4-Column Table: Is This Too Much for OO?

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4-Column Table: Is This Too Much for OO?

Postby Ricebug » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:43 am

I made a table. Landscape. 4 columns. I cell in each column (1 row, IOW). In the first column I've pasted the Gospel of Matthew. In the 2nd, Mark, in the 3rd...you get the picture.

Here's the problem: After pasting a 3rd column, it seems too much for Writer, and it keeps locking up, taking forever to accept keystrokes, etc, until it finally gasps a dying breath and closes. I was going to work on each book, save them as separate files, and copy paste them into a single doc. However, they still need to be edited.

It's not for a lack of RAM (32 gigs). But I'm guessing I'm overloading a single cell/column.

Ideas?
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Re: 4-Column Table: Is This Too Much for OO?

Postby acknak » Wed Aug 05, 2015 3:52 am

Greetings and welcome to the community forum!

I doubt it's beyond Writer's capability, but the exact behavior may depend on the details.

First, are you sure that you have paragraph breaks in the text? Try View > Nonprinting characters: ON and look for ¶s

Second, are the books split into multiple table rows or all in one row? My guess is that all in one row may cause some problems. I'd try splitting them into one paragraph per row, if possible. If you're trying to construct a harmony, you may want one verse per table row.

 Edit: PS: 
One more thing: you may get better results if you switch to a larger page size, and landscape orientation, so that each column has a decent width. Of course a smaller font size will make more room as well. Trying to squeeze a lot of text into narrow columns often leads to odd behavior.

 Edit: PPS: 
I just put together a table with each gospel in a column, one paragraph per table row. It's 65 pages long; it seems to work fine.
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Re: 4-Column Table: Is This Too Much for OO?

Postby Ricebug » Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:47 pm

I'm in landscape, 14-point Times New Roman, though I may lower that to 12-point.

Last night I did the same thing in (gasp!) MSWord, and it worked OK. I kind of figured I was putting too much into a single cell. My prehistoric programming knowledge tells me that there are limits.

Doing a verse-per-cell will work. However, pasting verse-by-verse sounds tedious. Is there a trick to automating the process?
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Re: 4-Column Table: Is This Too Much for OO?

Postby Villeroy » Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:57 pm

Hit F11, button #4 (page styles)
Right-click>New...
Define a page style with horizontal layout, 4 columns and everything related to this specific page layout (no headers, no footers, specific borders etc).

Whenever you need such a page just double-click the style name.
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: 4-Column Table: Is This Too Much for OO?

Postby acknak » Wed Aug 05, 2015 1:24 pm

Hmm ... a four-column page layout, but it will be a lot of work to keep the four different text streams in the same column on each page, and it won't adjust properly if you ever change the page size, margins, text size, etc.

... pasting verse-by-verse sounds tedious. Is there a trick to automating the process?

What I did was paste all the text for each book into a new document, then select the text and do Table > Convert > Text to Table. This makes a one column table with each paragraph in a row.

Once that's done and the text is in a table, you can select the table and paste it into a column on the main document.
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Re: 4-Column Table: Is This Too Much for OO?

Postby RoryOF » Wed Aug 05, 2015 2:54 pm

Ricebug wrote:. I kind of figured I was putting too much into a single cell. My prehistoric programming knowledge tells me that there are limits.


There may be a 64K character limit to a cell.
 Edit: I've checked up; depending on version being used these figures may vary.
Matthew: >23000 words
Mark: ~15000 words
Luke: >25000 words
John: > 18000 words

Taking the average English wordlength as 5.5 chars per word + 1 space (= 6.5 chars) each of these texts will be in excess of 64K chars.

Another way to do this is to use four frames on a page. then link each frame to the matching frame on the next page and so on, until there are enough pages. It would be helpful if one could define Page-frame styles in OpenOffice but this is not easily possible. I can see how it might be done with macros, but writing OO macros is not trivial, and certainly a macro of this complexity would be difficult. These are referred to as parallel columns, where the text flows from Col x on P1 to Col x on P2 and so on. Ordinary columns ("newspaper columns") flow from bottom of Col 1 to top of Col 2 etc.

Parallel columns have long ago been requested as an enhancement to OpenOffice; however, until a developer or skilled code writer really, really needs them, I doubt we will get such an enhancement. 
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Re: 4-Column Table: Is This Too Much for OO?

Postby acknak » Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:39 pm

I switched mine to each book in a single table row--so four columns wide, one row tall. The document is 38 pages (11x17, landscape) of 10 point text; it seems to work fine.
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