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With the help of others, I managed to have text flow smoothly into columns. Finally, I got rid of the overflow, TeX does with limited vboxes. Now,a solution always implies the next question: If I change the value of \columnheight, the rest of the contents (overflow..) will be cut off and transfered to another, undisplayed box. Now I got what I wanted... I just have to call the boxes by number. Look at the last lines. Must be possible, to get it into a loop, but then, how may I detect an empty box to cancel the process? (\ifvoid ?)

\raggedright
\hsize=140pt % 
\parindent=0pt
\newdimen\columnheight
\columnheight=160pt
\def\text{ Morality (often referred to as "The Prize Essay"). In 1766 Kant wrote Dreams of a Spirit-Seer which dealt with the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. The exact influence of Swedenborg on Kant, as well as the extent of Kant's belief in mysticism according to Dreams of a Spirit-Seer, remain controversial. On 31 March 1770, aged 45, Kant was finally appointed Full Professor of Logic and Metaphysics (Professor Ordinarius der Logic und Metaphysic) at the University of K\"onigs\-berg. In defense of this appointment, Kant wrote his inaugural dissertation (Inaugural - Dissertation) De Mundi Sensibilis atque Intelligibilis Forma et Principiis (On the Form and Principles of the Sensible and the Intelligible World).[1] This work saw the emergence of several central themes of his mature work, including the distinction between the faculties of intellectual thought and sensible receptivity. To miss this distinction would mean to commit the error of subreption, and, as he says in the last chapter of the dissertation, only in avoiding this error does metaphysics flourish.
The issue that vexed Kant was central to what 20th-century scholars called "the philosophy of mind". The flowering of the natural sciences had led to an understanding of how data reaches the brain. Sunlight falling on an object is reflected from its surface in a way that maps the surface features (color, texture, etc.). The reflected light reaches the human eye, passes through the cornea, is focused by the lens onto the retina where it forms an image similar to that formed by light passing through a pinhole into a camera obscura. The retinal cells send impulses through the optic nerve and then they form a mapping in the brain of the visual features of the object. The interior mapping is not the exterior object, and our belief that there is a meaningful relationship between the object and the mapping in the brain depends on a chain of reasoning that is not fully grounded. But the uncertainty aroused by these considerations, by optical illusions, misperceptions, delusions, etc., is not the end of the problem.Morality (often referred to as "The Prize Essay"). In 1766 Kant wrote Dreams of a Spirit-Seer which dealt with the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. The exact influence of Swedenborg on Kant, as well as the extent of Kant's belief in mysticism according to Dreams of a Spirit-Seer, remain controversial. On 31 March 1770, aged 45, Kant was finally appointed Full Professor of Logic and Metaphysics (Professor Ordinarius der Logic und Metaphysic) at the University of K\"onigs\-berg. In defense of this appointment, Kant wrote his inaugural dissertation (Inaugural - Dissertation) De Mundi Sensibilis atque Intelligibilis Forma et Principiis (On the Form and Principles of the Sensible and the Intelligible World).[1] This work saw the emergence of several central themes of his mature work, including the distinction between the faculties of intellectual thought and sensible receptivity. To miss this distinction would mean to commit the error of subreption, and, as he says in the last chapter of the dissertation, only in avoiding this error does metaphysics flourish.
\vskip0.5\baselineskip \it Cited from Wikipedia}
\newbox\textbox
\setbox\textbox=\vtop{\text}
\newbox\textboxtemp
\newcount\textcounter
\textcounter=0
\loop
\advance\textcounter by 1%
\setbox\textcounter=\vsplit\textbox to \columnheight
\ifnum\ht\textcounter=0{}\fi
\ifnum\ht\textcounter>0\repeat
{\bf About text floating into columns} \vskip\baselineskip
%here is the problem
\hbox{ \copy1 \hskip10pt\copy2  \hskip10pt\copy3}
\hbox{\copy4  \hskip10pt\copy5 \hskip10pt \copy6 \hskip10pt}
\hbox{\copy7  \hskip10pt\copy8 \hskip10pt \copy9 \hskip10pt}
%\hbox{\copy10  \hskip10pt\copy11 \hskip12pt \copy13 \hskip10pt}
%\hbox{\copy14  \hskip10pt\copy15 \hskip12pt \copy16 \hskip10pt}
\bye
2
  • oh so you did use vsplit finally?:) Commented Nov 20, 2022 at 9:18
  • Yes I did.. :-))
    – user284656
    Commented Nov 20, 2022 at 15:21

