editor that understands CTRL/B, CTRL/I, CTRL/U

Polytropon freebsd at edvax.de
Wed Apr 25 03:23:48 UTC 2012

On Tue, 24 Apr 2012 18:50:26 +0100, Anton Shterenlikht wrote:
> My daughter is doing a touch typing course
> that presumes MS Word. So far she was fine
> with pico, but now they want the kids to
> practice CTRL/B (bold), CTRL/I (italic),
> CTRL/U (underline). She really needs to use
> these particular combinations because that
> is how the on-line assessment tool is set out.
> I use nothing but vi, so have no clue which,
> if any, editor from ports/editors will have
> these particular combinations implemented.
> Please recommend one, preferably as simple
> and as small as possible.

The subject says "editor", but bold, italics and
underline do belong to the realm of microformatting,
being part of old-fashioned WYSIWYG word processing. :-)

If you want a small solution, I'd suggest using
joe (Joe's Own Editor). It can be configured to use
those keyboard shortcuts, but I'm not sure if it
does support _displaying_ bold, italic or underlined
text. As I said, that's _not_ what editors do.

For _training purposes_, displaying the text with a
kind of markup would be possible (and configurabe in
the editor), e. g.

	This is <CTRL/B>bold<CTRL/B> text.        ->   *bold*
	This is <CTRL/I>italics<CTRL/I> text.     ->   /italics/
	This is <CTRL/U>underlined<CTRL/U> text.  ->   _underlined_

In worst case, get "Wordpad" from a "Windows" install
and use it with wine. That should be enough for
practicing, but it requires a GUI setup. So does
OpenOffice (or LibreOffice, KOffice or AbiWord), if
you've already installed one of them.

However, I'm questioning the _learning approach_ your
daughter is experiencing. I can't think of anything
_useful_ she would learn from that. It emphasizes
the "what it looks like" more than "what it is" of text
which has _proven_ to be the wrong approach. Using
text block templates and applying them to "kinds of
text" should be the preferred method. Yes, that is
even possible in WYSIWYG word processors (such as
OpenOffice). Teaching users (children, adults) some
arbitrary key combinations to make "text look like"
something will get them into trouble as soon as they
want to do real work. MICROFORMATTING IS BAD.

And key combinations may not be portable. I remember
that some older german versions of "Word" did use
CTRL/F, CTRL/K and CTRL/U for the same attributes,
and that changed during the "evolution" of the program.

Been there, seen it, seeing it every day;
can't even eat as much as I want to vomit. :-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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