Issue 126405 - Insert->Indexes & Tables Cannot Handle Short Form Legal Citation
Summary: Insert->Indexes & Tables Cannot Handle Short Form Legal Citation
Status: CLOSED DUPLICATE of issue 32712
Alias: None
Product: Writer
Classification: Application
Component: editing (show other issues)
Version: 4.1.0
Hardware: All All
: P5 (lowest) Minor (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Depends on:
Reported: 2015-07-16 19:19 UTC by David Rankin
Modified: 2019-07-13 09:22 UTC (History)
3 users (show)

See Also:
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---

Example of instance of index that can be editted. (10.23 KB, application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text)
2015-10-05 17:07 UTC, cdike2015
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Description David Rankin 2015-07-16 19:19:03 UTC
Writer Insert->Indexes & Tables cannot handle short-form legal citations resulting in unwanted duplicate entries in the Table of Authorities. Legal citations for cases reported in the regional reporters have the general full-form citation of e.g.:

Retamco Operating, Inc. v. Republic Drilling Co., 278 S.W.3d 333, 337 (Tex. 2009)

where the parties are:
  Retamco Operating, Inc. v. Republic Drilling Co.

the reporter volume is:

  278 S.W.3d
  (volume 278 of the SouthWest 3rd Reporter)

followed by:

  333, 337
  (case begins on page 333 with a specific reference for the issue at hand being page 337. The specific page being called a 'jump-cite' within the citation. The origin being something along the lines of "you find the volume and beginning page and then 'jump' to the specific page of interest).

lastly, the court information

  (Tex. 2009) indicating Texas Supreme Court in year 2009

After the case has been cited with its full-form citation, appellate courts require a 'short-form' citation for all subsequent citations to a given case. The short form citations for the Retamco case would be:

Retamco, 278 S.W.3d at 337.
(where the beginning page is substituted with 'at' and the court information is dropped.

or if cited within the same paragraph, but separated from the first by an intervening citation, the short form would be:

Retamco at 337.

or if following immediately, simply


or if citing a different page

Id at 341.

The point being that the following are all the SAME citation and should be handled be Index & Tables Entry and placed on the SAME line in the Table of Authorities:

Retamco Operating, Inc. v. Republic Drilling Co., 278 S.W.3d 333, 337 (Tex. 2009).
Retamco, 278 S.W.3d at 337.
Retamco at 337.
Id at 341.

Following the directions at:

it became painfully apparent that OpenOffice just cannot handle short-form citation in any reasonable manner. (I would even delete the suggested entry and paste the full-form citation, but any change in the 

How should it be handled?

Blasphemy, but Word handles it perfectly by having the entry dialog search through the existing entries for strcmp matches of the case name (e.g. Retamco) and automatically suggesting that the new entry is a 'short-form' of the full citation. Word also provides a 'short-form' radio button that the user can select if 'Id' is the citation so the user can then choose the correct full-citation for the 'Id' cite (there being no way that any search of existing entries would be meaningful for 'Id')

This manner of handling short form citation is very good and trivial to implement.

Another, more robust manner Word allow handling short-form citation (and building indexes in general) is to allow the use of field-codes (basically non-printing tags) by the user to pre-designate entries for the various separate indexes required in the Table of Authorities (i.e. CASES, STATUTES, OTHER AUTHORITIES, and APPENDIX) Something similar in AOO would also be a workable solution.

Give it some thought. Word has had the ability to handle short-form citation since sometime around Word 1.0f in the early 90's. It is a critical feature in word processing (not only for attorney's, but anyone handling citations). Word-Perfect handled short-form in a similar manner.

This would be a great feature to implement to help bring AOO up to par with other mature word-processors. Let me know if you need more information.
Comment 1 David Rankin 2015-07-16 19:23:12 UTC
It should read:

(I would even delete the suggested entry and paste the full-form citation, but any change in the jump cite would cause the citation to be place on a separate line) So there was virtually no way to create a proper Table of Autorities.
Comment 2 orcmid 2015-07-16 19:29:27 UTC
I have changed this to an enhancement request.  OpenOffice works as designed, so it is not a defect in the technical sense that is used here.
Comment 3 David Rankin 2015-07-19 10:49:03 UTC
(In reply to orcmid from comment #2)
> I have changed this to an enhancement request.  OpenOffice works as
> designed, so it is not a defect in the technical sense that is used here.

