Issue 4624 - Add individual margins on same page to Writer
Summary: Add individual margins on same page to Writer
Alias: None
Product: Writer
Classification: Application
Component: code (show other issues)
Version: OOo 1.0.0
Hardware: PC All
: P4 Trivial (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Keywords: rfe_eval_ok
: 78772 (view as issue list)
Depends on:
Reported: 2002-05-07 23:19 UTC by halvaughan
Modified: 2013-08-07 14:38 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

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

Basic tutorial for Styles and Formatting. (50.90 KB, application/vnd.sun.xml.writer)
2006-02-14 19:24 UTC, jondoe
no flags Details
Questions to Create a Script Template (15.38 KB, application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text)
2006-03-02 16:36 UTC, jondoe
no flags Details

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Description halvaughan 2002-05-07 23:19:09 UTC
I noticed that you do not have any Word Perfect import ability, so I bypassed it by using RTF and MS 
Word files.  I took a screenplay (about 130 pages) in Word Prefect, saved it as RTF and MS Word 97 
files, and tried importing it into Open Office.

I was glad to see the margins were actually 
maintained, since I have not been able to import Word Perfect files into Abiword, Star Office, or 
any other word processor without the margins all being reset (A screenplay uses several 
different margins, which change every few lines -- so consistant margins is a MUST in using a 
different word processor).

However, there is a significant problem with the pagination.  
Both files (RTF and MS Word -- as saved by Word Perfect) created a new page every time I changed the 

Is there any way to import files like this by keeping the margins intact AND keeping 
the original pagination (or close to it)?

Comment 1 stefan.baltzer 2002-05-13 17:28:36 UTC
Reassigned to Michael.
Comment 2 michael.ruess 2002-09-05 15:23:18 UTC
No, there won't be a possibility without starting a new page.
OpenOffice was not designed to have different page margins on one and
the same page. In our philosophy it doesn't make sense to have such a
weird feature, because you can reach the same thing with paragraph
Comment 3 halvaughan 2002-09-05 15:53:38 UTC
 IMHO, this is absurd and short sighted.  I have had MANY times  
where I have had to change margins a number of times on a single  
page -- not only in screen plays, but in business plans and in work  
I've done when I was teaching.  It's a feature supported in Word,  
WordPerfect, AbiWord, and any word processor I've ever seen.  By  
saying you can only use one margin on a page, you are saying, "As a  
writer you have to think the way we want you to think."  Using  
indent and outdent can help in some ways, but there are many times  
where I've wanted to adjust margins quickly and easily to widths  
that weren't easily set with in/outdent.  
Another factor -- if you're writing a script, TV shows and film  
studios expect scripts written in specific formats.  While some  
writers use special scripting programs to do this, others, like me,  
use macros to set the margins.  These margins have been worked out  
to make sure we can work with the general time frame of 1 page being  
1 minute of screen time.  By taking this arbitrary stance, you are  
saying you want to make OOo hard/impossible for writers in this  
field to use.  
I realize resources are limited, but this attitude is the one thing  
that keeps me from using more open source software.  It is the  
attitude of the programmer who is deeply involved in the code and  
sees the code and decides that the end user has no clue what he/she  
is talking about.  As a user, I'm saying this is an important  
feature.  You may not use it in your work, but I have used it in  
business, education, and writing.  I wonder why AbiWord has this  
feature successfully working and OOo says it's not to be done?  
Another note -- After a long study, I found that AbiWord has a  
problem exporting files -- there was a bug forcing a page break  
after each margin change on some files.  I have not yet had a chance  
to see if this is WHY OOo has this import problem, but with this  
attitude ("we have it set up to work this way -- do it our way -- we  
don't care what you as a user need!"), I will certainly put looking  
into this bug/problem on a low priority.  
Comment 4 michael.ruess 2002-09-05 16:04:29 UTC
But it is of course NOT a bug (or defect), when the application does
not meet someone's habits in editing texts... it is clearly a request
for enhancement. And for those the QA is the wrong addressee, it is
more for Product Management.
Comment 5 falko.tesch 2003-10-01 10:27:32 UTC
Add individual margins on same page to Writer
Note: This might be also an issue for MS Word filter
Comment 6 falko.tesch 2003-10-01 10:27:46 UTC
Comment 7 bettina.haberer 2004-04-08 21:10:00 UTC
Sorry, there is noc chance to get that done for Q.
Comment 8 jondoe 2006-02-14 17:54:30 UTC

No one was trying to insult you.  It was simply stated that certain design
decisions were made, and a reason for those decisions was given.  The reason
stated may not make much sense to you, but it was given with the intent of
helping you use alternate functionality that does exist in OOo without the need
for some fairly complex changes.

