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October 27, 2008


Thankyou for pointing out these extra formatting characters. I was particularly interested to see the "No-width no break" mark, as one of my chief frustrations with OOo has been an inability to prevent unwanted line breaks.

I knew nothing of most of these special options, because they had not been appearing on the menu. But a little research uncovered the problem:

From writer, select
Tools => Options => Language Settings => Languages
Check the box "Enabled for complex text layout (CTL)" and all should be well.


Aha! Thanks for pointing this out, Tim. I always have those on to be sure I see everything but of course a lot of people don't need that.

What are the Left-to-right and Right-to-left marks? Does that have to do with right-to-left languages like Hebrew?

Hi Reverend,

Yep, that's what they're for. Arabic, Hebrew, etc.

Thanks for this really useful tip! Is there an easy way to insert special characters like en-dash, em-dash and the copyright symbol into a document via the keyboard? It would be nice to be able to add other symbols to the Insert memnu.

For what your asking use "autocorrect" under the tool menu. By default two hyphens is one of the dashes, not sure at the moment which; and "(c)" is replaced by the copyright symbol, anything else you might need can be manually added. Hope this helps.

I elaborated on that and found good way to get non-breaking space behavior and justify alignment work together in openoffice 3. First mark this check-box:
setting tools->options->language settings->languages->enabled for complex text layout (CTL)

Then you can use
Insert->formatting mark->no-width no brake

just put this formatting mark after the short word you want in the next line and before space character after it. Don't use Shift+Enter.

put 'no-width no brake' right after the letter and before normal space. this will glue the regular 'space' character to the letter or short word, which you want to be moved to the next line. The space is apparently glued to the word that follows it, which is already in the next line. This will move your short word to the next line. The special character by itself has 0-width and the following 'space' character will be adjusted as expected and will look perfect while using justify alignment.

I am from Poland, so had to figure this out to have my thesis formated properly (one letter words should not be on the end of the line). Find and replace all single letter words after you finish with your document.

Ctrl+F example ({put the actual character instead or better paste it from the document})
find: {space}i{space}
replace: {space}i{no-width no brake}{space}

this should probably be done with other short words too, so I will try to make a macro later to do this automatically. Also removing double spaces is important for this to work and they always creep in. To get rid of them do:

Ctrl+F example ({put the actual character instead or better paste it from the document})
find: {space}{space}
replace: {space}
You can repeat it to get rid of triple spaces as well.

As your (Solveigs) post of: Nonbreaking space: To prevent two words from being separated at the end of a line, press the Ctrl key when you type a space between the words above shows, the built in help says to use CTRL-space for non-breaking space. This doesn't work in 3.00 . The menu shows the correct SHIFT-CTRL-space key shortcut. I found references in the OO developers bug reporting system, they are aware about error in help and will fix in 3.1

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