Page break

Page break

A page break is a marker in an electronic document, which tells the document interpreter that the contents which follows is part of a new page. A page break causes a form feed to be sent to the printer during spooling of the document to the printer.

Form feed

Form feed is one of control characters in ASCII. It forces the printer to eject the current page and to continue printing at the top of another. Often, it will also cause a carriage return. The form feed character code is defined as 12 in decimal (0xC in hexadecimal). In the C programming language (and other languages derived from C), the form feed character may be represented as 'f'

Form feed is seldom used when programming with modern printers in modern operating environments like Windows, Unix, or Mac OS. Instead, form feeds are generated by having the printing program call a form feed API function. For example, when printing using the .NET Framework, the PrintPageEventArgs.HasMorePages property is used to indicate a form feed is desired.

The form feed character is sometimes used in plain text files of source code as a delimiter for a page break, or as marker for sections of code. Some editors, in particular emacs, have built-in commands to page up/down on the form feed character. This convention is predominantly used in lisp code, and is also seen in Python source code.

In in many terminal programs such as Xterm and Konsole, and in a Linux text console, generating the form feed character by pressing control-L will clear the screen, leaving a new prompt at the top.

In Usenet, the form feed character is used by several newsreaders as a "spoiler character", causing them to automatically hide the following text until prompted, as a way to prevent spoilers from being inadvertently revealed. The precise behavior depends on the client displaying the article: for example, Gnus displays "Next page..." in boldface, and switches to a second screen to display text after the form feed; slrn displays all non-space characters following the form feed as asterisks; Dialog turns the font and background color red between form feeds; and XRN simply inserts blank lines to fill up the remainder of the article display area so the user must scroll down to reveal the spoiler. This use of the form feed character is not supported by all newsreaders, and is not standardized, although it has appeared in a draft of a Usenet Best Practices document by the IETF's USEFOR working group, as a feature that user agents should (but are not required to) support.

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