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columnar blocks with proportional fonts in MS Word, Wordstar, etc   [OT]

By: Peter Shute       
Date: Feb 20,2019 at 21:59
In Response to: columnar blocks (Greg Akers)

> Funny you should ask about copying columnar blocks, since XTG was the
> first software I found to do that when viewing text files! I was SO glad
> to see that ZTW also did it, too. Or, perhaps it's just a function of
> console mode? But, yeah, I don't know a good way to do that if the text
> is proportional.

MS Word can do columnar copy and paste with proportional fonts. I just tried it with a long Arial paragraph wrapped across several lines. The pasted text seems to accurately reflect what I copied, except that it has carriage returns at the end of every line, which makes it its own paragraph. I guess the only alternative to that would be to paste without carriage returns, and decrease the paragraph width to make it wrap to match what was copied.


I remember trying to use proportional fonts with DOS/Wordstar. Not easy when you can't see the real font on screen. You just had to believe that the very ragged right margin would straighten up when printed.

Then came Windows and WYSIWYG, which made it easier to work with proportional fonts, but at the cost of a huge increase in complexity of the OS and software.

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