Example of failure to produce good .odt

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ecbritz
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Example of failure to produce good .odt

Post by ecbritz » Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:51 am

I was asked some time ago to provide an example of Textmaker failure in terms of producing a good Open Document (.odt file). Textmaker does save to .odt. But the results, when reading the resultant document with a dedicated Open Document program like OpenOffice or LibreOffice, are questionable. The problem is that if you send a .odt file produced with Textmaker to someone limited to an Open Document program, it will be distorted when opened by that person. It would be better to send such a person a .doc file, making Textmaker's .odt filter superfluous.

I used the Textmaker's .odt filter to demonstrate the problem. The text used in the demonstration explains the demonstration as well, so please read this text. The four files involved can be downloaded here:

LibreOffice produced .odt: https://app.box.com/s/1mkdegn11flcwm70x85qekf3qalnshkx

Textmaker produced .odt: https://app.box.com/s/xa35ns9d9k3iop3jftnjlzo88kmi03vv

Test ST.odt: https://app.box.com/s/p6e6hdcvdwalkmxsjj8ujalxny0tsv6z

Test LO.odt: https://app.box.com/s/r02jzjeir4r2ga4ij92lfc2r5y0tymtv

It was not possible to attach more than three of these files. Test ST.odt can only be downloaded.
Attachments
Test LO.odt
(11.16 KiB) Downloaded 206 times
Textmaker-produced ODT.JPG
LibreOffice produced ODT.JPG
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sven-l
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Re: Example of failure to produce good .odt

Post by sven-l » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:14 am

I saved your .odt file in TextMaker and Libre Office 5.0.

The results when I open these files in TextMaker or MS Word 2013:
Both files look identical.

The results when I open these both files in LO Writer are as shown in your screenshots but what makes me wonder is that the text is formatted in Arial 12pt in both files and even when the zoom level is identical the font of the TextMaker produced .odt file looks smaller. I will investigate that and send a report to the developers. Thank you!
Sven Leßmann
SoftMaker Software GmbH

sven-l
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Re: Example of failure to produce good .odt

Post by sven-l » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:28 am

We found a workaround:
1. Select the text in LibreOffice
2. Right mouse click on the selected text, then select the character formatting from the context menu
3. Under "Position" check, that the text is not superscripted (it is set to "Normal")
4. Without changing anything here click on "OK"
=>Now the text changes to a normal, non-superscripted text.
Sven Leßmann
SoftMaker Software GmbH

ecbritz
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Re: Example of failure to produce good .odt

Post by ecbritz » Sat Apr 16, 2016 10:00 am

I use LibreOffice only under very special circumstances.

For instance, my wife had to submit a report containing eight "before and after" pictures at work yesterday. Four "before" pictures on the left side of the page, four "after" pictures on the right side of the page -- i.e. four "pairs" of pictures.

In Textmaker, the pairs of pictures became very unstable, whatever text wrapping option or paragraph anchoring was chosen for them. Individual pictures started floating in all directions when any change to the preceding text was made (i.e. when the preceding text expanded or contracted due to editing).

The solution was to copy the text to LibreOffice (Apache OpenOffice even better). In these Open Document processors you can anchor a picture either to page, paragraph, character or "as character". If you anchor pictures to page, they remain largely undisturbed by editing of the text, although you might have to drag them into position a few times, or cut/paste them to move them to a different page.

We discovered that the pictures copied from Textmaker arrived "anchored to character" in LibreOffice. You could change that to "anchored to page", but somehow the pictures reverted back to "anchored to character" when the document was saved. After much bother and frustration we managed to get the pictures to behave as they should in LibreOffice. With Textmaker no luck. Once we got the document written and the pictures obediently paired in LibreOffice, we saved to pdf. Because what these "Textmakered pictures" might come up with if we continued editing, was anybody's guess.

I'm sure there must have been a Textmaker solution unknown to us. And perhaps there is a problem with Windows 10 on my wife's computer, because the Softmaker and LibreOffice AppsData/Roaming files are missing on her computer. But this story gives you an idea of how and when I would use LibreOffice.

The real problem with Textmaker changing the font when it saves to .odt, is that it should not be necessary for someone using only OpenOffice or LibreOffice to change anything in their program when they receive that .odt file. The file should arrive and be opened in the state it was sent, also in terms of the font selection. It should also not be necessary to do special settings in Textmaker before saving to .odt. Let me take another look at your appreciated advice. Perhaps I missed something you said.
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Alfred
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Re: Example of failure to produce good .odt

Post by Alfred » Sat Apr 16, 2016 1:00 pm

ecbritz wrote:The real problem with Textmaker changing the font when it saves to .odt, is that it should not be necessary for someone using only OpenOffice or LibreOffice to change anything in their program when they receive that .odt file. The file should arrive and be opened in the state it was sent, also in terms of the font selection.
When I insert your file 'Test LO.odt' in Serif PagePlus, the text style is shown as 'Standard' and the font is 12pt Times New Roman. This can easily be changed to Arial (or whatever) by editing the text style.

