Bug 133960 - PARAGRAPH DIALOG: Add a "Spacing" property to "Fill Character" (Paragraph Style > Tabs)
Summary: PARAGRAPH DIALOG: Add a "Spacing" property to "Fill Character" (Paragraph Sty...
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
Keywords: needsUXEval
Depends on:
Blocks: Paragraph-Dialog
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2020-06-13 11:54 UTC by R. Green
Modified: 2020-06-25 08:34 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:

A published example of the use of fill characters (53.74 KB, image/png)
2020-06-13 11:54 UTC, R. Green

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Description R. Green 2020-06-13 11:54:42 UTC
Created attachment 161952 [details]
A published example of the use of fill characters

Version: (x64)
Build ID: 3d775be2011f3886db32dfd395a6a6d1ca2630ff
CPU threads: 4; OS: Windows 10.0 Build 18363; UI render: default; VCL: win; 
Locale: en-GB (en_GB); UI-Language: en-GB
Calc: threaded

Fill characters (such as periods, aka full stops, dashes etc.) find a place in contents, indexes, tables etc. However, IME, the fill characters are not usually placed one after the other, but have various degrees of spacing between them. See the attached file for an example (Lord Ernle, "English Farmimg Past and Present", 1936).

SUGGESTION: Add a "Spacing" property to the "Fill Character" section in Paragraph Style > Tabs.
Comment 1 Heiko Tietze 2020-06-16 15:28:57 UTC
For the ToC my expectation is that character spacing would do the trick (edit ToC > at Entries, select the level you want to edit, click T (for tab) and pick a previously defined character style; or edit one and use some large value at Position > Spacing > Character spacing. The kind of symbol is fix in the dropdown; not sure it's restricted by the format or just not implemented.

Tabs in paragraphs are defined on the paragraph level and while you can assign a character style, spacing between characters is also ignored. In this particular case it's just one tab actually and that might explain why my expectation is wrong. 

I wonder how it works at competitors and if the format has any restriction.
Comment 2 Regina Henschel 2020-06-16 17:03:17 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #1)
> I wonder how it works at competitors and if the format has any restriction.

The file format has only 1 character, so it is not possible to get distance by adding spaces.
The file format allows to assign a user defined character style to the tab stop. So I too would expect, that character spacing in such style is interpreted. But LibreOffice ignores the attribute.

Word has no styles for tab stops at all. And it has only choice of the leader character out of none, dot, dash, solid.

ODF would allow instead of a single, specific characters the leader-styles none, dash, dot-dash, dot-dot-dash, dotted, long-dash, solid and wave. But that is implemented neither.

The only workaround I currently see to get a larger space between the dots, is to use a monospaced font.
Comment 3 Heiko Tietze 2020-06-25 08:34:26 UTC
If we introduce something like spacing between filling it has to become part of the document format first. And since the workaround is pretty easy (use shorter tabs and add the characters manually) I believe it's not worth the effort.