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Hi @eternal,

I opened up my manuscript in libreoffice and saw a very large decrease in pages from what I remembered...773 pages in ms word [vs.] 573 on libreoffice...Is it because of the formatting?

It's quite possible that various differences contributed to this page discrepancy:

  • Font - It's possible that LibreOffice is displaying your document using a different (but perhaps similar) font than MS-Office
  • Margins
  • Line spacing

If so, is there a way I could possibly return it to its original state?

It's possible that you could try to match all of the things listed above, tweak spacing, character kerning, etc.. and get pretty close to the same layout metrics. Unless you have some specific need to match the old document so closely, I'd just let the text reflow as it will.

Also, there are strange small grey boxes littered throughout the document after most sentences. Is there a way to get rid of them? The page numbers also seem to have been highlighted with a grey color so my assumption is that rather than gray boxes there are random highlighted gray spaces.

I believe that the page numbers appear with a grey background to indicate that they are an automatically-calculated/data field.

If it's of any further help, after every sentence, I double spaced as protocol for a manuscript.

Ahh.. that looks like it corresponds with the grey boxes. Perhaps the grammar checker or some other tool is trying to tell you to stick with single-spaces? (I just tried using double spaces between sentences on LO, and no such grey boxes appeared for me)

Regarding the double-spacing, Wikipedia notes:

Much modern literature on typography says that double spacing is not desirable, but other sources indicate that it could be used on a typewriter or with a monospaced font. The majority of style guides opt for a single space after terminal punctuation for final and published work, with a few permitting double spacing in draft manuscripts and for specific circumstances based on personal preference.

It looks like you're using a variable-width font, so I'd suggest that you try a single space. Either way, you can probably search-and-replace those grey squares to either the empty-string (to go with a single space), or to a regular space character (to go with double-spacing).