Recipe 3.10 Indenting Text Documents


You need to indent (or "undent" or "dedent") a text document.


To indent, either generate a fixed-length string and prepend it to each output line, or use a for loop and print the right number of spaces:

// /** the default number of spaces. */ static int nSpaces = 10; while ((inputLine = is.readLine( )) != null) {     for (int i=0; i<nSpaces; i++) System.out.print(' ');     System.out.println(inputLine); }

A more efficient approach to generating the spaces might be to construct a long string of spaces and use substring( ) to get the number of spaces you need.

To undent, use substring to generate a string that does not include the leading spaces. Be careful of inputs that are shorter than the amount you are removing! By popular demand, I'll give you this one, too. First, though, here's a demonstration of an Undent object created with an undent value of 5, meaning remove up to five spaces (but don't lose other characters in the first five positions):

$ java Undent Hello World Hello World  Hello Hello      Hello Hello       Hello  Hello   ^C $

I test it by entering the usual test string "Hello World", which prints fine. Then "Hello" with one space, and the space is deleted. With five spaces, exactly the five spaces go. With six or more spaces, only five spaces go. A blank line comes out as a blank line (i.e., without throwing an Exception or otherwise going berserk). I think it works!

import*; /** Undent - remove up to 'n' leading spaces  */ public class Undent {     /** the maximum number of spaces to remove. */     protected int nSpaces;     Undent(int n) {         nSpaces = n;     }     public static void main(String[] av) {         Undent c = new Undent(5);         switch(av.length) {             case 0: c.process(new BufferedReader(                         new InputStreamReader(; break;             default:         for (int i=0; i<av.length; i++)             try {                 c.process(new BufferedReader(new FileReader(av[i])));             } catch (FileNotFoundException e) {                 System.err.println(e);             }         }     }     /** process one file, given an open BufferedReader */     public void process(BufferedReader is) {         try {             String inputLine;             while ((inputLine = is.readLine( )) != null) {                 int toRemove = 0;                 for (int i=0; i<nSpaces && i < inputLine.length( ); i++)                     if (Character.isSpace(inputLine.charAt(i)))                         ++toRemove;                 System.out.println(inputLine.substring(toRemove));             }             is.close( );         } catch (IOException e) {             System.out.println("IOException: " + e);         }     } }

Java Cookbook
Java Cookbook, Second Edition
ISBN: 0596007019
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 409
Authors: Ian F Darwin

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