Copying and pasting on Windows

I want to note a copy/paste issue that affects Windows users.

The problem is that when you copy text in InqScribe, the copied text uses a single return character (CR) to denote line breaks. The standard practice on Windows is to use two characters, a return and a line feed (CR/LF), for this purpose. (The characters used for line breaks differ by platform: Macs have traditionally used CR, Windows CR/LF, and Linux and Unix use just LF.)

Some Windows applications are smart enough to handle pasted text with CR-based line breaks. For example, Word will paste that text just fine. Some other applications, including Notepad and (sadly) InqScribe itself, don’t handle CR-based text very well [1]: the text is pasted in as one giant paragraph, because the CR characters are replaced with spaces.

This is a particularly noticable issue if you’re doing something like using Word to spell check your transcript. In this case, you’re probably copying the text from InqScribe, pasting it into Word, spell checking in Word, and then copying the checked text and pasting it back into InqScribe. This process works great until the last step, when you paste the text back into InqScribe and discover that all your line breaks are gone.

We’ll fix this in the upcoming version 1.6. In the meantime, here’s a workaround.

If you are using Word to do the spell checking, you need to do a global search and replace before you copy the text and paste it back into InqScribe. In Word’s Find/Replace dialog, search for “^13” and replace it with “^p”. The ^13 will find all instances of CR, which Word has cleverly disguised as regular paragraph marks. The ^p replaces each instance of CR with a real paragraph mark. Once you’ve done this, copy and paste back into InqScribe, and you’re fine.

[1] Note that InqScribe imports CR-based text just fine. This issue only applies to text pasted via the Edit menu.

posted July 01, 2006 by eric

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