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"forced return" and forum formatting problem?

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"forced return" and forum formatting problem?

Old 6th May 2020, 08:39
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"forced return" and forum formatting problem?

In this post: Coronavirus: The Thread there's reference to a member being banned for using "forced returns", which do something to upset the way the PPRuNe software formats pages. I can't find any reference from a quick search to tell me what a "forced return" is, so am speculating that it may be something like a "soft" return, i.e pressing shift+return, perhaps.

Does anyone here happen to know what a "forced return" is, and, perhaps more importantly, how to avoid accidentally entering such a thing here, given the problems it seem to cause the PPRuNe software?
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Old 6th May 2020, 10:21
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Here's an example of what happens when line feeds are inserted manually.

The first screenshot looks OK, because the screen width is equal to or greater than the line width that the OP decided was appropriate.

The second shows what happens when the screen width is reduced - in this case by resizing the window, but would also be the case where the actual screen size is smaller - e.g. mobile or tablet. As you can see it makes a right mess and far from making it more intelligible, it has the opposite effect. I've left the quoted text in place because it hasn't been hard-formatted, and the line lengths are managed automatically and correctly by the software, so it remains readable.

70 characters per line may perhaps make sense in a printed book, but not where screen width is variable, where it is probably better to leave it to the greater intelligence of the software to manage the formatting. If anyone has difficulty reading and taking in content on long lines, they are at liberty to make their window narrower.






HTH

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Old 6th May 2020, 10:35
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Many thanks, so presumably the problem is caused by formatting characters that are normally hidden from view but which screw things up, is that right?

If so, is there an easy way to make these hidden characters visible in the normal post window, so they can be removed before causing these formatting problems?

Not sure if it's the same thing, but I tend to paste copied text into Notepad, then copy it from there and paste it into a post here, as I've learned that doing it this way removes the weird effects that sometimes happen, like unwanted text colour changes and massive font sizes seeming to come from nowhere. Would doing this also remove whatever hidden formatting characters are causing lines to break in odd places (I assume so, as I can't recall having seen this in the past)?
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Old 6th May 2020, 12:30
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I think in this particular case the problem was using the enter key intentionally in the middle of sentences to split the text, in an attempt to make it more readable, which backfired on less wide displays, where the browser does additional splitting and the result is a mess.
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Old 6th May 2020, 13:10
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Originally Posted by MikeSnow View Post
I think in this particular case the problem was using the enter key intentionally in the middle of sentences to split the text, in an attempt to make it more readable, which backfired on less wide displays, where the browser does additional splitting and the result is a mess.
Thanks, I think I understand what was happening. I thought it may have been something that was a consequence of something accidental, like cutting and pasting text that had hidden formatting characters (which seems to be a separate issue).
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Old 6th May 2020, 15:27
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Yes, Mike is correct - sorry if I wasn't clear enough. Line Feed = Carriage Return = Paragraph Mark = Enter!
I tend to paste copied text into Notepad, then copy it from there and paste it into a post here
I do exactly the same, it seems to work well. I use it a lot when creating / editing documents generally - content first, format later!

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Old 7th May 2020, 00:50
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In the business it's called a HARD return.

And you'll get lots of them if you copy and paste from a PDF.
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Old 8th May 2020, 10:06
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Or export from f'ing excel. Joined-up office suite my posterior.
Presume the odd CR to form paragraphs is ok?
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Old 9th May 2020, 17:04
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Here is an extreme example -
One
day
in
telly
tubby
land,

Just don't press Enter, Return, whatever you wish to call it until the end of a paragraph. I generally like two in that case.

If you have a poorly formatted document and you want rid of the extra New Lines (see another expression for the same thing, roughly) you can load it into say Microsoft Word and quite easily sort it out. I did this recently for a Guttenberg Project book that I wanted the computer to read to me. The damn Text to Speech software though that the extra line break (another new term, I hope someone is counting) at the end of EVERY line was a good place for a rest.

So what you can do is use MS Word and do a search and replace on every "paragraph mark" (+1 more) to solve the problem.

OOPS! Now there are NO line breaks anywhere. So instead:-

Paragraphs often have TWO new lines to distinguish them. Search and replace double new lines with some unique character combination, e.g ZZZZ. Then get rid of all the single new lines. Then replace the ZZZZ with doubles.

Word can show the Paragraph marks, spaces, tabs and other non-printing characters and can search and replace on them. - I'll put an image in the post.

The post I pasted into word likely has Hard Line Breaks instead of Paragraph marks because Unix and Windows use different characters and conventions for new lines. PPRuNe seems likely to be Unix Based I therefore speculate.

Finally - Notepad can introduce this very problem. I use it a lot and always have word wrap on and sometimes it puts extra line breaks in. It's beyond me. I just fix it if I have to.





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Old 9th May 2020, 17:11
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Last post was already too long so I have refrained from editing it to add this.

Hard line break might be handy when you have word set to leave extra space at the end of paragraphs - this is the professional way to do paragraph ends. You can then use a hard line break instead of a paragraph break and not get the extra space in the event that you need a new line.
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Old 9th May 2020, 17:24
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This is what it looks like -



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Old 9th May 2020, 22:05
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Notepad can introduce this very problem. I use it a lot and always have word wrap on and sometimes it puts extra line breaks in.
Yes, and the fastest way to repair it is simply to toggle word wrap off and on, particularly before pasting the text into something else like PPRuNe or Word (or whatever your favourite open source word processor happens to be).
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Old 10th May 2020, 00:48
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Manual line breaks (Shift-Enter) are handy when you don't want to go through the drama of changing the paragraph spacing to tighten up two lines.

They can also be used to add text under a bullet without creating a new bullet if you want to add second line but don't want to type all the way to the end of the line so it wraps. Text in a table cell, for example.

Almost as heretic as using the Enter key to force a line break, but it has it's uses.
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Old 11th May 2020, 18:21
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Originally Posted by Saab Dastard View Post
Yes, and the fastest way to repair it is simply to toggle word wrap off and on,
That will be very handy. I usually just fix it manually if its a dozen or so lines.

Thanks.
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Old 11th May 2020, 19:39
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Jim,

I have noticed that Notepad will maintain correct (fluid) line breaks until you save the file, at which point the breaks become fixed - which can be corrected by toggling word wrap off and on. Other things may also cause the line breaks to become fixed, but saving is definitely one of them.
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Old 12th May 2020, 15:51
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Originally Posted by Capn Bloggs View Post
Manual line breaks (Shift-Enter) are handy when you don't want to go through the drama of changing the paragraph spacing to tighten up two lines ... but it has it's uses.
Certainly does, I have been using it today:-)

I first learned Word (or indeed any word processor) by writing and running a course on it and the focus was always doing it the "right" way. Using styles etc. This for sure is worth the effort for more than a few pages if there is a risk that you might have to make alterations. I though have forgotten all that now and don't write much anyway so this hack is pretty good. I am sure I will use it every day if the job holds out :-)

Thanks.
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Old 12th May 2020, 20:38
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I am out of my depth.
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Old 14th May 2020, 01:22
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Mr Opt, I suggest you just return to the basics!
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