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I like using auto-fill-mode for hard line wrapping. However, when I'm making a big tabular in a .tex file, I like using align-current to have the table look somewhat like it would when printed. The difficulty is that if I have a table that is longer than the line width, auto-fill-mode breaks it, and then align-current can't put things to rights and gets confused.

Is there a way to tell emacs that when I'm between the \begin and \end tags of a particular kind of environment (in this case, tabular), don't word wrap...

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There are many things you can do, including but not limited to (In order of implementation time):

  • You can turn off auto-fill-mode and use M-q (fill-paragraph) to manually fill when you need it.
  • You can use org-mode on-the-fly to create and edit clean tabular data.
  • You can advise fill-paragraph to do something different depending on context

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