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Librewriter decimal tab, aligns to space even if the seperator is different.

asked 2017-05-23 09:38:34 +0100

Dreamscapist gravatar image

updated 2017-05-23 09:40:42 +0100

I've come across issue with the decimal tab that when writing numbers and I use space as thousands separator it aligns to the space instead of the decimal separator key.

image:Decimal alignment issue

As shown in the image above the issue appears only when using the space with numbers.

I've tried also using 3 different versions of writer to avoid this issue without a luck so far, 5.2.7, 5.3.3 and one version before those but cannot remember the exact number right now.

So either I'm missing something in the settings or this should be reported as a bug, any insight in to the matter would be appreciated

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answered 2017-05-23 09:44:59 +0100

updated 2017-05-23 10:12:57 +0100

In Writer, if you use space, it separates words. LibreOffice doesn't know that two numbers separated by a space are one number with thousand separators It thinks that you finished entering the first number, and it has zero digits after decimal separator (i.e., integer), so it aligns it to its right side, and puts everything else to the right of the tab position. To use the separator, you need to use non-breaking space instead (Ctrl+Shift+Space), and that will give you desired result.

By the way, non-breaking space has another important property. Its width doesn't change (constant) regardless of line aligning (usual space widens as required when you use lines aligned to both left and right sides). This allows to produce good-looking spaces in numbers and similar places, where a space is expected, but it's not actually a separator between different "words".

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That was quick, thank you.

Dreamscapist gravatar imageDreamscapist ( 2017-05-23 09:54:06 +0100 )edit

Adding to @Mike Kaganski's answer: typographic rules state that a number should never be split on two different lines by justification and/or text flow because it is an "atomic" token. Consequently, you MUST use a non-breaking space as your thousand separator (or other magnitude separator in languages such as those used in India).

The same holds true between a number and the unit symbol (km, kg, V, ...) or currency (whether before or after the number).

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2017-05-24 10:08:05 +0100 )edit
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Asked: 2017-05-23 09:38:34 +0100

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Last updated: May 23 '17