999 Lines Limit

I have a document in writer that has 55 pages, with 58 lines per page.

If I highlight the first 17 pages plus 13 lines on the next page (999 lines in total), I can do all the usual things to the text - set the font, set the font size and, crucially to me, set tabs.

If I highlight just one more line (ie, 1000 lines) I can no longer do this.
The Font Name and Font Size boxes go blank (although the drop down menus do appear, and can be used), I can set Bold, Italic and Underline, but not unset them, the justification buttons no longer show their state (although they do work), and clicking on the ruler does nothing, so I cannot set tabs.

What is the reason for this limitation?
And how can I overcome it?

My main need at this moment is to be able to select the entire document and set tabs that will apply to it.

Windows 7 Ultimate

Version 6.1 (Build 7601: Service Pack 1)

LibreOffice Version

Some extra information:

  1. The file in question is somewhat unusual.
    Every line terminates with a Carriage Return (Possibly Carriage Return + Line Feed).

2)I repeated the experiment with longer paragraphs and found that the limit is not 999 lines, but 999 Carriage Returns.

  1. The problems appear even when all characters are known, and there is no special formatting character or element.

  2. The file format is .odt

  3. Beyond the limit, the use of tabs seems to disappear completely. Not only does using the mouse to click on the ruler not work, but the option also disappears from Format|Paragraph.

  4. Even when the file has more than 999 Carriage Returns, mahfiaz’s suggestion of using styles works.
    a) I no longer have a problem since I can do what I need
    b) I send grateful thanks to mahfiaz for pointing out the solution. He was right - I was doing it wrong.

Does this occur for only the first 1000 lines or any 1000 lines i.e., it is specific to the location near line 1000? It may be that at the location where the 1000th line occurs there is a formatting character or element that Writer is having difficulty with. What file format are you using? There should not be any such limitation and indeed I have documents here substantially larger than this that I have no issue with performing such actions on.

Why this happens? When you select large amounts of text, then to be sure that there is used only one font, the program goes line by line and checks whether every line uses the same font (and size, and weight and tabs etc). If you select vast amounts of text, then on older computers this checking may take quite some time (and there is no upper limit for document length). So here is the tradeoff: to make sure that when you select 1 000 000 lines of text at once, LibreOffice would not freeze for a minute while checking for these attributes, so when it reaches line 1000 it says, nope, too many, ain’t nobody got time for dat. (1000 lines is arguable, maybe for modern computers this bar could be higher).

The fact that you cannot then set tabs using mouse is a bug (which you should report), but it is this kind of bug which should never occur. Or, to put it bluntly: you are doing it wrong. Use styles instead. Using styles has huge benefits in the long run. I am not going to write a how-to here, google for it yourself.

A rather poor help page: Styles and Formatting - LibreOffice Help

A video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aza63cQilrc

Hi mahfiaz,

Thank you very much for that. Using styles allowed me to do exactly what I needed.
You were right - I was doing it wrong. Kudos to you.

Thanks also for your links. I also found “Creating Custom Styles and Formatting in OpenOffice.org and LibreOffice” at http://www.linux.com/learn/tutorials/384994:create-custom-styles-and-formatting-in-libreoffice-writer

Hey, many thanks for your link, I had never used conditional styles, but after reading this they look very helpful. Although they would be even more so if context could be “if previous/next paragraph has style Heading 1”.