Automatic numbering

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Automatic numbering

Postby pugnetti » Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:52 am

I've been an Open Office user in the past, and I recently installed the newest version for Windows 10. Automatic numbering is a creature that preys upon the innocent, and forces them to fight with a malicious invisible force inside the Open Office program they just installed. I have two master's degrees and I've published in scientific journals and programmed BeagleBone devices using Python...I'm not a helpless idiot. When I choose to indent, and place a number in my document, why does Open Office rebuke me and put it somewhere else? Right now, on the computer I'm using to type this forum post, I have a document open in Open Office. After fighting for ten minutes to make the program relinquish MY DOCUMENT and let me put numbers where I want them, I gave up. There are three "2s" in a row, with periods, placed there by Open Office, on the same line. I can't remove them. It isn't frozen (every other function works), but the BACKSPACE function has been disabled. The Open Office software got fed up with my attempts to replace it's numbers with mine (IN MY DOCUMENT), and disabled the backspace function. This is the third time. I have to close the program and reopen it, and when I try to put indents or numbers there again, it will get hijacked again. Why? Why am I prohibited from placing numbers and indents in my document where I want them?

Is it really considered standard practice for every new user of Open Office to have to know in advance to disable automatic numbering, or endure the tremendously frustrating experience of fighting with it and looking for a solution online? What is the purpose of making secret rules about where users can type the number 3 in THEIR DOCUMENT? I'm curious about why anyone ever thought this was a good idea, and I'd like to know what I can do to keep it from happening again.
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Re: Automatic numbering

Postby pugnetti » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:20 am

Wow. I'm continuing to fight with this document. I have implemented many menu-based software fixes that I have found in various forums online. I finally was able to remove one of the string of numbers imposed by Open Office. When I did, several (but not all) of the lines of text above suddenly lost their indent. Why? Why would Open Office engineers do this to its users? I am grateful to the developers of Open Office, but I don't rent my documents from them. The documents are mine. Why would they want to stand in the way of me putting indentations and numbers all over my document, wherever I want? This isn't a grammar issue. My usage is correct. Open Office was just written to bully users, and shut off their edit functions if they don't like its suggestions. This is preposterous. I guess there is a reason it's free.
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Re: Automatic numbering

Postby Zizi64 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:43 am

OpenOffice 2.4 on Windows 10

Openoffice.org 2.4 version is an archaic-old version. Are you using it now on Win10???? Please update your signature.


You can switch OFF the most of automated functions by adjusting the settings.
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Re: Automatic numbering

Postby Bill » Tue Sep 26, 2017 9:42 am

Are you trying to use the Tab key to set indents? In numbered lists, the Tab key changes the outline level of the list and doesn't change the indent directly. The indent of each outline level is on the Position tab of the Bullets and Numbering dialog. I suggest that you click in a numbered list, then select Format > Bullets and Numbering. Click the Position tab on the Bullets and Numbering dialog, then click the Help button for an explanation of the settings.
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Re: Automatic numbering

Postby pugnetti » Tue Sep 26, 2017 5:53 pm

The version of Open Office I'm using is the most current (4.1.....). I installed it last week.

Bill, thanks for your answer. You confirmed my conclusions. Open office does in fact bully its users into using some system of numbered lists of its own design. The Tab key has been used for indents since typewriters. You're probably aware that Tab is short for Tabular, a reference to tab-stops on typewriters. That's how word processing program users ident. But, setting aside indents, Open Office also bullies users about anything that resembles a list. I can't follow several numbers with periods in any permutation without getting harassed WITH NO MENU REMEDY by the program itself. This seems stupidly counterproductive. And the notion that there are settings-workarounds for this is a statement made in bad faith because it can only come from lack of experiment.

Bill, is there any way at all for a user of Open Office to sit down in front of a blank document and draw a portrait of their cat on the page, using only indents, periods, and the number 7? I can do that in MS Word or any other word processing program. I can do that easily on a typewriter. But I cannot do that, no matter my settings, in Open Office. And Open Office ensures that the experience of trying will be a frustrating INTRACTABLE struggle with the automatic numbering system.
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Re: Automatic numbering

Postby pugnetti » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:02 pm

To be clear, I have no desire to create art using numbered lists, but the documents are mine, and it seems that it should go without saying that the software would do everything its writers could imagine to assist me in putting numbers in my documents wherever I please. A program with many impediments to that seems like a joke.
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Re: Automatic numbering

Postby jrkrideau » Tue Sep 26, 2017 6:17 pm

Would you upload an example file to the forum? I think we need to see exactly how you are formatting things and what your settings are in order to make any sensible suggestions.

There is an upload tab at the bottom of the Reply and Quote windows.
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Re: Automatic numbering

Postby Zizi64 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 7:26 pm

The Tab key has been used for indents since typewriters.

But not for the intelligent office suites! Using TABs for the indents is a very poor solution.


Use the paragraph styles with numerically adjusted indent values.
Last edited by Zizi64 on Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Automatic numbering

Postby Bill » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:07 am

After a Google search, I found that using tabs to set indents is an AutoCorrect option in Word which apparently was added to Word 2007. I don't remember that option in Word 2000, the last version of Word I used regularly. That particular AutoCorrect option hasn't been emulated in Writer. I personally have no interest in using tabs to set indents and would turn off the option if I were using Word.
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