I recently resolved a problem with document formatting in LibreOffice when trying to align messed up lines with tab characters in a document originally created in Microsoft Office Word. I couldn’t remove the extra spacing these programs were showing in tabbed lines without messing up the way it was supposed to be aligned. Finally, I discovered this trick by accident just when I was ready to redo the entire document from scratch in LibreOffice.
Same Behavior in OpenOffice.org
I earlier had the same problem with this document in OpenOffice.org on another computer and I just verified that this fix works there as well with same exact behavior as shown with LibreOffice in the video below.
Add a Tab Space Before Deleting More
If you can’t view the above video, I fixed this extra tab spacing by placing the cursor before the first letter on the indented line and if hitting a backspace would delete the entire space and the bullet point I’d instead first add one more tab to move the text more to the right (I know, it sounds more counterproductive), and after that the backspace key suddenly worked and it was properly deleting individual tab spacings and aligning each section back to its intended location.
This reminds me of my physics teacher dad who demonstrated long time ago that sometimes in order to release a stuck screw you may want to try to tighten it up just a notch before it lets you unscrew it. It didn’t make sense but it worked. Why does my dad always have to be right?
I hope this trick makes someone’s day as much as it did mine.
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