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Use horizontal ruler to shift left indent but leave first line in place?

asked 2018-08-01 05:51:34 +0200

bwechner gravatar image

I find myself wanting to do this a LOT. I want to alter the left indent of the paragraph but leave the first line in place. There are three markers on the horizontal ruler:

  • first line
  • left indent
  • right indent

which map to the paragraph formats:

  • Indent, First line
  • Indent, Before text
  • Indent, After text

Alas moving (dragging) them has these affects:

  • first line marker - dragging it moves just that marker
  • right indent marker - dragging it moves just that marker
  • left indent marker - dragging it moves just that marker AND the first line marker

This last behaviour is very irritating! I would like to be able to move the left indent marker WITHOUT moving the first line marker. But I find no way to do it, not by dragging with SHIFT, or CTRL, or ALT held down nor any combination of them while dragging helps. Grrrrr.

Is there no way to do this? And if not, can we turn this into a feature request?

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And if not, can we turn this into a feature request?

No way here, but of course you can at the proper place.

Mike Kaganski gravatar imageMike Kaganski ( 2018-08-01 06:08:19 +0200 )edit

If one needs to do this a LOT, it's a sign that one uses manual (direct) formatting heavily. And that one misses the much simpler and more comfortable (and correct, creating well-structured and manageable documents!) way of doing the same using styles. If such a feature request arrives, personally I'd vote against it, as a feature that emphasizes direct formatting against styles that are the backbone of LibreOffice strengths.

Mike Kaganski gravatar imageMike Kaganski ( 2018-08-01 06:11:49 +0200 )edit

I fully endorse @Mike Kaganski's statement. If you do it a lot, it also means your document is deeply structured. It's time to learn styles and you'll see how convenient it is. You'll gain a HUGE lot in speed of typing, maintainability and ease of consistent formatting (changes or updates).

Remember that direct formatting is fit for experimenting or quick-and-dirty one-shot document. In all other case: styles, styles and styles. Put them in your default templates and they're always available.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2018-08-01 07:59:18 +0200 )edit

Point fully taken, but all the same correctly offered as comments not an answer. Because the reality is, while I concur profoundly and use styles extensively for document management, I also work with a lot of, literally, one or two pagers and want a quick way to fiddle these indents. And I'd contend that word processors on the whole, like Writer and Word and more are used by many/most people for both classes of document. Of course there's an argument that for one pagers that Draw is better.

bwechner gravatar imagebwechner ( 2018-08-02 07:14:37 +0200 )edit

As I mentioned, the proper place to fill an RFE is our bug tracker. The comments here are meant to discuss the need itself.

Mike Kaganski gravatar imageMike Kaganski ( 2018-08-02 07:21:06 +0200 )edit

One or two pagers shouldn't be a pain, manually formatting speaking. For longer documents I see no solution other than assigning a specific style before fiddling with the settings.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2018-08-02 08:00:04 +0200 )edit

"One or two pagers shouldn't be a pain," - Unless you're doing a lot of them ... not that one persons view of pain need agree with another's - the nature of diversity.

bwechner gravatar imagebwechner ( 2018-08-03 06:16:01 +0200 )edit

Then, from your comment, for your own benefit, design a set of personal styles you save in your customized default templates. One advantage: all your documents are guaranteed to look alike. The number of documents issued is another criterion advocating for styles and templates.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2018-08-03 07:54:14 +0200 )edit

To be honest, I prefer solutions to a stated problem that don't involve preaching on methodology. I filed it here:, anyhow and least one guy wants to see it implemented as well ;-). It's simply a dead easy thing to have and has unambiguous utility to some of us.

bwechner gravatar imagebwechner ( 2018-08-30 09:51:36 +0200 )edit

2 Answers

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answered 2018-09-02 15:04:25 +0200

ajlittoz gravatar image

This is already implemented. This is what you can do with the left markers (there is nothing special with the right marker since there is only one):

  • left-click and drag Before text marker moves both Before text and First line: this is the most common use when you want to change left margin keeping the indent;

  • left-click and drag First line marker: moves only this marker to change first line indent;

  • Ctrl + left-click and drag: moves only Before text marker: the left margin is changed, leaving start of first line where it was absolutely positioned (not relative to Before text).

I think you're looking for th Ctrl-drag.

To show the community your question has been answered, click the ✓ next to the correct answer, and "upvote" by clicking on the ^ arrow of any helpful answers. These are the mechanisms for communicating the quality of the Q&A on this site. Thanks!

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I'd upvote this but lack the karma ;-).

bwechner gravatar imagebwechner ( 2018-09-03 10:32:24 +0200 )edit

Now you've checked the solution, your karma should be sufficient to upvote (I think so, but not sure because the rules are not easily available)

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2018-09-03 10:35:15 +0200 )edit

answered 2018-09-02 18:28:11 +0200

floris v gravatar image

What you want is, if I'm correct, called a hanging indent. There's even ain inbuilt paragraph style with that name. Inspect its properties to find how to get the desired effect.

If you want to do this a lot, don't use the ruler but work with paragraph styles, one for each indentation.

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@floris v: that's wisdom, but OP seems to insist doint it direct formatting :-(

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2018-09-02 18:52:10 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2018-08-01 05:51:34 +0200

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Last updated: Sep 02 '18