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When I paste a long block of text in the question editor on SO (and probably other stack exchange sites), it randomly makes the text wrap-around to a new line after a couple of words, but it's a strange new line. When I put the cursor just in front of the new line and press backspace once, the word on the previous line sticks in front of the second line...

Images explaining:

image 1

image 2

image 3

image 4

This is especially annoying when trying to format code. I've only just found out about the ctrl+k shortcut, and I am disappointed that it isn't really shown to the user. Also the help says to use the tab key to indent, but this key swaps focus (in Firefox at least).

What does the editor do to long texts exactly? I can't be the only one confused with this...

share|improve this question
I don't think I understand what you mean. Could you post an example text or a screenshot? – Dennis May 2 '12 at 17:36
@Dennis Sorry, I'll look into optimising the question with a more detailed explanation. – MDeSchaepmeester May 2 '12 at 17:38
Where does the help say to use the Tab key? (That would be wrong.) I assume it's saying that tabs are fine, like: when pasting code that was indented using tabs. Or Improve backticks help text needs your vote. – Arjan May 2 '12 at 17:42
Though I don't understand the problem you're describing, it might be related to having non-breaking spaces (U+00A0) in your paste; see Why do code blocks sometimes not “show” properly? and Indenting markdown with non-regular unicode spaces does not create a correct code block. – Arjan May 2 '12 at 17:47
@Dennis I updated my question to include images. – MDeSchaepmeester May 2 '12 at 17:53
I think @Arjan is right: You probably have some funky whitespace characters in your paste. Could you create an answer here or in the sandbox, so we can check? – Dennis May 2 '12 at 18:00
If you want to format code, then highlight it and click the image on the toolbar that looks like {}. If you hover over that, you will notice the CTRL-K hint, and the note that {} is for code samples. You could also click the ? button, and follow the advanced help link. – Zoredache May 2 '12 at 19:20
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Seems fine to me: it's just that the HTML textarea does not have a horizontal scrollbar, and is not breaking on dots-without-whitespace. Just like here, I don't think that 'System.Security.Permissions.ReflectionPermission would fit on that first line. Try typing a space before ReflectionPermission to see what I mean, like 'System.Security.Permissions. ReflectionPermission.

It is, technically, still one line, that is wrapped in the editor. When formatted as code, then in the preview and the final result you will see one line, and a scrollbar to make the content fit.

Screenshot of regular website.

share|improve this answer
but code is supposed to stay on one line for an indefinite length. I just cannot get the first line of the stack trace on the same line without using ctrl+k... – MDeSchaepmeester May 2 '12 at 18:06
(Yep, just added that to my answer, Mario.) – Arjan May 2 '12 at 18:07
Well I'm sorry to tell you that it wasn't like that in the preview, nor in the final version. Whatever I tried doing without using ctrl+k... – MDeSchaepmeester May 2 '12 at 18:08
Well, if you add four spaces before [SecurityException then that line is surely formatted code, and hence show the horizontal scrollbar to make the wrapped line fit. But: that is not visible in the editor indeed. That said: posting long stack traces is rarely useful. – Arjan May 2 '12 at 18:10
In my answer I got it working now... strange... I swear it didn't work in the question. Or I was doing something wrong... – MDeSchaepmeester May 2 '12 at 18:13
Still, Mario, your screenshots (nice!) simply show me that you're adding more whitespace between of type and the long 'System.Security.Permissions.ReflectionPermission (you could have typed any other text after of type to see the same effect). And then in the 4th step remove all whitespace, which gives you an even longer type'System.Security.Permissions.ReflectionPermission that just doesn't fit on that first line. I see you wrote you only removed the last added space, but I think you're mistaken there. (Were all spaces selected when you pressed the delete button?) – Arjan May 2 '12 at 18:24
Yes I'm sure :) I'll remember what I did in my answer to make it work for the future. Thanks for taking the time to explain! – MDeSchaepmeester May 2 '12 at 18:30
Final note, you can open the editor and then paste the following into the location bar of your browser to once get horizontal scrollbars: javascript:$("textarea").css("white-space", "nowrap"); (If you're getting security errors, then try adding some more semi-colons to fool the browser. Your browser might also remove the word javascript: to be more secure. But that is really needed.) – Arjan May 2 '12 at 18:37
That would be handy if absolutely necessary :) thanks! – MDeSchaepmeester May 2 '12 at 18:40

Someone asked me to paste it here:

[SecurityException: Request for the permission of type 'System.Security.Permissions.ReflectionPermission, mscorlib, Version=, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b77a5c561934e089' failed.] System.Security.CodeAccessSecurityEngine.Check(Object demand, StackCrawlMark& stackMark, Boolean isPermSet) +0 System.Security.CodeAccessSecurityEngine.Check(CodeAccessPermission cap, StackCrawlMark& stackMark) +31 System.Security.CodeAccessPermission.Demand() +46 System.Reflection.Emit.DynamicMethod.PerformSecurityCheck(Type owner, StackCrawlMark& stackMark, Boolean skipVisibility) +166 System.Reflection.Emit.DynamicMethod..ctor(String name, Type returnType, Type[] parameterTypes, Type owner, Boolean skipVisibility) +40 NHibernate.Bytecode.Lightweight.ReflectionOptimizer.CreateDynamicMethod(Type returnType, Type[] argumentTypes) in ReflectionOptimizer.cs:104

Strange thing is that I get this every time with no matter what I pasted...

share|improve this answer
Is it not in a code block on purpose? Looks fine to me when its in a code block (CTRL+K)... – Lix May 2 '12 at 18:13
@Lix I know it works with ctrl+k. I got no more issues now strangely, when trying to format in code, but still the line breaks that are automatically added behave kind of strange... – MDeSchaepmeester May 2 '12 at 18:14
These are not really automatically added line breaks, Mario. It's word wrapping. The edit text area cannot have horizontal scrollbars as then regular text would become hard to read. (It's nice to have long paragraphs wrapped over multiple lines.) – Arjan May 2 '12 at 18:29

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