There are two significant word processing programs that do not allow margins to
be changed multiple times within the same page.  One is MS Word.  The other is
OOo/StarOffice Writer.  Your usage pattern may not reflect that of most users
(far more use Word than Wordperfect), but that doesn't mean that they are
crippled when using these programs.  It doesn't mean that OOo needs to be
hard/impossible for writers like you to use either.

When I began using OOo, I kept being told how powerful the Styles and Formatting
window can be and how it can make life so much easier for those changing
formatting often.  I didn't know how to use it or how nice it could be.  So, I
requested a tutorial for it.  None existed.  I have since learned how to use it
to some degree (I'm sure that there is more I could learn to be more productive
with it).  I will try to write up a quick tutorial for you and post it here as
an attachment.  I hope it will help ease some/most/all of your pain.
Comment 9 jondoe 2006-02-14 19:24:30 UTC
Created attachment 34161 [details]
Basic tutorial for Styles and Formatting.
Comment 10 jondoe 2006-02-14 19:34:27 UTC
Using the tutorial (explanation might be a better word) I just submitted, you
could create various styles (margin1, margin2, margin3, ...) with very specific
indents and spacing settings.  Then, you could use them to quickly and easily
apply formatting to a document and make it act as though there were indeed
various margin settings on the same page.

Since I have grown accustomed to using styles, this approach would seem far
simpler and faster than changing margins multiple times in a document.

Once you have the "margin" styles set the way you like, you can even make sure
that they are available with any new document by creating a new default template
that contains your "margin" styles.

I hope my work and suggestions are of use to you.
Comment 11 jondoe 2006-03-02 16:34:40 UTC
After working with some other documents, I realized that there were some points
I forgot to mention in previous comments.

One point that I should have mentioned could have been in the
tutorial/explanation of the Styles and Formatting tool.  When dealing with a
certain "style" it is possible to define what style will follow directly after
it (the next paragraph, page, etc.).  So, if "style 1" is always/mostly followed
by "style 2," the definition of "style 1" can explicitly state that the next
style will be "style 2."  I don't work with scripts or screenplays, but I
thought that according to what I have read this part of OOo's functionality
might even make scripts easier to work with when using OOo.

Another point is that if you are working on a paragraph, you can get a new line
without moving to a new paragraph (and possibly a new style) simply by holding
down the <Shift> button when pressing <Enter>.  Many people are already aware of
this, but it is worth noting in this context since one paragraph style might be
followed by a different one.

Finally, if someone could supply me with specifications for how a script should
flow, and what the format should be like, I would be happy to create a template
(or multiple templates if necessary) that could be included with OOo in the next
release.  Like I said, I haven't worked with scripts or anything of the sort,
but I think that I could be of help if someone can help me.

I'm going to post a document that contains a basic list of questions that I
think would cover the possible differences between a script and a normal
document.  If someone would download the document, answer the questions, save it
again, and post it here, I'll take it and make the promised templates.
Comment 12 jondoe 2006-03-02 16:36:42 UTC
Created attachment 34553 [details]
Questions to Create a Script Template
Comment 13 michael.ruess 2007-06-22 08:11:27 UTC
*** Issue 78772 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 14 floid 2007-06-22 15:25:43 UTC
Whups, my 78772 is indeed a dupe.  It does contain specific ideas on
implementing this as a UI feature that works with the Styles system, or outside
of it in a way that would not otherwise break styling, so I encourage anyone
working on the code to review it.


Shift-Enter has two flaws here:  The obvious one is user training, the
less-obvious is that, in my "organization"'s use case, it breaks indentation for
those trained well enough to actually be using paragraph styles for same.

[My use case:]


     Paragraph containing terms should start indented to match following

[The idea is that the heading or title line should not widow itself at the end
of the page.  There are some ways to correct for this, but most are
time-consuming or relatively 'advanced' for nontechnical users.]

It would be interesting to do some actual usability testing to see how often
people (trained group and naive group) ever drag the margins with intent to edit
the style -- I would guess that users expect horizontal margins to flow through
the document, but are surprised when vertical adjustments hit more than the
visible page.  

In fact, use of the vertical ruler to indicate the active page means (even at
some ridiculous, unlikely zoom levels) a user will never, ever, 'see' the impact
occurring across the style until it's applied, making the behavior pretty
non-obvious until documentation is read.  --  I *think* that's true now across
all 2.x versions, perhaps a live preview of the reflow would at least hint to
the user what they're doing to previous pages, albeit without resolving the
basic problem?

If the UI promoted styles as being a property of document objects (much as we
think of a font choice as being a property of some text), instead of pages
'belonging to' relatively invisible styles... maybe casual understanding by the
untrained would improve.  Tough call, tough problem.
Comment 15 bettina.haberer 2010-05-21 14:38:24 UTC
To grep the issues easier via "requirements" I put the issues currently lying on
my owner to the owner "requirements".