ne has a number of flags which specify alternative behaviours, the
most prototypical example being the insert flag, which specifies if the
text you type in is inserted in the existing text, or overwrites it. You can
toggle this flag with the `
Insert' menu item of the `
Prefs' menu, or
INSERT key of your keyboard (toggle means to change the
value of a flag from true to false, or from false to true; also see Insert).
Another important flag is the free form flag, which specifies if the
cursor can be moved anywhere, or only on existing text (a la
Programmers usually prefer non free form editing; text writers prefer free
form. See FreeForm, for some elaboration. The free form flag can be set
with the `
Free Form' menu item of the `
At this point, I suggest you to explore by trial and error the other flags
of the `
Prefs' menu. I would prefer spending a couple of words about
the automatic preferences, or, in short, autoprefs.
Having many flags ensures a high degree of flexibility, but can turn editing into a nightmare if for each different kind of file loaded one has to turn on and off dozens of options. The solution is having the program handling all the details, depending on some characteristic of the file.
The solution chosen in
ne is to look at the extension of the
name of a file, i.e., the last group of letters after a dot. For instance,
the extension of `
ne.texinfo' is `
texinfo', while the extension
source.c' is `
Whenever you select the `
Save AutoPrefs' menu item,
ne saves in a
directory named `
.ne' (in your home directory) a file, with the same name
as the extension of the name of current document (postfixed with `
containing all the commands which will rebuild the current settings. Whenever
you will open a file with the same extension in its name,
ne will reload
automagically the same set of preferences (there is a flag which inhibits the
process; see AutoPrefs).
Finally, when you select the `
Save Def Prefs' menu item, a special
preferences file named `
.default#ap' is saved that is loaded whenever
ne is run, before loading any file. Here is the place to put in the
preferences you always want to be set.
Note also that a preferences file is just a macro (as described in the following section). Thus, it can be edited manually if necessary.