How do you preserve tabs on forum posts?
May 17, 2015 4:48 PM   Subscribe

I am on a forum on proboards and when I post to it, it strips out the tabs so everything is left-aligned. I tried a search and replace and changed them to 4 spaces but it still left-aligned everything, which gives it a "wall of text" appearance. Is there any way to preserve the tabs?
posted by marienbad to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Response by poster: (I tried using [pre] [/pre] bbcode but the line length in my editor is greater than on the forums so then I ended up with a horizontal scrollbar at the bottom, which was worse)
posted by marienbad at 5:07 PM on May 17, 2015

Non-breaking spaces, maybe? Replace tabs with


posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:11 PM on May 17, 2015 [2 favorites]

The usual convention on most forums that I've been on is much like Metafilter--to prevent wall-of-text kind of posts, break up paragraphs with double line breaks. It's possible with some forums to embed HTML or whatever to indent paragraphs, but it will look odd compared to how most people are doing it. (And I don't think it works on Proboards.) A lot of forums will disable some or all HTML because of security issues--Metafilter just allows some things and not others, but this is more the exception than the rule. Most of the time, these days, you shouldn't be using tab to indent. If you're using a word processor, it'll almost certainly have a function that lets you indent paragraphs automatically. On the web, you're best off deferring to the stylesheet and just adding a blank line if it doesn't add space between paragraphs. I've not yet run into a site where that doesn't work.
posted by Sequence at 4:18 AM on May 18, 2015 [1 favorite]

You can't; or at least, you shouldn't. That's not what the very limited markup for bboards is for. Unless your posts are code, and therefore belong in [code] or [pre] blocks, all the spaces and tabs in your post get smushed to a single space. Formatted columns should go in [table]s. You can (but please don't, 'cos it breaks the web) replace leading spaces with   in the BBCode view, but even after a certain length, Proboards will wrap your text.

If you want your text to be read, make it readable. If it's code or binary that cannot be reformatted, link to a download.
posted by scruss at 7:42 AM on May 18, 2015

[pre][/pre] with manual linebreaks inserted to keep the lines short enough to not generate a horizontal scrollbar? (Warning: the presence or absence of a scrollbar might conceivably depend on the individual reader's screen size, window size, and resolution. Maybe try reducing the size of your browser window to check if this is an issue.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:38 AM on May 18, 2015

Best answer: Its ok, I sussed a workaround:

Open file in word/OO/LO

Search for tab ("\t" ot "^t")

Replace all with 4 (or whatevs) Non-breaking spaces (ctrl-shift space)


(In OO/LO you need to click the "more options" bit and check the reg expressions checkbox for this to work.)
posted by marienbad at 6:24 AM on May 26, 2015

« Older You love your oven. Tell me about your oven.   |   Novels that are re-tellings of other stories Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.