Bug 34002 - EDITING - Add Reveal Codes feature like there is in WordPerfect.
Summary: EDITING - Add Reveal Codes feature like there is in WordPerfect.
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
Hardware: All All
: high enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
: 62342 69544 74554 122682 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Blocks: Writer-Enhancements
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2011-02-07 12:42 UTC by Robin
Modified: 2023-05-03 05:56 UTC (History)
27 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


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Description Robin 2011-02-07 12:42:47 UTC
I know that for the "Stylists" this is a hated enhancement but for those of us that work between different people and different word processors, "Reveal Codes" is a major tool to find strange formatting problems due to importing and exporting documents over and over.

This is the same request as has been for Open Office since 2002.


This request will add many businesses that stick with WordPerfect to the list of users that don't like the MS Office or OpenOffice way of doing things.

I understand that Styles work really well when you create a document from scratch but when you are taking a document that has been created by one or many other people, finding all the formatting issues are a major problem.  It is not easy to remove all formatting each and ever time you get a version of the document to install  and use "styles"

There is no guarantee that the styles will remain if someone uses WordPerfect on the document.

In the OOo enhancement request, I suggested that if OOo would just have a display box that showed all the various styles and formats that are being used and an ability to delete/edit them, this would provide many of the features of Reveal Codes.  It may actually promote styles in a better way.

I am going to copy and paste my suggestion from the OOo enhancement.  (My user name on the OOo site is mestech)

From the discussion about Reveal Codes on the Users mail list I have some
thoughts to add.

As all the formatting properties are stored as styles tokens (T1-Tx) in the
content.xml, and thus must be in memory, make this information available in a
simple dialog.

As one user suggested, a properties map that reveals the various styles and
formatting properties used at the cursor location would be a great help.  I feel
that this would be almost as good as reveal codes.  Moving the cursor could
indicate where a formatting property changes.  Add the ability to change or
delete properties within this pop-up box and now you have a type of reveal
codes.  Or at least take you to the property that made this change.  I know that
some info is displayed in various locations but that is a pain.

As a test I made a simple document that had some formatting changes and examined
the content.xml file to see what happened when I made changes.  What I see is a
simple way to display all the information about formatting in an easy way.  If
Jannz's macro can display this info, why not make an integrated tool to do a
better job.

I also suggest that there be a menu or added feature to show where the
formatting makes changes within a document.  Selecting View > Non-Printing
Characters will show some formatting features.  A second choice of showing the
formatting (T1-Tx) token positions, would also help.  Especially when trying to
find that one piece of code that was imported that screwed up your whole document.

There is no reason to stick with the answer that this is how they do it in Word
so this is how we will do it.  I think we need to look at how OOo can be made

Reveal codes are better for people that do not have total control over all
aspects of a document and have to work with multiple sources and formats and
hopefully get into a single working format.


Further to the suggestion.

After some thinking.  Reveal Codes is a way of showing the formatting at a
particular location within the document.  In OOo, this is the collected
formatting of the document that make up the various properties as set by the styles.

A properties display box that is similiar to the Styles and Formatting box could
solve most of the reveal codes demands.

A display box that shows the relevant stlyles used, fonts and font controls in a
simple box.  A box that allows the cursor to be moved and the dialog updates as
the cursor moves.  This box then could allow someone to change, remove or edit
the style as in the Styles and Formatting box.

Now people can say that this feature is already available but not in an easy to
use way.  Someone could search through their style and formatting box for each
and every character location and not find that one point where the formatting is

My suggestion would be a box that floats or attaches at the bottom or top of the
screen.  Like the Reveal codes box on WP.  In the box would be something like this.
Page style:  Index                Paragraph style: Contents 4
Character style:  Placeholder     Frame style:  Default
Lists style:  Default             Font:  Times new Roman  B U I

If the cursor is moved and the font changes due to the Character style, then
this information would be quickly seen.

Page style:  Index                Paragraph style: Contents 4
Character style:  Placeholder 2   Frame style:  Default
Lists style:  Default             Font:  Nimubus Roman  B U I

Now the person will know that the formattng change was due to the change in the
Character style without having to go through all the various dialogs.  A simple
indication of where the change is.  Now the user could decide to delete, change
or modify the style Character style.  This dialog must update with the cursor

I feel that this dialog box would resolve most of the Reveal Code demands within
the framework of how OOo works with documents.


Looking at this XML coding from a test document, I want to expand on the ability
to work in the current framework of OOo to create a dialog box similiar to
reveal codes.

----  Style defenition.

<style:style style:name="T3" style:family="text"><style:text-properties
fo:font-style="italic" style:text-underline-style="solid"
style:text-underline-width="auto" style:text-underline-color="font-color"
style:font-style-asian="italic" style:font-style-complex="italic"/>

------  Location that the style is implemented.

<text:span text:style-name="T3">another </text:span>


Now if there was an option to reveal the locations of the "span" statements that
were live or clickable or with the attributes displayed in a dialog box at the
bottom/top of the screen, then most of what those that are requesting Reveal
Codes is implemented.

The individual style number (T3) could be highlited or indicated in some way.  
Thus if styles are nested, then users would be able to see them.

