Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Extending cut-and-paste: joining paste

The user could use a 'joining paste' to paste all of the items in the clipboard into the document at once, separated from each other by a specified delimiter. For example:


to join paste the clipboard contents, seaparated from each other by a pipe '|' symbol. If the clipboard contained the three items 'toyota', 'ford' and 'mitsubishi', that operation would result in


The 'J' in the command specifies that you want to 'join' the items. You can follow the 'J' with whatever you want to use as the delimiter. If you don't specify a delimiter, a carriage return would be the default.

The delimiter wouldn't have to be a single character. After typing the 'J' you could press whatever keys you wanted - the command would only be executed when you released the CTRL key. So you could type


for the delimiter to be a semi-colon followed by a carriage return:


In the examples I've given, the pasted items would just be left on the clipboard. You could use a pop-paste within the command instead. As with a normal pop-paste, you'd place a minus sign '-' after the 'V':


(So far it's been assumed that you want to paste all of the items on the clipboard. Later we'll look at list ranges, which would be used to only join paste some of the items.)

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