Problem with Heading Style

My name is Eric Eastman.
I’m running LibreOffice 6.2 on a Macbook Air under macOS Catalina ver.10.15.4

I’ve been learning about Styles and have applied what I’ve learned with some success. But I’ve run into a real puzzle. In my Heading1 paragraph style I’ve set the Font to Verdana 24, the Font Effects to Dark Green, the Alignment to Left, and it’s been working fine until out of nowhere, it seems, the alignment has changed. Now it’s as if the left margin has increased dramatically so that I am left with about 2/3 of the page I had before. I’ve searched everywhere I can think of to see how I might have done that.

Also, is there a glossary somewhere? Terms like “Snap to grid”, “Text to Test”, “text direction”, and “Superordinate object settings”, are a mystery.

Eric 801-232-7386
It’s been suggested I upload a portion of the document. There’s nothing in this portion that’s proprietary. This document was my first attempt, before I had learned about styles, and now I’m going back to try to build it more correctly.

The condition exists on pages 4, 5, and 8.MasteringFamilyTree2.odt

You can see that this is not a manual over-ride. It’s something in the style.

Hi Eric, why your document is something different than you imagine it can hardly be assessed from a distance.

Reduce your document to the essentials so that the problem remains visible and anonymize it. You can then upload your document here.

To upload, please edit your initial question and use the paper clip symbol. Thank you,

You can find the free documentation of LibreOffice here:

English documentation

Style an exercise:

Style templates in_Writer - V6

Dialogs often have a Help button which opens the built-in help directly on the relevant page. Built-in help also contains a comprehensive index.

Do you use chapter numbering (automatic numbering of headings)? The default setting is to left align numbering, and tab to the following heading text. When numbers are so wide they extend past the first tab stop, the heading text will jump to the next stop.

Does this fit with your situation?


Perhaps you have accidentally manually changed the format. With the cursor on the heading, try menu FormatClear Direct Formating (or Ctrl+M).

This is not an answer but a comment on your sample file to give you leads to improve your use of Writer into a more “professional” workflow.

@Hrbrgr wrote:

When using styles, never use direct formatting at the same time.

This is a platinum rule. Consider it carefully and thoroughly.

Your sample file also shows a habit akin to direct formatting, though technically not direct formatting: vertical spacing with empty paragraphs. Change the page margins (e.g. to explore aesthetic variants) and all your layout is ruined. These vertical spacings should be incorporated in ad-hoc paragraph styles. This is particularly obvious on your cover page. The paragraph to which the images are anchored should hold the spacings.

You manually positioned the images by giving them a distance from left instead of using “center”. You neglected the wrap property, leading to the need for empty paragraph to pass by the picture.

You have a single page style all over this sample (I hope it is not the same in the real document). This doesn’t allow you to change the footer per chapter. And you spaced the text in the footer with space characters instead of using an adequate tab stop. The built-in Footer style has two preset stops: a centering one and a right-aligned one at the tight margin. Consequently, two tab characters would give reliably the result you are looking for (the first tab moves to the center field which you don’t use and the second tab aligns your title on the right margin).

I bet all your page breaks are direct formatting set via Format>Paragraph. Since your chapter always start on a new page with a Heading 1 paragraph. Put this page break into the style Text Flow properties. You can also force the page style so that all chapters are laid out in a specific page style (you can keep the current Default Style, but change the cover for First Page and create a specific page styke for the TOC).

I don’t understand why all your text after the TOC is character-styled Strong Emphasis with a global direct formatting override with which you locally change the font size, face and weight. Do that with appropriate paragraph styles based on Text Body plus character styles for typographical variants inside paragraphs.

Don’t indent your paragraphs moving the markers in the ruler. This is also direct formatting. Create an adequate paragraph style. You can modify built-in Text Body Indent as a starting point.

Similarly don’t indent with tabs because you are dependent on line wrap. Changing a word may ruin your lay out because you lose line sync of your tabs.

Achieving consistent and predictable formatting with styles requires a very rigorous approach. If you hope to tune your document aspect through styles only in the editing phase of authoring, you must absolutely remove any direct formatting.

@ajlittoz, An answer is an answer. :slightly_smiling_face:

This is a platinum rule. Consider it carefully and thoroughly

  • Unless you know what you’re doing.

Thanks for your important additions.

@Hrbrgr: bitte schön!

If in my Text Body Text Flow Paragraph Style dialogue I check Insert>Page>After in the Breaks section, and then in my text body hit Shift+Enter+Shift+Enter to create a new paragraph, is that acceptable, or will it cause some kind of direct formatting?

If you modify Text Body, it will apply to all Text Body paragraphs. Since this page break should only occur at the beginning of a chapter, I’d recommend to add it as a Page break before in Heading 1. It is more “natural” to use page break before because you associate it with a “first” paragraph, while the “last” paragraph may be more difficult to define (what if you add extra content after it in the preceding chapter?).

Shift+Enter (any number) at head of a paragraph is only a clumsy ersatz for a badly configured Spacing Above. Once again, think about the structure or semantics of your paragraphs. If one has not exactly the same role as another, then create an ad-hoc paragraph style.

It is as I suspected. Unfortunately, you mixed formatting. If I e.g. If you mark the heading on page 8 and choose Format>Clear Direct Formatting, the heading will now be displayed correctly.

image description

After marking the entire document, I was unfortunately unable to use Clear Direct Formatting. I still don’t know why.

Mark all text passages that do not meet your requirements and remove the direct formatting.

When using styles, never use direct formatting at the same time.

With the page style, you have turned on the headers and footers. You need space above and below. If you don’t need it, you can turn it off. (Change the page style).

I hope it helps you.

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