I think the idea of live icons would be better than the WP of reveal codes as
this could show the nesting over a larger span than just a few lines of text. 
As in the above case, more than the change to italic is supplied within the
style defenition.


I wish I had Reveal Codes for the bug that I just submitted on Formatting and losing footers.

Hopefully this will be a leading step to make LibreOffice better than WordPerfect, MS Office and OpenOffice.org.
Comment 1 rabbittech 2011-04-28 19:02:29 UTC Comment hidden (me-too)
Comment 2 Don't use this account, use tml@iki.fi 2011-04-28 23:38:49 UTC Comment hidden (off-topic)
Comment 3 Björn Michaelsen 2011-12-23 11:45:52 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 4 sasha.libreoffice 2012-01-19 21:47:29 UTC
suppose that in LibO this it not yet implemented, so change status to New
this functionality can be useful for debugging of LibO, because we can see directly, what happens inside of document, instead of save document and see internals of odt file.
IMHO it makes sense to implement something like this if it consumes not much work of developers
Comment 5 bertramc 2012-03-10 12:01:46 UTC Comment hidden (me-too)
Comment 6 sasha.libreoffice 2012-03-12 01:49:29 UTC
Thanks for so long and interesting comment. I agree that such functionality is useful. IMHO such functionality, at least partially, can be written on Basic macro.
Please, search among existing extensions for OpenOffice and LibreOffice. May be something with such functionality already exist.

And something like this already exist in LibreOffice, when "Extended tooltips" enabled, Writer shows formatting in tooltip.

> For anyone who works with scanned documents, OCR ...
I save document in rtf format and then reload it again. Most of unuseful formatting are lost, and remaining is more easy to edit.
Comment 7 retired 2013-07-23 09:39:26 UTC
*** Bug 62342 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 8 Dr. Matthias Weisser 2014-02-04 19:05:41 UTC Comment hidden (me-too)
Comment 9 Alex Thurgood 2014-02-05 11:06:17 UTC
*** Bug 74554 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 10 Alex Thurgood 2014-02-05 11:11:28 UTC
*** Bug 69544 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 11 MikeB 2015-12-17 14:25:41 UTC Comment hidden (me-too)
Comment 12 Zenaan Harkness 2016-08-29 12:16:30 UTC
To Robin: have you tested LO 5.2? The "properties" side bar might satisfy some of what you would like to see. There may be improvements to the Properties sidebar, and now might be a good time to request such improvements.
Comment 13 TJ 2017-01-23 02:15:00 UTC Comment hidden (me-too)
Comment 14 kimf 2017-02-07 15:04:18 UTC Comment hidden (me-too)
Comment 15 davidkingster 2017-03-29 02:18:09 UTC Comment hidden (me-too)
Comment 16 davidkingster 2017-03-29 21:01:30 UTC Comment hidden (me-too)
Comment 17 Regina Henschel 2019-01-13 00:17:20 UTC
*** Bug 122682 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 18 James E. LaBarre 2019-04-10 14:21:47 UTC Comment hidden (off-topic)
Comment 19 Luke 2019-04-10 14:54:14 UTC
You are confusing file format with editing. WP's reveal codes works even in non-native formats like MS's .doc.
Comment 20 Brolin Empey 2019-04-11 00:06:56 UTC Comment hidden (off-topic)
Comment 21 How can I remove my account? 2019-07-07 16:05:51 UTC Comment hidden (no-value)
Comment 22 Thomas Lendo 2019-08-30 00:15:39 UTC
Other implementation flavor in MS Word: https://legalofficeguru.com/so-you-miss-reveal-codes-in-wordperfect/

Tor, why do you want close an enhancement request? Maybe there is somebody someday who works on that or something similar.
Comment 23 Xisco Faulí 2019-12-02 12:52:29 UTC
Changing bug priority to high since the number of people in CC is higher than 20
Comment 24 jan d 2020-04-12 12:51:33 UTC
If you are not familiar with WordPerfect and  "Reveal Codes", have a look at this video giving an example of its use: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUZSamyLBXo
Comment 25 Mareli Furtado 2021-02-19 06:22:35 UTC
I am a new user, but it appears this has been done?  I have been using View-Formatting Marks to see Formatting. It does not show changes to Fonts, but Word Perfect did not do that either.
Comment 26 How can I remove my account? 2021-02-19 08:12:38 UTC Comment hidden (no-value)
Comment 27 robert.funnell 2021-02-19 12:11:45 UTC
View -> Formatting Marks is useful but it comes nowhere close to replacing Reveal Codes.
Comment 28 How can I remove my account? 2021-02-19 12:20:17 UTC Comment hidden (no-value)
Comment 29 How can I remove my account? 2021-02-19 12:20:54 UTC Comment hidden (no-value)
Comment 30 robert.funnell 2021-02-19 14:06:18 UTC Comment hidden (no-value)
Comment 31 Luke 2021-02-19 14:09:46 UTC Comment hidden (no-value)
Comment 32 How can I remove my account? 2021-02-19 14:11:13 UTC Comment hidden (no-value)
Comment 33 David Viner 2022-08-01 22:38:52 UTC Comment hidden (no-value)
Comment 34 Heiko Tietze 2023-05-03 05:56:18 UTC
Resolved with bug 38194