#117 implement fixed tab stops

David Mathog

Currently the
preferences -> tab stops...
dialog has these fields:

tab characters [ 8 ]
[] emulate tabs emulated tab spacing []
[] use tab characters in padding and emulated tabs

However, it doesn't have FIXED tabs, as for instance
in Microsoft Word, other word processors, or even
an old typewriter, where tabs might be placed at
columns 20, 25, 30, 42, 48. Ie, not
fixed width but fixed positions.

I propose expanding the tabs dialog with a third

[] fixed tab positions

Followed by a pulldown list. Nedit would ship
with a few defaults corresponding to say the first 20 tabs at even spacings of 5,6,8,10 columns.

There would need to be some way to enter
the spacings and keep track of them. For instance a bit further down could be a button "manage fixed
tab stops". This would bring up another dialog box which would let the user do the following:

1. enter a list of tab stop positions and name that configuration.
2. modify an existing configuration (ie, when
working out appropriate tab stops)
3. delete an existing configuration.
4. set a different default configuration.

Alternatively a separate tab stop bar could be implemented. The dialog would be more than good enough for my purposes.

Why I need this:

I frequently work with tab delimited data and each field normally has a maximum width of as much as 50 or 100 characters, but no minimum width. There is
no way to set the tabs in nedit 5.5 to line up
these data columns. No singled fixed width tab
spacing will work. This new feature (for Nedit, really
old in terms of concept) would resolve this problem
and allow me to more easily manipulate this type of data file.