Agreed. I couldn't find the feature request selection when I filed it. I sure hope this can be implemented fairly soon, I hate having to crank Virtualbox and windows up just to get something done...
Comment 4 David Rankin 2015-07-19 17:50:18 UTC
Also, to make sure I'm clear, when I say all forms of a citation are the SAME citation and should be placed on the SAME line, I mean the page numbers for all Marked Entries for that citation should should appear on the same line of the Index following the LONG FORM of the original citation. e.g.:

Retamco Operating, Inc. v. Republic Drilling Co., 278 S.W.3d 333, 337 (Tex. 2009)..........................................i,iii,7,8,10,23,42,42.

Each page number should only appear once in the collection of page numbers and there should be no 'p' indicating an entry appears more than once on a given page.

Appellate courts require 13pt. proportional fonts of 10 pt. fixed font. If the party names are long, the citation may wrap on the first line. If this occurs, the leader (row of '...' between the end of the case cite and the beginning of the page numbers) should extend from the end of the citation on the second line to the beginning of the page numbers (just like what would occur if the citation had fit on a single line)

Some court's local rules require different leaders to be used (period '.', '_', '-', 'em-dash', etc...)(i.e. period, underscore, hyphen, em-dash, etc...). So the leader character must be easily selectable by the user.

Above all, even knowing how perfect the coding logic will be, the indexes should be able to be MANUALLY EDITED after they are generated (to add or fix) an index or cite before final printing or submission. This shouldn't require any special logic, rather you just must insure that there is some checkbox, etc... that allow the user to remove whatever protection prevents an entry from being edited after the index is generated.

I don't know how the Writer code collects the entries for each citation (i.e. whether it is an array of structs with each cite having a unique index number, or list or tree of stacks for each citation, etc..., but it is a big time saver if the user can review/fix what entries Writer thinks are associated with each citation. (this can be as simple as allowing the user to scroll though the Entry dialog and click on any given entry and see what Full-Form citation it is associated with any given entry.)(This is also where the use of 'field-codes' allowing the user to pre-mark the entries for each index really shines)

Thanks again for your help.
Comment 5 cdike2015 2015-10-05 17:07:55 UTC
Created attachment 84978 [details]
Example of instance of index that can be editted.
Comment 6 cdike2015 2015-10-05 18:01:51 UTC
The concerns expressed in this topic are identical with that of Issue 32712, which asserted that an index matching the format of the Table of Authorities should be implemented (similar to how it is implemented in MS Word currently).

I have tested the indexing feature in both Open Office (version 4.1.1) and MS Word, and I did notice that the task of relating short-form citations to their long-form counterparts is easier in Word.
In order to produce the Table of Authorities I followed the steps outlined in the tutorial:

Step 1: From the menu select Insert // Indexes and Tables // Entry... then observe as the "Insert Index Entry" dialog appears.
Step 2: For each citation, select the text, select the dialog prompt, observe as a copy of the text automatically appears in the Entry field, select Insert.
Step 3: For each duplicate (or short form) citation, repeat Step 2, but replace the original text in the Entry field with a copy of the long-form citation. The text must match exactly.
Step 4: Place the cursor where the new ToA is to appear. From the menu select Insert/Indexes and Tables/Indexes and Tables... and observe as the "Insert Index/Table" dialog appears.
Step 5: Select Index/Table tab.
Step 6: Select Alphabetical Index from the drop-down menu, then select only the "Combine identical entries" option in the checklist.
Step 7: Click okay. Observe as new table appears.

It is possible to edit the Table of Authorities after it has been generated. You must uncheck the "Protected against manual changes" check-box in the "Insert Index/Table" dialog to enable this. To edit the settings of a particular table you can right-click on one and Edit Index/Table from the menu. I attached a sample document that demonstrates this--look for "inserted an edit here" or attempt to update the table.

It is also possible to segment the Table of Authorities (for example, by Cases and Statutes) by assigning each citation a custom key when you mark them (using the Insert Index Entry dialog). However, I noticed that you have an easier time with this in Word, wherein you are required to assign each citation with a "category" that causes that entry to be grouped with those of the same category. Each time you assign a short-form citation a mark relating to its long-form, its category is automatically updated to match. In Open Office you have to manually update both the entry and the key (category) for each citation. 

Also, the dialog in Word includes a Mark All button that assigns the same tag to identical citations (the text would have to match exactly). This function is conspicuously absent in Open Office. If a document contains a lot of citations, then proof-reading can become all the more cumbersome if, for each short-form citation, the user has to copy and paste the original entry and select the same key (category).

At the very least, a feature similar to a "Mark All" function (to assign the same tag to identical entries instead of having to search for them manually) would cut down on the redundancy.
Comment 7 oooforum (fr) 2019-07-12 06:36:53 UTC
(In reply to cdike2015 from comment #6)
> The concerns expressed in this topic are identical with that of Issue 32712

*** This issue has been marked as a duplicate of issue 32712 ***