How to stop minor edits in Writer from carrying formatting

Since just a few months ago (I believe), it seems that even making a minor edit in Writer carries along a formatting definition.

For example, say I have an entire document in which every paragraph is in a ‘Basic’ paragraph style that uses the Cambria typeface. I save that document and leave it alone for a while. Later, I go in and change the word ‘aardvark’ to ‘rhinoceros’. I save it again. Later, I open the document, select the entire text and paste it into a new template in which the styles have the same names, but different definitions - for example, the ‘Basic’ style uses the Bookman typeface.*

Everything works fine - the style adapts as it should - except for the altered word. In my example, ‘rhinoceros’ is still in Cambria typeface even though the standard is now Bookman - essentially, that one edited word comes with its own style definition. This is most obvious when converting to html - the result shows that there’s special formatting for that one word.

My questions:

  1. Why does this happen? I’m just adding a word in an already formatted paragraph. I’m no applying any formatting by hand at all.
  2. How can I stop it? At present, I’m reduced to searching the document for ‘Cambria’ and removing the invisible formatting. Interestingly, Write does find these, even though the entire document is in Cambria.

* This template switching technique is useful for submitting documents that need special formats. So long as the style names are all the same, the entire document can be reformatted with just one cut and paste.

(formatting edited by ajlittoz)

How do you “change” the word? Overtyping or pasting with text copied from another application?

Overtyping. Never by pasting in, so that’s not it.

Then overtyping can’t be responsible for formatting change. However, if you use direct formatting instead of character styles inside your paragraphs (e.g. Ctrl+B for bold), you may start overtyping at the border between two different formatting. In this case, the retained formatting is the one in effect before the border.

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No, it’s not that. It’s literally replacing or adding a word or letter - fixing a typo. I can’t account for it, but it causes problems.

I am having the exact same problems in my documents. This seems to be a bug, but one that is hard to detect. It is not apparent on first sight that the inserted text is inserted with a font override. One needs to change the underlying paragraph style in order for the bug to become obvious. That is perhaps the reason that not more users are complaining about this.

Have you found a solution yet? I see your post is almost a year old now.

Why does this happen?

Problems can arise when

  • a file used to be a DOC or DOCX.
  • a direct formatting was not removed cleanly
  • text parts were added from other files or sources.

Have you tried using the Styles Inspector to get to the bottom of this?

Try creating a clean flow, see:
Professional text composition with Writer

If your efforts don’t bring a solution, you can upload your document anonymized here. To do this, edit your input question and use the upload icon.

You can also try to start LibreOffice in Safe Mode.