but there is some logic to it (the tab arrow would need
> to point leftwards though).
> (2) we treat the Tab as a fixed-width character, either 0, or,
> probably better, a hardcoded fraction of the font ascent. We could
> pop up a message box, explaining what is happening.
> Which alternatives should we take? I would appreciate your input.
> (2) is much simpler, but (1) is potentially more ellegant, once the
> user gets used to it.
> In the case of centered paragraphs, I think we should definitely
> take (2), implementing any meaningful behaviour if the user decides
> to put in more than 1 tab would be quite difficult.
> Tomas

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