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How to specify "vertical fill" for empty lines before page breaks?

asked 2020-06-08 21:20:44 +0200

jimav gravatar image

Is is possible to specify text to put in empty lines left at the bottom of pages before a manual page break (or before any break if more than N empty lines would be left at the bottom of the preceding page)?

In legal documents, blocks of empty vertical space are undesirable because someone might put something there after the fact. To forestall this possibility, blocks of empty lines should be filled with something which indicates they are intentionally empty. For example, Nolo's Willmaker puts '//////' on intentionally-blank lines left at the bottoms of pages, i.e. before page breaks.

Can this be done in Libre Office writer?

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I don't know if that can be done, maybe a macro? I can think of a couple of ways of doing something that would appear similar.

  1. Manually. Create some lines of autofill text using your chosen filler symbols. When you get to the place you would put a manual break in, instead enter your trigger letters, e.g. //// then press F3 repeat until remainder of page is filled, delete any overlap.
  2. Create a low res greyscale png image of your symbols in a light to mid grey font colour (so as not to dominate) to fit within your margins. Insert image into the document, right-click and select Wrap | Wrap in background . Right click image and select Properties. Under the Option tab Protect Contents, Position and Size OK out. You can now type over the top of the image but the image will show through so select the text and ...
Earnest Al gravatar imageEarnest Al ( 2020-06-09 01:11:53 +0200 )edit

CONT. If No 2 works for you you would need to create a template with background picture in place and text styles would all have to have white highlighting

Earnest Al gravatar imageEarnest Al ( 2020-06-09 01:13:33 +0200 )edit

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answered 2020-06-09 15:28:53 +0200

LeroyG gravatar image

updated 2020-06-09 22:10:52 +0200


If you don't use tabs in your documents, you can create a new style (or modify the one you are already using) adding a right tab mark with fill.

image description

Then in every empty line, or at the finish of shorter lines, if you press the tab key the line will be filled with the character you choosed. You could use whatever symbol you wish (/, |, ¦, \, ~, ░). If appropiate, before the tab could leave a space:

so: text. /////
and not: text./////
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answered 2020-06-09 07:28:57 +0200

Earnest Al gravatar image

updated 2020-06-09 11:22:52 +0200

Here is a better workaround.

  1. Open your document or template. Select in the menu Format | Page Style in the Area tab click Pattern and select the top left dot pattern (5 percent), click Apply and OK
  2. Modify your Default Style. Right click on Default Style and select Modify. In the Area tab select a white highlight. OK out

Sample: C:\fakepath\FillBlankSpace2.odt

Thanks to @ajlittoz

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To cover the page background, it is better to define an Area colour of white for Text Body. You can then keep whatever line spacing may be required by the formatting rule. The paragraph area colour also covers the vertical spacings above and below paragraph.

The highlight color only covers the character as defined by the font, i.e. there is discontinuity between lines as you noticed.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2020-06-09 09:09:39 +0200 )edit

Excellent! @ajlittoz I didn't look at that. It makes it look much better. I should have a read through the manual.

Earnest Al gravatar imageEarnest Al ( 2020-06-09 10:28:46 +0200 )edit

Highlighting is only a character attribute (having a "local" effect on the character bounding rectangle only) while background is paragraph attribute (with "regional" effect on the paragraph area including line spacing and spacings above and below).

Incorporate the background into your answer to get the karma credit.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2020-06-09 11:08:17 +0200 )edit

answered 2020-06-09 11:03:43 +0200

ajlittoz gravatar image

Your goal is to show explicitly what was originally printed in order to prevent later additions.

@Earnest Al pointed you to the use of a page background pattern which is then covered by a white paragraph background. which "erases" the page background pattern. The page background shows up where there is no text.

Modifying your used paragraph styles is a bit tedious unless you remember that paragraph styles are hierarchically organised. A style inherits transitively non overridden attributes from its ancestors.

As paragraph style Default Style is the common ancestor to all styles, you only need to add the white background to Default Style and it will propagate to all.

CAUTION! if you used direct formatting to format your document, the trick may be defeated. As always, use only styles in elaborate important documents otherwise you won't be able to maintain them.

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Asked: 2020-06-08 21:20:44 +0200

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Last updated: Jun 09 '20