[Solved] Spacing and line height

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[Solved] Spacing and line height

Postby dscotese » Tue Apr 21, 2020 5:41 am

If you use "Proportional" as your line spacing setting, you can fit more lines on a page than normal by setting it lower than 100%. However, the characters have their bottoms cut off if you go low enough.* I blew up an image of the problem and verified that OO is enforcing a 4-pixel wide horizontal strip between each line, overwriting the bottom of the letters in the line above if necessary. Is there any way to prevent this?
My attachment is the image of a rectangle from my document after I set the line spacing to "proportional" at 50%. I circled the pixels I added to determine the width of the horizontal strip. I would like to get rid of the 4-pixel wide strip of white. Is that possible?

I zoomed in on the document to 300% to determine the physical width of the strip (top to bottom) with the vertical ruler and it looks like it's 0.02 inches. I would like it to be about 0.005 inches so that we can see the bottoms of the bracket characters and the descenders on other characters.

The solution to this problem is worth $10 to me. I have several kinds of crypto with which to tip you.

Thanks!
Dave.

Edited: *As pointed out in a later reply, this didn't happen ONLY because of the spacing and line heights. It only happens if the characters in the lower line have a background that isn't "No Fill" - a setting that Writer may not always properly display.
Attachments
50%Spacing.png
50%Spacing.png (4.79 KiB) Viewed 666 times
Last edited by dscotese on Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spacing and line height

Postby RusselB » Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:14 am

Welcome to the Forums.
While the picture is of some use, it would be more helpful if you attached a sample document in .odt format.
Not all fonts render properly when using a proportional pitch, and your line spacing is controllable via other methods.
From typing class, a sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper holds 66 typed lines. That makes 1 line equal to 1/6". 0.005" is (roughly) 33 times that size.
If you need to have your document with that fine a proportion, verify that the font you are using supports going that small.
If it doesn't, then you need to change the font or the proportional pitch.
Without the actual document I can make no other suggestions, as the font being used, which might not be the font being called for, is a big factor.
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Re: Spacing and line height

Postby dscotese » Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:07 am

Thanks for the suggestion. First, however, I wasn't clear. What I want to be 0.005 inches wide is the strip of white between one line of words and the next line. The words in the lines should be however tall they are supposed to be for the font size (12). If my line spacing is too tight, it makes sense that the bottoms of words in the upper line ought to get cut off so that there is some space between the lines (the ink for letters in one line doesn't connect with the ink in the letters of the line below). Currently, that "space between lines" is about 0.2 inches. I found a reference book in Google books that explains some settings I tried for line spacing:
Leading: This tells Writer how much vertical space should be between lines (regardless of their actual height)
Fixed: This tells Writer how much vertical space each line should occupy.
I tried both settings and discovered that neither is a 100% accurate description. Writer still seems to be inserting (in the "Leading" case) or overlaying (in the "Fixed" case) a strip of whitespace between the lines. With Fixed, the strip doesn't cause a problem until I export it to a PDF. With Leading, I can set it to 0 and there is still more space between lines than I want (and can't get enough lines in the vertical space)

A sample document is attached. If you export to PDF, you may be able to verify my findings:
Some of the descenders and feet on brackets ( [ and ] ) show up in the document and some don't, and if you export to PDF, even fewer show up properly. The onscreen seems to be better with the descenders and feet using Fixed than it does using Leading, but neither seems to help with the exported PDF itself.
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196.odt
(86.67 KiB) Downloaded 27 times
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Re: Spacing and line height

Postby erbsenzahl » Tue Apr 21, 2020 8:33 am

You have hard formatted the paragraphs (text body) to 90% proportional line space. And then you wonder why the bottoms of the characters are cut off...
What I would do: Enlarge the page proportional, set the line spacing to 100%. The PDF's printout can be fit to regular page size.

Other proposal: Use the extension paraDTP for fine tuning. It still works for current versions of OpenOffice/LibreOffice. You could "compress" some text better into page/column... Or change the font. ;-)
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Re: Spacing and line height

Postby dscotese » Wed Apr 22, 2020 11:43 pm

I'm sorry I gave the impression that I didn't know why the characters are cut off. That is pretty clear to me. I was looking for a way to reduce the amount of whitespace that is forced above the lower line (on top of the upper line's characters, if necessary). The characters get cut off whether I use proportional, leading, or fixed to control line spacing, but when I started a new document, the characters were allowed to run into each other, so for now, I have to stick with my plan of rebuilding the entire document from scratch instead of using any import from MS Word.

