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6.2 Filling Cited Text

Supercite will automatically fill newly cited text from the original message unless the variable sc-auto-fill-region-p has a nil value. Supercite will also re-fill paragraphs when you manually cite or re-cite text.

However, during normal editing, Supercite itself cannot be used to fill paragraphs. This is a change from version 2. There are other add-on lisp packages which do filling much better than Supercite ever did. The two best known are filladapt and gin-mode. Both work well with Supercite and both are available at the normal Emacs Lisp archive sites. gin-mode works pretty well out of the box, but if you use filladapt, you may want to run the function sc-setup-filladapt from your sc-load-hook. This simply makes filladapt a little more Supercite savvy than its default setup.

Also, Supercite will collapse leading whitespace between the citation string and the text on a line when the variable sc-fixup-whitespace-p is non-nil. The default value for this variable is nil.

Its important to understand that Supercite's automatic filling (during the initial citation of the reply) is very fragile. That is because figuring out the fill-prefix for a particular paragraph is a really hard thing to do automatically. This is especially the case when the original message contains code or some other text where leading whitespace is important to preserve. For this reason, many Supercite users typically run with sc-auto-fill-region-p (and possibly also sc-fixup-whitespace-p) set to nil. They then manually fill each cited paragraph in the reply buffer.

I usually run with both these variables containing their default values. When Supercite's automatic filling breaks on a particular message, I will use Emacs's undo feature to undo back before the citation was applied to the original message. Then I'll toggle the variables and manually cite those paragraphs that I don't want to fill or collapse whitespace on. See Variable Toggling Shortcuts.

If you find that Supercite's automatic filling is just too fragile for your tastes, you might consider one of these alternate approaches. Also, to make life easier, a shortcut function to toggle the state of both of these variables is provided on the key binding C-c C-p C-p (with the default value of sc-mode-map-prefix; see Post-yank Formatting Commands).

You will noticed that the minor mode string will show the state of these variables as qualifier characters. When both variables are nil, the Supercite minor mode string will display ‘SC’. When just sc-auto-fill-region-p is non-nil, the string will display ‘SC:f’, and when just sc-fixup-whitespace-p is non-nil, the string will display ‘SC:w’. When both variables are non-nil, the string will display ‘SC:fw’. Note that the qualifiers chosen are mnemonics for the default bindings of the toggling function for each respective variable. See Variable Toggling Shortcuts.

Why are these variables not set to nil by default? It is because many users won't manually fill paragraphs that are Supercited, and there have been widespread complaints on the net about mail and news messages containing lines greater than about 72 characters. So the default is to fill cited text.