When I insert your file 'Test ST.odt' in Serif PagePlus, the text style is shown as 'Normal' and the font is 12pt Arial, as expected. What is not expected is that the text is italic, and it is illegible because it has a black highlight instead of a transparent one.
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Jossi
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Re: Example of failure to produce good .odt

Post by Jossi » Sat Apr 16, 2016 2:24 pm

ecbritz wrote:In these Open Document processors you can anchor a picture either to page, paragraph, character or "as character". If you anchor pictures to page, they remain largely undisturbed by editing of the text, although you might have to drag them into position a few times, or cut/paste them to move them to a different page.

I'm sure there must have been a Textmaker solution unknown to us.
Indeed there is. In TextMaker, pictures may be anchored either to page, paragraph or "as character" (anchoring to a character is not possible, but I have never missed that option).
To insert a picture "as character", choose Object > New Picture... (not Object > New Picture Frame...). The picture is inserted into the line of text like an (oversized) character and moved around like any other character. Obviously, this option gives you the least degree of control over the position of the picture, as it changes with every other character inserted before.

For this reason, I use almost exclusively the Object > New Picture Frame... option. Here the picture is inserted as a separate object (frame) and can be moved freely around. (BTW: To have more control, you should uncheck "Insert frames and drawings immediately" in Tools > Options..., tab "Edit". Otherwise, a new picture will always be inserted in the upper left corner of the page, not where you want it to be.)

A picture inserted as an object frame may be anchored to a page by using these settings in Object properties:
Fix on page.png
Now the picture is set to a certain page and in a fixed position on this page (which may be changed by dragging it to a different position or changing the offset values of "Horizontal position" and "Vertical position"). This is indicated by a big anchor sign in the upper left corner of the page. When additional text is inserted before the picture, the picture will not move and the text will flow on below.

To anchor a picture frame to a paragraph, use these settings:
Anchor to paragraph.png
Now the picture is anchored to a paragraph, indicated by a somewhat smaller anchor sign in the margin at the beginning of the corresponding paragraph. When additional text is inserted before this paragraph, the picture wanders down with the paragraph, keeping its relative position as long as it still fits on the page. (NB: It is not sufficient to select "Move with text" in Object properties; you must also set the horizontal and vertical position "Relative to Paragraph"!)

When you have pairs of "Before" and "After" pictures which should be kept together, it can also be helpful to group them (select both pictures in Object mode, right-click and choose "Group"). Now the pair of pictures is handled like a single object.

ecbritz
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Re: Example of failure to produce good .odt

Post by ecbritz » Tue Apr 19, 2016 12:03 pm

Thanks very much for the advice given above. I am sometimes so busy working on some writing assignment, with a deadline looming, that I have to take a break from this interesting and always helpful forum. But rest assured that I always return to see what is cooking and to continue a discussion, if necessary.

For me, pictures that are easy to drag into position and that stay put after I have positioned them, have always been an advantage of for instance OpenOffice. With WordPerfect, a picture-rich document growing to 40 pages and more will start turning into a madhouse with pictures floating crazily in all directions, unless you have followed complicated rules to the letter.

Up to now, I've only had problems with getting horizontally paired pictures to "behave" in Textmaker. Perhaps a table with invisible borders will put such pictures in adjacent "cages", pairing them off forcibly, with no means of escape. But don't worry, I will also pay close attention to your info and advice next time I work with multiple pictures next to each other. "Grouping" pictures seems like a very good way to go.

The least troublesome way for a Textmaker user to send a document to an OpenOffice/LibreOffice user is to save the document as .doc. Saving as .odt with Textmaker is generally not a good idea, in my experience.
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sven-l
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Re: Example of failure to produce good .odt

Post by sven-l » Fri Apr 22, 2016 1:34 pm

ecbritz wrote:I was asked some time ago to provide an example of Textmaker failure in terms of producing a good Open Document (.odt file). Textmaker does save to .odt. But the results, when reading the resultant document with a dedicated Open Document program like OpenOffice or LibreOffice, are questionable. The problem is that if you send a .odt file produced with Textmaker to someone limited to an Open Document program, it will be distorted when opened by that person. It would be better to send such a person a .doc file, making Textmaker's .odt filter superfluous.

I used the Textmaker's .odt filter to demonstrate the problem. The text used in the demonstration explains the demonstration as well, so please read this text. The four files involved can be downloaded here:

LibreOffice produced .odt: https://app.box.com/s/1mkdegn11flcwm70x85qekf3qalnshkx

Textmaker produced .odt: https://app.box.com/s/xa35ns9d9k3iop3jftnjlzo88kmi03vv

Test ST.odt: https://app.box.com/s/p6e6hdcvdwalkmxsjj8ujalxny0tsv6z

Test LO.odt: https://app.box.com/s/r02jzjeir4r2ga4ij92lfc2r5y0tymtv

It was not possible to attach more than three of these files. Test ST.odt can only be downloaded.
That issue has been solved and should no longer occur after the next service pack.
Sven Leßmann
SoftMaker Software GmbH

ecbritz
Posts: 259
Joined: Mon Sep 14, 2015 9:45 am

Re: Example of failure to produce good .odt

Post by ecbritz » Fri Apr 29, 2016 7:58 am

Thanks very much.
Softmaker 2016 & 2018.

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