Selecting "text language→more" leads to "character"


Currently using on ubuntu 20.04, but I’ve been having this problem since at least 18.04.
I’m often writing texts with three different languages. Sometimes, I’ll want to manually change the language of a paragraph or quote, but when i go to either the bottom toolbar and select the working language, one one other is listed (The same happens if i select tools→language →for paragraph/selection). However, If I select “more” in either menu, I’m lead to the “character” option which doesn’t have language selection at all. The only way to add a third language is to select tools→language→for all text→More… and change the default language, which is a slight annoyance

I’m not sure, whether its a bug or I’m simply misusing the commands. I’ll appreciate any help.

Do you use styles/paragraph styles or do you format directly?

To be honest a bit of both. In this particular case, I’m using a slightly modified version of text body. I’ll normally just start writing and then update either default style or text body to suit my needs. Changes doesn’t seem to be saved across documents. But I guess that is just bad practice from my side :slight_smile:

Writing a document in multiple languages requires a consistent use of styles.

Remember that all the buttons, shortcuts and menu commands are there to allow quick experimentation to “see” what it would look like “if …”. These “direct formatting” actions are translated below the hood into a plethora of anonymous styles which cannot be controlled centrally (and this create a real mess called “formatting hell”).

Language is associate with Font attributes in the style configuration dialogs. This is why More leads you to Format>Character, Font tab.

To avoid consistency, I recommend to create language-dedicated paragraph styles derived from Text Body. Keep Text Body configured for your native or primary language and have the others for your alternate languages.

If you happen to mix “foreign” words in a paragraph, to avoid spelling warnings:

  • either create a character style with language None to silence spellcheck warnings
  • or create dedicated character styles, one for each language

First solution is quite handy but you might miss a misspelling. I fits well for scientific “inserts” such as computer excerpts or maths, less for real human languages.

Second solution may cause an excessive creation of character styles because you’d need variants for Emphasis, Strong Emphasis*, …

To answer your question, it is neither a bug nor a misuse of commands. It is a matter of getting acquainted with the principles of styles (where are these @#!$~ attributes hidden?).

Writing a multi-lingual document and formatting it predictably is a difficult task.

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Thanks for your in-depth answer. I’ve newer taken the time to learn styles, since it has so far worked out with only mild annoyances, but it seems to be something worth paying more attention to. I guess that’s the reason behind my numerous “converted##” paragraph styles… And now I feel really stupid, as there is clearly a language option under Font which I have hitherto missed. Greatly appreciate your guidance!

Converted99 styles means your doc was in the past created with M$ Word or stored as .doc(x). There is no one-to-one correspondence between ODF and M$ formats. The conversion process creates a real formatting nightmare because Word has a far less elaborate text model than Writer. In particular, Word style model is really poor and the import filter must guess and synthesise styles when it meets the ubiquitous direct formatting imposed by Word principles.

Cleaning a .doc(x) converted file is a tremendous task.