Sunday March 8, 2020

When it comes to books or other publications’ detailed design, empty lines as a means of making paragraphs visually-distinguished may cause You a lot of trouble, especially in the long run. The most frustrating example may be causing the content not to begin exactly with the very top of a next page (which looks pretty bad, especially when it comes to chapter titles or sub-headers). Harnessing master and sub-documents concept helps with chapter titles, but there is still much to be fixed.

This was the reason I’ve decided to research the topic a little bit and fortunately I’ve found the solution which seems to be a good one. When I first learned about it, it was pretty surprising and unexpected. What it implies is the total change of the way how You approach paragraphs’ breaks: instead of inserting empty lines, You stick with paragraph spacing defined within a paragraph style. That simple, although may sound pretty much surprising.

Then, having done that, You are ready to disable the one key “magical” option within Writer, which results in omitting all the paragraph spacing when it comes to the beginning of a page. Since this option refers only to in-style-defined spacing, You cannot use it to teach ordinary empty lines a good behavior ;) .

Let’s take a look on the details:

How to set seamless paragraph spacing:

  1. Remove blank lines.
    In case You’d like to improve an already existing work, You need to carefully remove all the empty lines first.
  2. Refine paragraph style.
    Modify the style You use for paragraphs. If You haven’t been using such a custom style, I highly recommend to define and apply one. Then, on the style panel (F11), right-click on Your style’s name and choose Modify... › Indents & Spacing (tab) › Below paragraph, and set the value for example as “20.00 mm”.
  3. Confirm by clicking “Apply”, and “OK”.
  4. Now the “magic feature” :) : go to the settings (Alt+F12) › LibreOffice Writer › Compatibility and uncheck the option Ad paragraph and table spacing at tops of pages.
  5. Confirm once more by “Apply” and “OK”.
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