Anyway, thanks for taking a look.
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Re: Spacing and line height

Postby JeJe » Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:07 am

If the idea is to fit more text into a given area then you can set the character spacing to slightly condensed.
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Re: Spacing and line height

Postby RoryOF » Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:54 am

The best article I have seen on OpenOffice line spacing is
now-revealed-secrets-line-spacing-openofficeorg-writer

Don't forget that there are minimal settings above and below the actual characters in the font definitions. Without editing these you may not achieve what you are trying for. A text that has its lines tightly set can become unreadable. I don't advise it - if the content is too long for regular setting in the space available, edit the content to shorten it.

 Edit: Of the usual fonts, Times New Roman, or its equivalent, Tinos, is quite compact and will put more text on a line than most (all?) non-condensed typefaces. 
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Re: Spacing and line height

Postby JeJe » Thu Apr 23, 2020 11:21 am

I suspect what you're trying to do is a bad idea from the point of view of the reader. More ugly, less readable. Its more readable as well if you left justify instead of fully justifying. Changing the font size to 11.5 with full single line spacing equates to the same number of pages.
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Re: Spacing and line height

Postby Bill » Thu Apr 23, 2020 11:22 am

dscotese wrote:I'm sorry I gave the impression that I didn't know why the characters are cut off. That is pretty clear to me. I was looking for a way to reduce the amount of whitespace that is forced above the lower line (on top of the upper line's characters, if necessary). The characters get cut off whether I use proportional, leading, or fixed to control line spacing, but when I started a new document, the characters were allowed to run into each other, so for now, I have to stick with my plan of rebuilding the entire document from scratch instead of using any import from MS Word.

Anyway, thanks for taking a look.

The problem isn't caused by the line setting, it's caused by a bad background color setting of characters in the line below the cut-off descenders. The setting should be "No Fill" and that's the setting in the paragraph style, but it has been changed by direct formatting to "White" for some characters. The white background is overlaying the descenders, making them appear to be cut-off. To test this theory, change the color setting for some characters below one of the cut-off descenders to some other color, then save and reload the document. With a different background color, it should be obvious that the character background is overlaying the descenders. Change the setting back to "No Fill" to fix the problem.
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Re: Spacing and line height

Postby JeJe » Thu Apr 23, 2020 11:30 am

Select all, go to format/character/Background
change to a different color
Then change back to no fill
This will reset it.

Edit: applying the change and reopening the dialog, NOT just clicking on a color square and back to no fill.
Edit2: correction that does work
Last edited by JeJe on Thu Apr 23, 2020 11:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Spacing and line height

Postby John_Ha » Thu Apr 23, 2020 11:38 am

dscotese wrote:If you use "Proportional" as your line spacing setting, you can fit more lines on a page than normal by setting it lower than 100%.

Have pity on your reader and never set line spacing to less than 100%. The gap is there to separate descenders and ascenders.

If you truly respect your reader and want him or her to be able to read what you have written easily then set line spacing to slightly greater than 100% - 115% is nice.

When clarity is essential in legal documents and academic texts for marking double spacing is often used.
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Re: Spacing and line height

Postby Bill » Thu Apr 23, 2020 12:15 pm

Find & Replace can be used to find text with a white background.

Open Find & Replace. Click "More Options". Click "Format". Click the Background tab. Click "White" > OK. Click "Find All". All text with a white background should now be highlighted.

On the Menu bar, select Format > Character. On the Character dialog, click "No Fill" then OK. All text which had a White background should now have "No Fill" background.
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Re: Spacing and line height

Postby dscotese » Fri Apr 24, 2020 6:14 am

Bill wrote:The problem isn't caused by the line setting, it's caused by a bad background color setting of characters in the line below the cut-off descenders. The setting should be "No Fill" and that's the setting in the paragraph style, but it has been changed by direct formatting to "White" for some characters. The white background is overlaying the descenders, making them appear to be cut-off. To test this theory, change the color setting for some characters below one of the cut-off descenders to some other color, then save and reload the document. With a different background color, it should be obvious that the character background is overlaying the descenders. Change the setting back to "No Fill" to fix the problem.


Exactly the problem. Thanks! And Jeje's instructions on how to fix it were helpful too. Thanks to all!
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