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Is there a way to have two paragraphs alternate line by line? [closed]

asked 2018-01-03 04:12:47 +0200

MikoditeYvette gravatar image

updated 2020-07-22 07:41:07 +0200

Alex Kemp gravatar image

I am not sure what its called, however I've seen some Quarans have this where the text will alternate line by line from the original Arabic script in one line and a translation in the next line, alternating in this fashion.

Is there a term for this, and can LibreOffice Writer do this trick? I'm trying to write a passage in a bilingual fashion with the paragraph in French and an English translation in between the lines, something like subtitles in text form.

So, something like this.

Donc, quelque chose comme ça.

Without manual breaking.

Sans rupture manuelle.

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Closed for the following reason question is not relevant or outdated by Alex Kemp
close date 2020-07-20 12:44:30.677217


There is no software called "LibreOffice Word." It's either LibreOffice Writer or Microsoft Word.

Jim K gravatar imageJim K ( 2018-01-03 21:27:08 +0200 )edit

Fixed. Sorry, was midnight and running on fumes when I wrote that.

MikoditeYvette gravatar imageMikoditeYvette ( 2018-01-04 02:37:51 +0200 )edit

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answered 2018-01-03 21:14:28 +0200

Jim K gravatar image

updated 2018-01-03 21:29:21 +0200

What you are asking for is called interlinear text, and LibreOffice and MS Word are not very good at this.

Instead, a list of interlinear solutions is given at Most interlinear software I have used can export to LibreOffice Writer.

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answered 2018-01-03 13:45:51 +0200

RGB-es gravatar image

If all your paragraphs are just one line then @ajlittoz proposal is a the best solution, but if you need "running text", i.e. two multiline paragraphs "mixed" together, then it's not really possible, at least not in an easy way. You may try a workaround, though: set two paragraph styles, one for each language, to have double line spacing, type the main text on the page and then insert a frame where you type with the second paragraph style, the translation. You'll need a lot of work to make this work (alignment will be a huge issue) so if your document is several pages long, it will be impractical.

A much easier way to have bilingual text is a parallel layout: a two column table with each paragraph on its own row, left column for language 1 and second column for language 2.

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answered 2018-01-03 09:13:35 +0200

ajlittoz gravatar image

updated 2018-01-03 18:29:19 +0200

Paragraph style definitions have an attribute called Next Style in the Organizer tab. If you set it to a specific style (default is same style as the defined one), paragraph style will automatically switch when you hit the return key.

To achieve what you are looking for, define two custom paragraph styles derived from Text Body (Corps de texte if using the French version), e.g. English text and French text.

In English text, Fonts tab, set Language to English from the drop-down menu; in Organizer tab, set Next Style to French Text (this is possible only after style creation; you'll then need to visit English text twice).

Do the corresponding procedure for French text.

The reason I recommend to create two new paragraph styles is to keep the possibility to write "ordinary" paragraphs with Text Body without the flip-flop effect.

Assign the adequate paragraph style to your first language-specific paragraph and the switch occurs automatically. You can break it by manually setting paragraph style to another one.

If this answer helped you, please accept it by clicking the check mark ✔ to the left and, karma permitting, upvote it. If this resolves your problem, close the question, that will help other people with the same question.

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Asked: 2018-01-03 04:12:47 +0200

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Last updated: Jan 04 '18