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What good are vertical tab and form feed for ?

The fact that vertical tab and form feed exist both in the
basic source character set and the basic execution
character set suggests to me that there is a class of display
devices where vertical tab and form feed produce a predictable
and consistent (among different devices) behaviour. So what
are these devices and what is the behaviour ?

For old printers , form feed presumably moves to the next page
but vertical tab is a mystery to me.

Aug 20 '07 #1
3 5085
On Aug 20, 11:31 am, Spiros Bousbouras <spi...@gmail.comwrote:
The fact that vertical tab and form feed exist both in the
basic source character set and the basic execution
character set suggests to me that there is a class of display
devices where vertical tab and form feed produce a predictable
and consistent (among different devices) behaviour. So what
are these devices and what is the behaviour ?
Hardcopy terminals and line printers.
For old printers , form feed presumably moves to the next page
but vertical tab is a mystery to me.
Your interpretation of form feed is correct; it moves to the beginning
of the next page. Vertical tab advances the page by several lines
without a carriage return.
Aug 20 '07 #2
On Aug 20, 11:31 am, Spiros Bousbouras <spi...@gmail.comwrote:
For old printers , form feed presumably moves to the next page
but vertical tab is a mystery to me.

Mostly OT...

To expand on what John wrote, some (mostly older, and typically line)
printers could have vertical tab stops programmed. On some printers
this was actually done via a punched carriage tape (the tape was a
loop, with holes punched where the stops were desired). Those could
be changed for different print jobs. In many cases a skip to the next
vertical tab could happen much faster than advancing individual lines,
so for fast printing, you'd carefully set up your carriage tape (or
electronic equivalent).

With most current printers, that's all pretty irrelevant.

Note that some printers (and display terminals) also allowed you to
set the horizontal tab stops (the now common "every eight" convention,
was not always the, *ahem*, convention).

Aug 20 '07 #3
On Mon, 20 Aug 2007 16:31:17 -0000, Spiros Bousbouras
<sp****@gmail.comwrote:
>The fact that vertical tab and form feed exist both in the
basic source character set and the basic execution
character set suggests to me that there is a class of display
devices where vertical tab and form feed produce a predictable
and consistent (among different devices) behaviour. So what
are these devices and what is the behaviour ?

For old printers , form feed presumably moves to the next page
but vertical tab is a mystery to me.
Believe it or not, there still are a lot of dot matrix printers in use
that take pin feed paper. These printers accept "escape sequences"
which allow the application to define a bunch of properties, including
vertical tab stops. The application can then cause the paper to feed
forward to the desired position by including a vertical tab character
in the data sent to the printer. I see this most often at rental
agencies, auto dealer service centers, and other places where
multi-part forms are needed.
Remove del for email
Aug 24 '07 #4

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