Line Break in Bibliography

Hello everybody,

I have encountered the following problem with a bibliography in a Writer document:

My preferred formatting consists out of the short name, a line break and the details in the line below. Since Writer doesn’t offer a line break in the bibliography dialogue, I entered a tab stop between the short name and the author that is positioned slightly right of the right page margin (screenshot, upper half from an older version of the document).

That worked just fine for a long time - until now, since the tab stop only produces a gap in all entries (screenshot lower half). I compared the paragraph styles and the page styles between the two versions of the document and can’t find any differences.

Does anybody have an idea on how to repair this?


Additional info:

  • The bibliography is protected against manual changes.
  • Libre Office 7.4.7, Windows 10

Edit: I attached a reduced sample file.
SampleDoc.odt (37.0 KB)

Please attach to your question (don’t do it in a comment) a reduced 1- or 2-page document with the issue.

Yes it worked like on your first screenshot, up to v.5.3; it got “broken” in 5.4 - it continued the rest of the text on the margin after the tab stop:

and then it changed again in 7.2, by ignoring the tab stop position in the style.

You may consider filing a bug report See my answer below.

There is an ugly workaround. It is based on standard tab stop behaviour.

Tab stop positions are not ignored as @mikekaganski states. When your current position is beyond the last explicitly defined tab stop, you fall back to the evenly distributed stops configured in Tools>Options, LO Writer>General.

There, set tab stops to some distance larger than the useful page width (I tested with 18.25 cm which is larger than the available 18 cm for text).

Once this is done, set the T position to something very small like 0.01 cm (this should be hardly noticeable). Don’t set it to 0 cm because this would force an extra line break.

This will be without consequence on the rest of your document if you don’t rely on direct formatting (tabbing without explictly defining stops is a form of direct formatting). Any “professional” document like a thesis or conference communication should be exclusively and rigorously styled.

PS: I noticed that your bibliography (Bibliography 1 style) is justified. This is incompatible with the trick. There is no “compatibility” setting to prevent space expansion because there is no line break in the line, only a tab character. To avoid the author line looking weird, use left alignment in your bibliography.

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Aha, given the change that I found in 5.4, that “broke” it the first time, it’s the “TabOverMargin” compatibility option that is set in your document, that makes this. It wasn’t considered for left tabs before 5.4, and then it started to behave properly, i.e., compatibly with MS Word.

Having it set in a document means that the document is created from a Word file - opening Word files, LibreOffice obviously tries to follow Word’s layout, and where it’s incompatible with how LibreOffice’s own layout works, we introduce compatibility options.

Unfortunately, not all compatibility options are available in the UI on OptionsWriterCompatibility; this option is also missing there (tdf#76005). The only way to fix a document is to open the ODT as ZIP, open settings.xml, and remove the element reading like

<config:config-item config:name="TabOverMargin" config:type="boolean">true</config:config-item>

SampleDoc - no TabOverMargin.odt (37.1 KB)

This means that this is not a bug, by the way.

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Thanks a lot - that manipulation did do the trick!

(But I must admit that I don’t comprehend this issue fully: I still can open an older version of the document and get the desired layout - with the same compatability settings. And this document was definitely not created from a Word file, maybe I dabbled with the compatability settings for some reason I don’t remember - I guess, all options should be deactivated when starting fresh …?)

Then that might be another issue - tdf#151728, that pasting from other programs can silently change compatibility options.

You might want to CC there, to get informed if it gets attention; more CC count means for the project that the bug is more important.