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This chapter is from the book

2.40 Wrapping Lines of Text

Occasionally we may want to take long text lines and print them within margins of our own choosing. The code fragment shown here accomplishes this, splitting only on word boundaries and honoring tabs (but not honoring backspaces or preserving tabs):

str = <<-EOF
  When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary
  for one people to dissolve the political bands which have
  connected them with another, and to assume among the powers
  of the earth the separate and equal station to which the Laws
  of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect
  for the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare
  the causes which impel them to the separation.

max = 20

line = 0
out = [""]

input = str.gsub(/\n/," ")
words = input.split(" ")

while input != ""
  word = words.shift
  break if not word
  if out[line].length + word.length > max
    out[line].squeeze!(" ")
    line += 1
    out[line] = ""
  out[line] << word + " "

out.each {|line| puts line}  # Prints 24 very short lines

The Format library also handles this and similar operations. Search for it online.

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