1. OurJud

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Weird alignment issue with OpenOffice

    Discussion in 'Software' started by OurJud, Sep 6, 2017.

    I like to use the fully justified option when using OO, but while reading through my WIP just now I noticed one, five-word line which ends one of the paragraphs, has the words spaced out so they conform to the full justification formatting.

    I've tried reformatting the whole document back to left justified, but as soon as I go back to full justification this one line gets the weird spacing thing.

    I've checked for rouge spaces and returns, I've even deleted the line and written it again, but even as I type it does the weird spacing.

    Why is it wanting to fully justify this one line??

    I understand it's only doing what it's been instructed to do, but the full alignment format should not apply when you use a return to begin a new paragraph.

    Just in case I haven't been clear, this is how it looks (imagine the rest of the text is fully-justifed):

    --------

    Rem nulla autem impedit ea eos minima hic placeat. Quis nisi quasi quia quia expedita.
    Eligendi dolorem non dicta est dolorem sequi impedit. Veniam nesciunt eos recusan
    dae corrupti dicta maiores est quae. Ea quos minima in aut voluptas cum. Ab ad anim
    it.......................quae................................ rerum...................................Et................... sunt

    Sequi repellat ut neque. Temporibus quia quae ut vero sunt velit. Vero quidem est libero
    omnis amet.

    Ea quibusdam et qui ut sequi assumenda doloremque ad. Labore et libero sit quibusdam
    eos architecto. Quasi sequi illum id dolorem.
     
  2. Martin Beerbom

    Martin Beerbom Member

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    Right-Click in the paragraph. Select "Paragraph...". In the window that pops up, go to the "Alignment" tab. There's an option to select the behavior of the last line. I willing to bet is set to "Justified". Deleting the line won't change that, and neither will spaces or paragraph-end-invisibles be different for that setting, but a new paragraph should come up with the default (which is option "Left" for the last line).
     
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  3. OurJud

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't really understand what you're saying in the second half of your post, but I already checked the alignment for last line and it was set to 'left'.
     
  4. Martin Beerbom

    Martin Beerbom Member

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    That's odd. The only other thing I can think of is that you have an unwanted line feed in there instead of/in addition to the paragraph end. (Line feed entered with shift-enter; if invisibles turned on, it's indicated as a left arrow symbol).
     
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  5. OurJud

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yup, checked that too. There's no line feed.

    Also, there is no pilcrow at the start of the paragraph following the faulty one, but there is for all the others.
     
  6. mashers

    mashers Contributing Member Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Try this.
    Place the cursor at the end of the first word of the paragraph after the faulty one (so in your example text, at the end of the word “Sequi”). Then backspace all the way to deleting the last word of the fault paragraph (“sunt” in your example). The two paragraphs should now be one. Now, what happens? Does the last line of what was the second paragraph now exhibit the same problem? If so, then the problem isn’t related just to that paragraph (perhaps). If it looks normal though, try re-typing the last word, then press enter to go to the next paragraph and retype the first word. How does it look now?
     
  7. Martin Beerbom

    Martin Beerbom Member

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    The pilcrow indicates the END of a paragraph. What you say seems to indicate that the faulty paragraph is not properly terminated.
     
  8. OurJud

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I tried this, but the line of the new paragraph will only let me backspace as far as the start of the line (I indent new paragraphs so what I mean, effectively, is that I am only able to delete the tab and it makes no difference to the faulty line above it.

    It's got to be some kind of glitch/bug, but thanks for your help.

    Sorry, yes, the pilcrows are at the end of the paragraphs, except for the faulty one.

    If I click at the end of the faulty line (after the full stop) and press enter, it inserts a blank line. However, this does fix the spacing thing. Oddly, though, doing this results in a rouge full stop being inserted in the blank line I just created.

    So I end up with:

    Rem nulla autem impedit ea eos minima hic placeat. Quis nisi quasi quia quia expedita.
    Eligendi dolorem non dicta est dolorem sequi impedit. Veniam nesciunt eos recusan
    dae corrupti dicta maiores est quae. Ea quos minima in aut voluptas cum. Ab ad anim
    it quae rerum Et sunt.
    .
    Sequi repellat ut neque. Temporibus quia quae ut vero sunt velit. Vero quidem est libero
    omnis amet.

    Ea quibusdam et qui ut sequi assumenda doloremque ad. Labore et libero sit quibusdam
    eos architecto. Quasi sequi illum id dolorem.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  9. mashers

    mashers Contributing Member Contributor Community Volunteer

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    What if you highlight from the beginning of the last word of the faulty paragraph to the end of the first word of the next paragraph? Can you delete it then? And if so, what happens when you re-create the paragraph break? If not, then it sounds like a weird corruption in the file (though I'm not an OpenOffice user, this sounds like extremely abnormal behaviour for any word processor). Maybe copy and paste into a plain text editor to remove all special characters, then copy and paste back into OpenOffice and see if it formats correctly then.
     
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  10. OurJud

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're a genius! Thank you.

    I think some rogue full stop had found found its way into the mix, and was causing the problem.

    Whatever, this fixed it :)
     
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  11. mashers

    mashers Contributing Member Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Yay! Glad it's sorted :D Oh, which thing fixed it? Highlighting and deleting, or copying and pasting into plain text?
     
  12. OurJud

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    The bit I quoted in my last post. Highlighting forward and deleteing instead of back and deleting.
     
  13. Martin Beerbom

    Martin Beerbom Member

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    There exist some invisible unicode characters, such as "zero width space" and "zero width joiner". They can be used, for instance, to prevent a line break where it normally would happen (for instance, in science writing, to keep numbers and unit names together). It's possible something like this has crept in there. The deviousness of them is that you often cannot see them, even with formatting and non-printing characters turned on. Some word processors mark them with special icons, many don't.
     
