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Tip of the Day
Language: Design Patterns
Expertise: Beginner
Mar 13, 1998

Formatting Text

Question:
I am doing a word processing programs which perform a task called center justification on one paragraph user enters--similar with the center justification function performed by MS-Word. I have to use dynamic memory manipulation and pointers. Could you give me an idea about the design? Or, Could you tell me any reference book that talk about word processing?

Answer:
As you might expect, writing a word processor is a major task with all sorts of issues that can be raised. If all you need to do is format text and not store it, your task is considerably easier.

Centering text usually refers to alignment, while justification often refers to changing the spacing between words to make each line the same length. If all you want to do is center text, you have two tasks.

First, you'll need read the paragraph a word at a time and determine how many words will fit on each line. The code for this depends on your environment (DOS or Windows, graphics mode or text, etc.). Basically, you'll just need a way to determine how much text will fit per line. This step is valid regardless of how the text will be aligned.

Next, you need to print the text so that it is centered. This is pretty straight forward. The horizontal position where you start printing the line would be the length of the window (page?) minus the length of the line, divided by two.

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