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You can usually line up your displays by padding and cutting your strings. However, when combining various strings of different size, it can often be more convenient to just output the strings, and then worry about lining up the following text afterwards.
To do that, Gnus supplies tabulator specs---`%='. There are two different types---hard tabulators and soft tabulators.
`%50=' will insert space characters to pad the line up to column 50. If the text is already past column 50, nothing will be inserted. This is the soft tabulator.
`%-50=' will insert space characters to pad the line up to column 50. If the text is already past column 50, the excess text past column 50 will be removed. This is the hard tabulator.