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  14. OurJud

    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sounds like the culprit, then, as the full stop only showed when I put in an extra line between the paragraphs.
     
  15. mashers

    mashers Contributing Member Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Oh sorry, I didn't pay attention to which part you quoted ;)
     
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  16. Martin Beerbom

    Martin Beerbom Member

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    Just to fill some more information about the invisible unicode characters: LibreOffice 5.3 (current version) and Word up until 2010/11 (from google, have no later version available to test) do not seem to be aware of these characters. They do not mark them; you can enter them (in the Win version) with Alt Gr+number block. You can also enter them via the "Insert special character" function which shows a table of all the special characters (depending on the selected font!), but the ones I'm talking about here only show up as empty squares, and LibreOffice and Word do not show their names, which is bad, since they have different functions that can be deduced from their names. You'll need a separate resource to use them – and, as we have seen, probably throw some other poor chap into frustration if you send them the file containing them...

    (NB: The standard special characters applet of the Mac, now called "Emoji & Symbols", does know the names, can search for them by name, and can be used to insert them into any text.)
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
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  17. jannert

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Great that the problem got solved. I've had this happen to me before (I use Pages) and It Drove Me Nuts. I solved the problem at the time by simply deleting the two offending paragraphs before and after, and re-entering all the text. Copy/pasting simply duplicated the problem, but entering it again solved it. If this ever happens again, I'll have a better idea of what to do about it. Thanks @mashers for the insight, and @Martin Beerbom for the explanation. And @OurJud for posting the problem in the first place.
     
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  18. Martin Beerbom

    Martin Beerbom Member

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    Pages doesn't show the invisible unicode characters, either. The only word processors I know that do, and fully support them (they have a full list of them in their "Insert Special Character" menu) are the Mac-only Nisus Writer (my current favorite full-featured WYSIWYG word processor) and Mellel.
     
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  19. jannert

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    D0 you use Nisus Writer Pro or Nisus Writer Express?

    A few months back, I was seriously considering getting NWExpress because I was so fed up with Pages, and the fact that it no longer exported or recognised RTF. However, I see the new version, which I will download when I upgrade to Sierra soon, has restored this feature, so I'm inclined to stick to Pages. However, Nisus Writer Express looks like it might be a good substitute, should I ever need it.
     
  20. Martin Beerbom

    Martin Beerbom Member

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    I have Nisus Writer Pro (got it with a special deal). Never used the Express version. I guess you know the list of features that's different between them. Looking at them, I could live very well with the Express if I hadn't the Pro already. Currently, I'm not using the additional tools it has. Though I should note that I haven't done much sharing with other people with it, yet, with track changes and comments and such. But self-tests transferring to and from Pages and LibreOffice went reasonably well.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
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  21. jannert

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    The price difference is pretty big ...the Express is under £20, while the Pro is nearly £80. I'd have to be very enamoured of the extra features to get the Pro. What I'm investigating is what the Express doesn't do. I guess that's the key for me. However, as I said, I'll probably stick with Pages, or at least give the newest version a try. All my old files are in Pages, and I wouldn't look forward to migrating all of them to a different wordprocessor if I didn't have to.

    Is Nisus Writer fairly backwards-compatible? That's another issue with me, that annoys me a bit about Pages. Each time I upgrade to a newer version of Pages, I end up going through ALL my old documents and upgrading each one. Otherwise, another version or two later, I won't be able to open them any more. As a writer who works on stuff over a long period, and has stashed lots of research material since the late 90s, this is a pain in the arse. I would love to find a wordprocessing programme that at least reads and can convert all old files created in that programme. I really don't understand why that's not possible.
     
  22. Martin Beerbom

    Martin Beerbom Member

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    Can't help you with the features of Express vs. Pro. As said, I never used Express. Don't remember what I paid for the Pro – there was a rebate going on. Probably around €50 max (I would bothered and researched a lot more for more than that, in particular the full €80...). They do have a trial version, for both Pro and Express.

    File format changes drive me nuts, too. I like Pages, even with the simplified UI they now have (which some people mistake for being feature-less), but the file format changes annoyed me. I still keep the 4.3 version of Pages (as long as it will run), though I mostly abandoned Pages altogether. Important files I do export to another file format for archiving, mostly RTF, since I tend to use Nisus for what I did in Pages (main writing tool is Scrivener, which also uses RTF).

    You can batch convert files using AppleScript and the Automator. Just google it. Mostly, those scripts convert to PDF, .doc or plain text, but the change to RTF should be simple. (If you have trouble, I offer my help to figure it out.)

    Nisus Writer is a lot better in almost everything. It's just a bliss to work with. File formats work very well if supported. Nisus imports Pages version 4.x files, but not the newer ones (you have to export in Pages. Sorry.). The native format is RTF, and so far I have not found old RTF files it wouldn't open in a way that's acceptable. There are occasional formatting issues, but mostly when getting files from other apps. Old original Nisus files open nicely. RTF to and from Scrivener and Pages works well. .doc/.docx works, too, with a bit more formatting differences (indents and line widths in things like bullet lists or so), but nothing I worry about a lot (or need to rush out and fix. As long as it looks nice and has nothing obviously wrong, I don't care much about those differences).
     
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  23. jannert

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Thanks for all that information. In fact, I'm going to copy/paste it into a folder I've made for information of this nature. Once I update to Sierra, and try the new Pages, I'll make up my mind. I might try a trial version of Nisus as well. Thanks again.
     

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