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101 Things you can only do in XyWrite



Lest anyone be wondering if all the hassles of getting Xy to run on
current OSes are worth it, here's one of those Xy saves the day stories.
One of my clients is a small-town weekly paper: accounts of borough
council, planning board, and board of ed. meetings, the heroic victories
and hard-fought defeats of the school teams (this town is sports-mad),
and official legal advertisements, including the complete text of all
proposed borough ordinances. Inevitably, the borough clerk or borough
attorney gives us the latter late at night on the day before the paper
goes to press. Though they use the same software (WordImPerfect) that the
paper does for most things, we have trouble importing them, because
neither the clerk nor the attorney's secretaries know how to use WP. They
think they're still on a typewrïter: they need something flush with the
right margin, they hit TAB repeatedly, and then throw in a few spaces to
make it come out right (and yes, WP does have a command equivalent to
<>).
	Last Wednesday morning (paper goes to press 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays), in
comes the annual salary ordinance, full of lists like this:
Assistant dog catcher, 1st year of employment	12,500
Assistant dog catcher, 2d-5th year of employment	15,000
Set that in a narrow newspaper margin, and the first items have to run
over more than one line. So what does the clerk do? Stud the thing with
tabs and <> to make it come out "right." Obviously, it should be in
column tables, and WP has analogues. BUT no way to convert TABs to table
delimiters. 
	XyW to the rescue. I cut the table material, saved it to ASCII Generic
Word Processor, opened it in Xy. CI space tab and tab space to just tab,
then CI /(tab)(tab)/(tab)/ until there are no more double tabs left. I
then created a table, switched to expanded mode, moved the <> and
other clean-up codes to the end, and changed every <> to <> and
every (tab) to <>. Also took advantage of Xy's number wildcard to
get in the dollar signs that had been left off the salaries. Stored it,
then ran it through the Hungarian filters to WP, opened it in WP and
pasted it into the ordinance. Mission accomplished. (Granted, a good
typist could probably have retyped it in the time I took, but we have no
good proofreaders, and the danger of getting someone's salary wrong was
too much to risk.)
Patricia