Line completion

Line completion is a text editor feature similar to word completion, first introduced by Juraj Simlovic in TED Notepad, in July 2006. When a user begins a line that starts with a a frequently-used phrase, the computer automatically completes the first part of it, up to the position where all similar lines differ, or proposes a list of common continuations.

Compared to word completion, word completion can be used only for words and it is usually not very effective when invoked for blank word. Line completion, on the other side can be used to complete any characters, including punctuation, and may be effective even on empty lines, when the previous line starts with the same phrase. Most effective is usually the combined usage of both, as they are efficient each in different cases.

Usage and efficiency

Similar to word completion, when a line completion is invoked, only the part of the line is completed, where all similar lines are the same. The completion stops at the position where the similar lines differ, encouraging the user to type more hints for further completion or letting him finish the rest of the line.

As an example of effective usage, items on lists usually starts with similar phrases or words like "I would like to" or "There is need for". In these cases, instead of typing the entire phrases, the user needs to type only a few characters of the beginning and the rest is then completed automatically. In this case, line completion is faster and also more comfortable than word completion.

In software development, this technique can be effectively used to start frequent blocks of code (e.g. declarations of functions and classes, conditions or loops) as the line completion is sensitive to the current indentation and large amount of source codes can use this sensitivity for faster completion than with word completion.


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