1 Answer 1

4

enter image description here

\tracingonline2
\raggedright
\hsize=140pt % 
\parindent=0pt
\newdimen\columnheight
\columnheight=160pt
\def\text{ Morality (often referred to as "The Prize Essay"). In 1766 Kant wrote Dreams of a Spirit-Seer which dealt with the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. The exact influence of Swedenborg on Kant, as well as the extent of Kant's belief in mysticism according to Dreams of a Spirit-Seer, remain controversial. On 31 March 1770, aged 45, Kant was finally appointed Full Professor of Logic and Metaphysics (Professor Ordinarius der Logic und Metaphysic) at the University of K\"onigs\-berg. In defense of this appointment, Kant wrote his inaugural dissertation (Inaugural - Dissertation) De Mundi Sensibilis atque Intelligibilis Forma et Principiis (On the Form and Principles of the Sensible and the Intelligible World).[1] This work saw the emergence of several central themes of his mature work, including the distinction between the faculties of intellectual thought and sensible receptivity. To miss this distinction would mean to commit the error of subreption, and, as he says in the last chapter of the dissertation, only in avoiding this error does metaphysics flourish.
The issue that vexed Kant was central to what 20th-century scholars called "the philosophy of mind". The flowering of the natural sciences had led to an understanding of how data reaches the brain. Sunlight falling on an object is reflected from its surface in a way that maps the surface features (color, texture, etc.). The reflected light reaches the human eye, passes through the cornea, is focused by the lens onto the retina where it forms an image similar to that formed by light passing through a pinhole into a camera obscura. The retinal cells send impulses through the optic nerve and then they form a mapping in the brain of the visual features of the object. The interior mapping is not the exterior object, and our belief that there is a meaningful relationship between the object and the mapping in the brain depends on a chain of reasoning that is not fully grounded. But the uncertainty aroused by these considerations, by optical illusions, misperceptions, delusions, etc., is not the end of the problem.Morality (often referred to as "The Prize Essay"). In 1766 Kant wrote Dreams of a Spirit-Seer which dealt with the writings of Emanuel Swedenborg. The exact influence of Swedenborg on Kant, as well as the extent of Kant's belief in mysticism according to Dreams of a Spirit-Seer, remain controversial. On 31 March 1770, aged 45, Kant was finally appointed Full Professor of Logic and Metaphysics (Professor Ordinarius der Logic und Metaphysic) at the University of K\"onigs\-berg. In defense of this appointment, Kant wrote his inaugural dissertation (Inaugural - Dissertation) De Mundi Sensibilis atque Intelligibilis Forma et Principiis (On the Form and Principles of the Sensible and the Intelligible World).[1] This work saw the emergence of several central themes of his mature work, including the distinction between the faculties of intellectual thought and sensible receptivity. To miss this distinction would mean to commit the error of subreption, and, as he says in the last chapter of the dissertation, only in avoiding this error does metaphysics flourish.
\vskip0.5\baselineskip \it Cited from Wikipedia}
\newbox\textbox
\setbox\textbox=\vtop{\text}
\newbox\textboxtemp
\newcount\textcounter
\textcounter=0

\newif\ifloop 
{\bf About text floating into columns} \vskip\baselineskip

\loop
\setbox0=\vsplit\textbox to \columnheight
\setbox2=\vsplit\textbox to \columnheight
\setbox4=\vsplit\textbox to \columnheight
\ifvoid0
\loopfalse
\else
\looptrue
\hbox{\box0 \hskip10pt\copy2  \hskip10pt\copy4}
\fi
\ifloop
\repeat
\bye

Note that if accesing boxes by number you should use registers less than 10, and even numbers for local assignments and odd for global. If you use box11 for example you over-write \strutbox so break \strut which is used in multiple places to normalize line spacing.

The \ifloop test is simply a negated \ifvoid. In latex's version of \loop it would not be needed as you could use \ifvoid0 \else ... \repeat but plain tex \loop does not allow \else. Alternatively you could use \unless\ifvoid0 ... \repeat in pdftex but not in tex as the latter does not enable e-tex extensions.

Unrelated to your loop question, as shown in the image above, you need to take care of the first line alignment, and prevent \parskip stretch to maintain alignment of the lines.

If you initialize with

 \setbox\textbox=\vtop{\hbox{}\parskip=0pt \text}

enter image description here

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