column highlighting/fixed format

  • Nobody/Anonymous

    In some programs (e.g. Nastran) input files can be created in a fixed format. That is, a command is given with data and instead of separting the data with comma's (free format), the data must be lined up in columns of specific width.

    Example of free format:

    Example of the same command in fixed format width column widths of 8 characters:
    AREA    120    109            103

    My question (or maybe request if it doesn't exist) is if it is possible to show color highlighted columns of user defined widths. That is, the background of the first column in the document is white, in the next column it is light grey, in the next column it is white again and so on. In the example the user would specify a column width of 8 characters.

    If this is possible it would make life much easier when editting fixed format files.

    • Nobody/Anonymous

      Edit: I now see that the system deleted multiple spaces in the second example, but I think you'll understand what I mean. (4 spaces between AREA and 120, 5 spaces between 120 and 109 and 13 spaces between 109 and 103 (as there is one empty data field))