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;doc: journal: promote "auto postings" term; clarify scope

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simonmichael committed Mar 9, 2019
1 parent 52c8386 commit 1ae36fe02c301fd5f176f439a585bd411839c9e3
Showing with 8 additions and 7 deletions.
  1. +8 −7 hledger-lib/hledger_journal.m4.md
@@ -1226,14 +1226,13 @@ and
<a name="automated-postings"></a>
<a name="auto-postings"></a>

## Transaction modifiers
## Auto postings / transaction modifiers

Transaction modifier rules describe changes that should be applied automatically to certain transactions.
They can be enabled by using the `--auto` flag.
Currently, just one kind of change is possible: adding extra postings.
These rule-generated postings are known as "automated postings" or "auto postings".
Transaction modifier rules describe changes to be applied automatically to certain matched transactions.
Currently just one kind of change is possible - adding extra postings, which we call "automated postings" or just "auto postings".
These rules become active when you use the `--auto` flag.

A transaction modifier rule looks quite like a normal transaction,
A transaction modifier, AKA auto posting rule, looks much like a normal transaction
except the first line is an equals sign followed by a [query](manual.html#queries) that matches certain postings
(mnemonic: `=` suggests matching).
And each "posting" is actually a posting-generating rule:
@@ -1245,13 +1244,15 @@ And each "posting" is actually a posting-generating rule:
...
```

These posting rules look like normal postings, except the amount can be:
These posting-generating rules look like normal postings, except the amount can be:

- a normal amount with a commodity symbol, eg `$2`. This will be used as-is.
- a number, eg `2`. The commodity symbol (if any) from the matched posting will be added to this.
- a numeric multiplier, eg `*2` (a star followed by a number N). The matched posting's amount (and total price, if any) will be multiplied by N.
- a multiplier with a commodity symbol, eg `*$2` (a star, number N, and symbol S). The matched posting's amount will be multiplied by N, and its commodity symbol will be replaced with S.

These rules have global effect - a rule appearing anywhere in your data can potentially affect any transaction, including transactions recorded above it or in another file.

Some examples:
```journal
; every time I buy food, schedule a dollar donation

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