How can I clone text in a document but have the cloned copy display with different formatting?


I’ve been searching the questions here and can’t find a suitable answer.
I’m pretty clued up with computers but stumped on this one.

LibreOffice Version:

I want to use a text document for people to submit text for engraving.
But I want to have a place for them to type their engraving - either a table cell or form field -
and then have that text duplicate itself in a second place to show them what their submission will look like roughly.

Something like the picture

Must be able to work in Microsoft Office too.
It can also be as a pdf file where they fill in a form which they save and send back to me - this might be better instead of trying to get this to work with Microsoft Office.
A spreadsheet with a cell that “equals” another cell is a great start, but then it’s not easy for people to understand line breaks within a cell, and to split over multiple cells (e.g. per line of engraving) makes it much more copying/pasting for me.

I know this sound like a really basic thing, but I have SO many clients who don’t understand how to submit engraving, so if they have somewhere to type and it’s showing them back what will be used for engraving, then they should get it right.
I get instructions on a daily basis with bullets, quotation marks, superfluous spacing or tabs while they try to centre the text, and so on which they don’t actually want on their engraving. They just want to indicate what is for engraving (quotation marks) or to separate each instruction (numbers/bullets). I have tried sending them a document with guidelines how to submit engraving, but this is relatively useless as most don’t even read these.

Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it!


Thank you to both of you for the answers. I’m afraid what I want it to do and what is possible seem to be two completely different things.
It’s not really a matter of this being a proof for them to see the exact final result, we still send out the official proof from Corel Draw as a PDF which is exactly as they will get in the end product.
It’s more along the lines of wanting a client to type the engraving they want without them doing this:
Soccer Cup
(i.e. adding " ")


Soccer Cup
(trying to move the text to be centred using spaces)


1.) Winner
Soccer Cup


Winner (this is a gold plaque)
Soccer Cup

All I want them to type is

Soccer Cup

but do you know how difficult it is to get clients to do something this simple?

To copy/paste across from the above is much easier as it needs less correcting.
We are aiming for speed and efficiency, but when doing hundreds of plaques with
instructions sent in the wrong way means lots of time fixing it.
As I said, I have a guidelines document but no one seems to read this!

Anyway, the next best solution I can come up with now is to send
them the attached document and have them complete this.
Will have to see if this works!
(ooops, can’t attach as I don’t have enough points!)

Problems I’ve found along the way:

Spreadsheet would be ideal, but then clients must either be able to use a line break (ctrl + enter)
or otherwise it’s using multiple cells, which means copying/pasting for us becomes multiple times longer.

Document with a table doesn’t have the function of formulas like this:
Cell B2=Cell A2

PDF form allows for text to be entered, but no additional formatting
possible (no bold or italics or change of font).

One simple approach would be to define a set of templates. Each one would have a PAGE style which defines the dimensions of the engraving area. The page margins would correspond to the actual paper page size of the printer used for drafting if any.
You can then define the FONT, SIZE, characteristics such as bold., italic etc. By defining the alignment central, left etc. you have all the options for the engraved area. Then when the user types in their text, what they type will be what the formatted engraving will look like. There is no need to duplicate the input. If they want a printed sample they can print it directly.

Actually, thinking about it, the LibO option of create a new label might also give you the same options. If you use PDF for output make certain that you print at 100% otherwise the printed size will be incorrect. As for MSO, they may have something similar. Hope this helps Peter

I’m not really familiar with this. But there are basic capabilities in Writer with regard to what ‘His Lordship’ seems aiming at.
If You supply a template You may enclose ‘Input Fields’ everyone of which will prompt the user creating his specific document from that template to enter values for the referenced variables. These can be called with their values by other fields, contained in a ‘layout frame’ e.g.

This is not very comfortable but it might do.

One specific problem may arise: The prompting dialogue for input fields allows for “too much editing”, inserting new lines specifically.
Please note: I cannot give better advice. I used such features in Writer (an in Word) only very few times. (Don’t like foolpfroofness, maybe.)

A more comfortable (and foolproof) solution with Writer might require some true programming.

Try the attached example s’il vous plaît.

Back to business: I surely would prefer doing this with the help of Calc instead of Writer. Everything is easier. We may even trim off extra spaces and extra line breaks without an effort. Adding an additional layout to offer is just a piece of cake … Look into the second attachment if interested. I hope I met your customers’ fancies. ask39867SubmissionToLayout001.ods

Edit: (Answering the recent update of the original question)

Please be sure, I actually read your “EDITED WITH FEEDBACK”. But I don’t think I need to know much more about your intentions. Did you (HL Pierre) try using Calc? (See attached file above as an example. I think everything you might want should be possible that way - and, of course, everything you neither want nor need can easily be omitted. The necessary adaptions should be obvious. If your customer will enter spaces, e.g., you just use TRIM() and they get ignored. You will let him see a rough layout and can also have a cell passing to you what you need: the unformatted text without extra spaces … and using CLEAN() will also ignore tabs and line breaks … You may even delete “xy)” or parts in parentheses and, of course you can have another cell where the cleaned input is concatenated into 3 lines from where you may copy it for pasting. Just study Calc a little bit.

Editing again: As advertised in my recent comment I attach a somehow reworked version of my example. Of course the target application for pasting everything in one step must accept LF (ASCII 10) for ‘NewLine’. ask39867SubmissionToLayoutSingleCellCopyPaste002.ods
Please regard Cell B20 which is containing an example of “preparing for a single copy/paste”.

Edit: Answering a comment by HL Pierre from 2014-09-25.

FontColour White? That’s very strange. I cannot perform any test with Corel I not have access to. It seems to misinterpret a property passed to the intermediary storage of the copied text. The cell B20 of the final example is formatted with ‘Format Cells’ > ‘Font Effects’ > ‘Font colour’: ‘Automatic’:

Two ideas:

  1. Corel might offer something like ‘Paste unformatted’ and that might hold the previously set text colour of the Corel oject you paste the copied cell content in.

  2. You might set the ‘Font colour’ of B20 (or the respective cell of your sheet) explicitly as ‘Black’.

Thank you for the reply. As I’ve said we’re aiming for speed and efficiency.
Using Calc with multiple cells as per your document means I would be copying/pasting three times, instead of just once which is three times the work, plus more possibilites for mistakes (e.g.forgetting to copy line two on a plaque). The copy/paste idea is to avoid us re-typing (save time) and also to avoid mistakes (re-typing something is where typing errors can occur). Hope this makes sense?

Seems my English is too bad. I thought I told you how to get the customer’s input into one cell from where you might copy it and paste it somwhere else. In addition I indicated for some foreseeable cases by which means you might even automatically rectify (or suppress) pointless peculiarities of your customer’s input.

I will attach a reworked example to my previous answer.

Hello Lupp

I’ve had another look at your spreadsheet and I see I was overlooking something. Where you have all the text in one cell I was assuming that by using copy/paste from there it would copy the formula and not the text, but now that I have tried it, I see it is possible to copy/paste and the text does indeed copy across!
My apologies for being so stupid here!
This has given me some good ideas to look at using on this side.

Just for your benefit, the Line Feed Char(10) does work in Corel Draw. The only catch I find is that the text is pasting across in white for some reason (white text, white page - at first I thought it wasn’t working! :wink: