[Solved-ish] .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

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[Solved-ish] .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby themadpsychologist » Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:00 am

I'm writing and editing .doc files (Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP) for school assignments; they tend to include lots of basic formatting (underline, italics, bold) and images pasted from MathType (which saves its files in .wmf format). I save and reopen them a lot in the process. I'm finding that blank lines tend inexplicably to possess bold and sometimes underline formatting that I'm sure I didn't put there. (I'm very careful with my formatting, and I don't bold AND underline anything for these assignments anyway.) What on Earth is going on? Does OpenOffice just not play well with .doc format? I've had troubles with that before.

Thanks much in advance!
Last edited by themadpsychologist on Wed Apr 15, 2020 5:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby Zizi64 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:17 am

The .doc is an obsolete, never standardized, foreign file format. It has a lot of poorly documented subversions. Do not use it.
Always use the native, International Standard ODF file formats.
And use the most valuable feature (the Styles) of the open source office suites instead of the direct (manual) formatting properties.

You can try the free LibreOffice. It has a little bit higher compatibility with the foreign file formats.

Or buy a MS Office if you must use the MS file formats.
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby jrkrideau » Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:49 am

themadpsychologist wrote:I'm writing and editing .doc files (Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP) for school assignments; they tend to include lots of basic formatting (underline, italics, bold) and images pasted from MathType (which saves its files in .wmf format). I save and reopen them a lot in the process. I'm finding that blank lines tend inexplicably to possess bold and sometimes underline formatting that I'm sure I didn't put there. (I'm very careful with my formatting, and I don't bold AND underline anything for these assignments anyway.) What on Earth is going on? Does OpenOffice just not play well with .doc format? I've had troubles with that before.
Thanks much in advance!


It sounds like a nasty formatting problem. Is the document based on an original .doc document or have you created it? It sounds as if you have a .doc template with a lot of extraneous formatting.

Are you saving the document in .doc or .odt format while working on it? Even if you need to export to a .doc format when you are done, it is much better to always work in AOO format.

If possible could you upload an example file here. It would giuve use mucd more to work with. How to attach a document
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby themadpsychologist » Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:29 am

Zizi64 wrote:The .doc is an obsolete, never standardized, foreign file format. It has a lot of poorly documented subversions. Do not use it.
Always use the native, International Standard ODF file formats.

I'd love to do that, but my prof accepts only submissions in DOC format. :(

And use the most valuable feature (the Styles) of the open source office suites instead of the direct (manual) formatting properties.

I haven't used those before. I'll keep them in mind for when I need things to look good, and I thank you for the advice. Right now, I just need headers for sections and exercises.

You can try the free LibreOffice. It has a little bit higher compatibility with the foreign file formats.

I think it must have evolved significantly since my last remembrance of it. I'll keep that in mind as well. Thanks more!

Or buy a MS Office if you must use the MS file formats.

No.

jrkrideau wrote:
themadpsychologist wrote:I'm writing and editing .doc files (Microsoft Word 97/2000/XP) for school assignments; they tend to include lots of basic formatting (underline, italics, bold) and images pasted from MathType (which saves its files in .wmf format). I save and reopen them a lot in the process. I'm finding that blank lines tend inexplicably to possess bold and sometimes underline formatting that I'm sure I didn't put there. (I'm very careful with my formatting, and I don't bold AND underline anything for these assignments anyway.) What on Earth is going on? Does OpenOffice just not play well with .doc format? I've had troubles with that before.
Thanks much in advance!


It sounds like a nasty formatting problem. Is the document based on an original .doc document or have you created it? It sounds as if you have a .doc template with a lot of extraneous formatting.

I'd love if the problem were this easy to solve, but I created these files myself.

Are you saving the document in .doc or .odt format while working on it? Even if you need to export to a .doc format when you are done, it is much better to always work in AOO format.

Now THAT is helpful. I'll do that. Thanks!

If possible could you upload an example file here. It would giuve use mucd more to work with.

No problem. Unfortunately, it does include copyrighted material, so I butchered it beyond all recognition, including deleting all images. The formatting should be intact, though.
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby Bill » Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:40 am

When you press Enter to start a new paragraph, the format settings are inherited from the previous paragraph. Although underlining and bold are not visible on the previous paragraph, if you click at the end of the previous paragraph and select Format > Character > Font Effects , you will see that "Underlining" is set to "Single" and on Format > Character > Font, "Style" is set to "Bold". If you don't want the blank lines to inherit the direct character formatting settings from the previous paragraph, press CTRL+M to remove the direct formatting.
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby Zizi64 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:53 am

You are using the AOO Writer, as if it were a typewriter.
You are using one (the Default) Paragraph Style only in your sample file. It is wrong way, it is a nightmare!

You must reformat your document based on the Styles - if you want work effectivelly with the AOO/LO.

https://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/Docume ... yle_Basics
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby John_Ha » Tue Apr 14, 2020 12:58 pm

Zizi64 wrote:You are using the AOO Writer, as if it were a typewriter.
You are using one (the Default) Paragraph Style only in your sample file. It is wrong way, it is a nightmare!

You must reformat your document based on the Styles - if you want work effectively with the AOO/LO.

May I completely disagree.

The vast majority of AOO users, me included, do not use styles and use direct formatting. Direct formatting is an excellent way of creating one-off documents and is ideal and much easier for the average user.

Styles are only useful for heavy users who want everything to look identical, such as those writing standardised reports or books; and those who use AOO frequently enough that they can remember all the bespoke styles they are using. Remember, if you slavishly use styles, you have to decide what something is and then apply that appropriate style.

See [Tutorial] Differences between Writer and MS Word files for a description of differences and for why you should always work in, and save Writer files as .odt, Calc files as .ods, Impress files as .odp etc.
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby JeJe » Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:25 pm

If you mean by blank line a blank paragraph you go through the document with find/replace.

This thread viewtopic.php?f=7&t=37896 says ^$ and regular expressions ticked will find the blank paragraphs. With the cursor in the search for box click on the format button and select bold to look for that. With the cursor in the Replace with box click on normal to replace with that. See attached picture
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby Zizi64 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:49 pm

Zizi64 wrote:
You are using the AOO Writer, as if it were a typewriter.
You are using one (the Default) Paragraph Style only in your sample file. It is wrong way, it is a nightmare!

You must reformat your document based on the Styles - if you want work effectively with the AOO/LO.



May I completely disagree.

The vast majority of AOO users, me included, do not use styles and use direct formatting. Direct formatting is an excellent way of creating one-off documents and is ideal and much easier for the average user.

Styles are only useful for heavy users who want everything to look identical, such as those writing standardised reports or books; and those who use AOO frequently enough that they can remember all the bespoke styles they are using. Remember, if you slavishly use styles, you have to decide what something is and then apply that appropriate style.

See [Tutorial] Differences between Writer and MS Word files for a description of differences and for why you should always work in, and save Writer files as .odt, Calc files as .ods, Impress files as .odp etc.


If you must format paragraps with same properties more than three times in a document then it is better to use the Styles.
The Styles are the most valuable feature of the AOO/LO. It is a wrong way to neglect it.
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby RoryOF » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:06 pm

I agree with both Zizi64 and with John_Ha: if one is writing a short document, such as a letter, then one often uses direct formatting, as often each letter can differ in its layout; For a longer document of many pages, such as a book or thesis, then Styles are a must.

Once one has a set of styles defined for one's regular long writings, there is no difficulty in remembering what they are, particularly if one uses meaningful names. In fact, proper sequencing of one's styles will often automatically proceed to the next style in a sequence.
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby John_Ha » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:08 pm

RoryOF wrote:there is no difficulty in remembering what they are ...

There is if you are a bear with little brain as both Pooh and I unfortunately are ...
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby RoryOF » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:10 pm

Well, John, Pooh claimed to be "A Bear of very little brain, and long words bother me". There might be a hint there!
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby Zizi64 » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:12 pm

:D
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby John_Ha » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:18 pm

RoryOF wrote:Well, John, Pooh claimed to be "A Bear of very little brain, and long words bother me". There might be a hint there!

t'was why I used Pooh :super:
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby John_Ha » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:21 pm

Zizi64 wrote:If you must format paragraphs with same properties more than three times in a document then it is better to use the Styles.
The Styles are the most valuable feature of the AOO/LO. It is a wrong way to neglect it.

I guess that 95% or more of everything I type stays default text so I only have to directly format the trivial less than 5% remaining.

I am not anti styles. I grew up with IBM's DCL which is an extremely formal Document Control Language (:p defines a paragraph etc) so I am very familiar with breaking typed text into its constituent parts - paragraphs, list items, headings, table text etc. Styles have their place where a house style is being followed and everything needs to be consistent.

But the average user is writing letters or Christmas round-robins, never anything more than a page or two. They have no house style and direct formatting is much simpler - italicise this, underline that - and far more intuitive.

We must agree to differ!
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby John_Ha » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:31 pm

themadpsychologist wrote:I'd love to do that, but my prof accepts only submissions in DOC format. :(

It is well past time for you to educate your prof and tell him or her to stop forcing you to use a proprietary "pseudo-standard" which has never been fully documented - see the tutorial for an in depth discussion.

Ask him or her why should every student be forced by him or her to buy MS Office when you can get identical results if he downloads the absolutely free LibreOffice. Has he or she got shares in Microsoft?

He or she is probably not being arrogant or obnoxious - it's just that he or she is ignorant and needs educating.

Incidentally I converted to LibreOffice this year - you need to do so as well.

I looked at your document. If you place the cursor after the full stop you will see from the menu above that the format there is bold + underline. If you press enter the new line created is set to bold + underline. Set View > Non-printing characters ..., to understand. Although the text in the previous line is not bold+underline, the end of paragraph mark is bold+ underline and this is what carries over to any new line.

Note how the empty paragraph marks are bold and underlined.

Clipboard01.gif

Your document has been edited for over 500 hours so it looks like you are re-using your .doc file for each new document and you are carrying across the problem to the new document. You need to Edit > Select All ..., and press Ctrl+M. This removes all formatting and you can start from scratch.

Much better is to set up a template where you create a document using default text you want to use. Instead of saving it a .odt file, save it as a .oTt. It is now a template. When you double-click it, or otherwise open it, note how it is given the name Untitled 1 and, when you save it, you have to give it a name. This means that the original template file is never changed and always remains in pristine condition for the next time you use it.
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby JeJe » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:48 pm

One disadvantage of Character Styles in OO is that the Find/replace can't find them (but can find direct formatting), though this extension can:

https://extensions.openoffice.org/en/pr ... -altsearch
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby jrkrideau » Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:53 pm

Okay, thanks for the example.

As Tibour (zizi) says, "You are using the AOO Writer, as if it were a typewriter." You may not have a true "nightmare" but it is scary. It looks like Bill has given you the diagnosis, <i>When you press Enter to start a new paragraph, the format settings are inherited from the previous paragraph.</i>

To cure this basically you need to remove all the extraneous manual formatting, and then get rid of those stupid blank lines

Every command below should be done only on a copy of your original file.


Do a Select-All (CNTL-A) and then a CNTL_M to remove all the formatting. Note that AOO Writer text always has a Style. It's just that in this case the only applied paragraph Style in the entire file is Default.

If you turn on View formatting characters or something similar I'm using LibreOffice so I'm not quite sure of the term or click on the pilcrow (¶) you will see the paragraph markers. To tidy up this slightly messy file you really should remove all the blank paragraphs and use styles to set the spacing that you want. See Remove blank lines[b].

Apache OpenOffice is designed to work with styles is your mean method of formatting. it is possible to do everything manually but despite John_Ha's point of view, my own experience and that of many other users is that Styles work work better than manual formatting. Certainly if you have to translate back into a .doc format, my experience is that the translation is much better using Styles and if you were writing fairly long or technical documents used to Styles makes it much easier to maintain a standard formatting over many pages.

Once you have cleaned up the file, it looks like you probably need about 4 Styles though I may be misinterpreting your edited example. In any case, that is what I have used in my example.

My simple example uses 4 Styles:
Heading1
Heading2
Heading3
Text Body


Talking to my example file, my suggestion would be to apply the Text Body Style to all the text. Then just stepped through the document and apply the 3 Headings Styles that I have set up. Note that I have set set up the styles selecting only the applied style to be displayed in the Styles box. See the bottom of the Styles box.

You really need to have at least a basic understanding of what Styles do. See [b]/Intrduction to Styles.

Is there any particular reason why you are using MathType? It might be better, though not necessarily easier, to use the built-in AOO Math module. It might help ensure a better translation into a .doc format.

And I strongly second John_Ha's point though tactfull suggestions are probably a good start. :)
It is well past time for you to educate your prof and tell him or her to stop forcing you to use a proprietary "pseudo-standard" which has never been fully documented
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby John_Ha » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:10 pm

Another thought. It is much nicer to set the Gap after paragraph to be, say, 2mm with Format > Paragraph > Indents&Spacing. Each paragraph then has a 2mm gap after it which is far nicer than the much larger complete line spacing.

Clipboard02.gif
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby RoryOF » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:14 pm

My preference is not to add white space after a paragraph, but instead to use a 12 pt (or whatever type size in use) indent on the first line of each paragraph.

Note that setting "Automatic" on the Indents and Spacing tab of the paragraph style definition sets a full tab stop - usually about 12.5 mm (0.5 inch"; this is unpleasantly large to my taste. Instead uncheck "automatic" and enter "12 pt." (no quotes, type size as you desire).
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby John_Ha » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:24 pm

themadpsychologist wrote:What on Earth is going on?

I worked out what you have done.

1. Type Fred, press enter
2. Type Fred, press enter
3. Type Fred, press enter

All typing in regular.

4. Bold the second line
5. Select Fred in the second line and delete it.

All the text disappears but the bold format remains.

6. Press enter at the location of the new blank line and type Bill.

Bill is bold because the blank line is set to bold even though there are no characters in it and the next line inherits the bold formatting.
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby jrkrideau » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:27 pm

Something I forgot until John_Ha mentioned "house style". Are you following a specific scientific Style Manual such as Vancouver or APA or even,uggh, Chicago on a regular basis?

If so, it might be worth setting up an AOO Writer template with all Styles and other formatting needed. This can save an immense amount of time.


If you are dealing with extensive reference lists or bibliographies, something like Zotero can save literally hours of work is many cases. If your prof is antiquated enough to be demanding .doc files they almost certainly do not know about bibliographic management software.
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby John_Ha » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:35 pm

jrkrideau wrote:My simple example uses 4 Styles:
Heading1
Heading2
Heading3
Text Body

Talking to my example file, my suggestion would be to apply the Text Body Style to all the text.

Why not set Default text to be what you want? That way, you don't need a Text Body style and it's one less to remember and you don't have to apply it ...
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby jrkrideau » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:52 pm

Why not set Default text to be what you want? That way, you don't need a Text Body style and it's one less to remember and you don't have to apply it ...


Well personal preference mainly. I like my style names to mean something ;) .

More generally, I usually want two main text files Text1 with no indent which will follow something like a Heading Style and Text2 with an indent that follows the Text1 Style until I hit something like a new Heading. Just a matter of the style conventions I am used to for writing a report if I am not conforming to strict APA Style Manual diktats where the US "indent all paragraphs" rule is followed.
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby RoryOF » Tue Apr 14, 2020 4:58 pm

If customised before any text is entered, Default styles propagate to the associated styles, such as Text body, lists, captions, footnotes etc (in the Stylist, view Hierarchical styles to see), allowing one font, alignment and other parameters to be set for these, in place of having to add by hand all the detailing for each associated style. Ditto for Default Page styles, which is useful if one is working on a special page size; by setting Default Page Style all the other Page styles can be set to the same page size and margins; in a book one might need (just checked current file) five or six Page Styles for book layout.

How one formats text depends on whether one is working on a long document or not.
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby RoryOF » Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:02 pm

In a book text, I would indent all body text paragraph first lines; using an unindented first line paragraph style to follow "scene breaks" within a chapter, following a *** or similar indicator of a discontinuity in the action, also an unindented first paragraph of a chapter, with a drop cap.

So: three paragraph styles for a full book text.
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby jrkrideau » Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:15 pm

RoryOF wrote:So: three paragraph styles for a full book text.


Ah, the idyllic life of a writer. I just looked at my old APA 6th ed. template I seem to have 14 Styles though, as I think I have learned a bit in the 10 or so years since I cobbled it together, I might be able to drop two or three now.
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby RoryOF » Tue Apr 14, 2020 5:26 pm

I was writing about the actual body text.

There are also Paragraph Styles for Heading, using four levels of subheading (the lower two only used for steering during composition/editing - to be removed later), styles for footnotes/endnotes, and styles for extended quotes (letters quoted in text); also some automatic styles "Content..." used in the ToC. So all told, about 14 in the full text.
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby Bill » Tue Apr 14, 2020 6:58 pm

Here's a quick fix for the sample document that doesn't involve any use of styles:

1. Open Find and Replace.
2. Click "More Options" and select "Regular Expressions".
3. Type ^$ in "Search for".
4. Click "Find All" to select all empty paragraphs (blank lines).
5. Close Find and Replace.
6. Press CTRL+M to remove direct formatting from the selected empty paragraphs.
7. Save the document, then select File > Reload to reload the document.

The Bold and Underline attributes should no longer show up for either the blank lines or at the end of the previous paragraph.

After further testing, it appears that if any direct formatting is applied at the beginning of a paragraph in a doc file, the direct formatting will also be applied at the end of the previous paragraph when the doc file is imported by AOO Writer. This unwanted application of the direct formatting to the previous paragraph does not happen with odt files, so this may be a bug in the AOO doc import filter.
AOO 4.1.8 on Manjaro Cinnamon
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Re: .DOC file blank lines bolded, underlined

Postby John_Ha » Tue Apr 14, 2020 7:29 pm

Bill wrote:After further testing, it appears that if any direct formatting is applied at the beginning of a paragraph in a doc file, the direct formatting will also be applied at the end of the previous paragraph when the doc file is imported by AOO Writer. This unwanted application of the direct formatting to the previous paragraph does not happen with odt files, so this may be a bug in the AOO doc import filter.

Bill

I created a .doc with LO and AOO opened it OK. But when I saved the .doc file with AOO and opened it with AOO, the direct formatting had been added to the previous paragraph. It appears therefore that the AOO export filter is at fault.

And a message to the original poster. Don't save as .doc files! While this seems to be a bug, AOO tries to warn you but you have presumably switched off the warning.
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LO 6.4.4.2, Windows 10 Home 64 bit

See the Writer Guide, the Writer FAQ, the Writer Tutorials and Writer for students.

Remember: Always save your Writer files as .odt files. - see here for the many reasons why.
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