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Cannot exit the cross-reference

asked 2019-10-23 23:13:36 +0200

Tobruk gravatar image


I created a cross-reference in LibreOffice Writer and I can't seem to exit it to continue the sentence.

Trying to write past the citation that is a cross-reference

As you can see, everything after 2009) is my attempt to continue the sentence, but it still is inside the cross-reference.

I scoured the wiki to try and find a keyboard shortcut or command that'd let me exit the cross-reference, however I did not manage to find anything.

Ctrl+F8 just disables the shading visually. TAB becomes part of the cross-reference as well.

ENTER does seem to work, but then I have to make a newline, put at least one character in there, and then delete the newline to continue the sentence.

What can I do to make it less tedious?


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This is a usability issue worth a bug report.

Mike Kaganski gravatar imageMike Kaganski ( 2019-10-24 08:50:24 +0200 )edit

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answered 2019-10-24 00:12:35 +0200

keme gravatar image

updated 2019-10-24 06:56:17 +0200

If the cross reference extends to the end of the paragraph (which will often be the case when you insert references while editing), I can't find a better way than what you already found. Looks like a glitch.

You asked for "less tedious".

  1. I prefer to insert an asterisk or some other rarely used character where I want cross references, and insert actual references when editing is done. It is better for me if I don't "break the flow" of writing. Undoubtedly, some will find it just as tedious as the enter-space-home-backspace-end key sequence, if not more.

  2. If you are using Microsoft Windows, you could use "autohotkey" software to automate the entry of said sequence.

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answered 2019-10-24 10:01:23 +0200

ajlittoz gravatar image

updated 2019-10-24 10:30:55 +0200

This is not a solution, but I prefer to use an answer instead of a comment to highlight the point.

I was misled by an improper use of words, but OP is not to be blamed because terminology is not obvious.

The bug does not occur when you insert a cross-reference but when you create a reference with Insert>Cross-reference, type Set Reference while typing.

Considering the context, there are two workarounds:

  • don't do it where you are typing text, i.e. defer creation of reference after you have typed at least a space or a word beyond the limit of the reference.

    Stop typing and select the sequence to be part of the reference, leaving ignored characters between the end of the reference and the future typing position. You can then Insert>Cross-reference, type Set Reference safely.

  • don't use Set Reference, i.e, create a bookmark on the selected sequence. The reference will be inserted with Insert>Cross-reference, type Bookmark.

    I know this is not the correct use of bookmarks because they should be reserved for navigating quickly to the tagged location, but there are many advantages to this "abuse": bookmarks can be easily deleted and renamed, they are listed in the Navigator as are references, they can be jumped to with a right-click on the page number in the bottom status bar, etc.

The difference between a bookmark and a reference is precisely the bug addressed by this question: bookmarks are never extended (since they primarily designate a location to jump to), references are more versatile as they can be extended without difficulty if another word needs to be added to it, just put the cursor immediately of the reference end and type).

Consequently the usability issue is to tell LO to stop collecting the reference sequence.

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!

In case you need clarification, edit your question (not an answer) or comment the relevant answer.

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A nitpick: "The difference between a bookmark and a difference"

Mike Kaganski gravatar imageMike Kaganski ( 2019-10-24 10:24:25 +0200 )edit

Thanks for pointing out the typo

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-10-24 10:29:59 +0200 )edit

Thank you for replying. Unfortunately, I forgot to disclose that I'm not actually the one who inserts the cross-reference. They are made by a Zotero add-on, so none of the solutions would work for me. I was really hoping for something that'd let me exit the reference, whereas this is just a workaround. Anyway, I thank you again for taking the time to reply

Tobruk gravatar imageTobruk ( 2019-10-25 14:43:20 +0200 )edit

In this case, your workaround (typing Enter to stop the reference, because a reference cannot extend beyond the end of a paragraph) is the only one available.

Try to suggest to the Zotero developers to use a bookmark instead of a "Set Reference".

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-10-25 14:51:11 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2019-10-23 23:13:36 +0200

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Last updated: Oct 24 '19