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(emacs)Fill Prefix

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The Fill Prefix

   To fill a paragraph in which each line starts with a special marker
(which might be a few spaces, giving an indented paragraph), you can use
the "fill prefix" feature.  The fill prefix is a string that Emacs
expects every line to start with, and which is not included in filling.
You can specify a fill prefix explicitly; Emacs can also deduce the
fill prefix automatically (Note: Adaptive Fill).

`C-x .'
     Set the fill prefix (`set-fill-prefix').

     Fill a paragraph using current fill prefix (`fill-paragraph').

`M-x fill-individual-paragraphs'
     Fill the region, considering each change of indentation as
     starting a new paragraph.

`M-x fill-nonuniform-paragraphs'
     Fill the region, considering only paragraph-separator lines as
     starting a new paragraph.

   To specify a fill prefix, move to a line that starts with the desired
prefix, put point at the end of the prefix, and give the command
`C-x .' (`set-fill-prefix').  That's a period after the `C-x'.  To turn
off the fill prefix, specify an empty prefix: type `C-x .' with point
at the beginning of a line.

   When a fill prefix is in effect, the fill commands remove the fill
prefix from each line before filling and insert it on each line after
filling.  Auto Fill mode also inserts the fill prefix automatically when
it makes a new line.  The `C-o' command inserts the fill prefix on new
lines it creates, when you use it at the beginning of a line (Note:
Blank Lines).  Conversely, the command `M-^' deletes the prefix (if
it occurs) after the newline that it deletes (Note: Indentation).

   For example, if `fill-column' is 40 and you set the fill prefix to
`;; ', then `M-q' in the following text

     ;; This is an
     ;; example of a paragraph
     ;; inside a Lisp-style comment.

produces this:

     ;; This is an example of a paragraph
     ;; inside a Lisp-style comment.

   Lines that do not start with the fill prefix are considered to start
paragraphs, both in `M-q' and the paragraph commands; this gives good
results for paragraphs with hanging indentation (every line indented
except the first one).  Lines which are blank or indented once the
prefix is removed also separate or start paragraphs; this is what you
want if you are writing multi-paragraph comments with a comment
delimiter on each line.

   You can use `M-x fill-individual-paragraphs' to set the fill prefix
for each paragraph automatically.  This command divides the region into
paragraphs, treating every change in the amount of indentation as the
start of a new paragraph, and fills each of these paragraphs.  Thus,
all the lines in one "paragraph" have the same amount of indentation.
That indentation serves as the fill prefix for that paragraph.

   `M-x fill-nonuniform-paragraphs' is a similar command that divides
the region into paragraphs in a different way.  It considers only
paragraph-separating lines (as defined by `paragraph-separate') as
starting a new paragraph.  Since this means that the lines of one
paragraph may have different amounts of indentation, the fill prefix
used is the smallest amount of indentation of any of the lines of the
paragraph.  This gives good results with styles that indent a
paragraph's first line more or less that the rest of the paragraph.

   The fill prefix is stored in the variable `fill-prefix'.  Its value
is a string, or `nil' when there is no fill prefix.  This is a
per-buffer variable; altering the variable affects only the current
buffer, but there is a default value which you can change as well.
Note: Locals.

   The `indentation' text property provides another way to control the
amount of indentation paragraphs receive.  Note: Format Indentation.

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