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OpenOffice: Meaning of gray shaded Spaces and Hyphens

Question by Guest | 30/01/2018 at 21:31

I got an OpenOffice document with the file extension ODT (Open Document Text) from a colleague.

In this document, there are some strange spaces and hyphens, which are shaded with gray color. I have looked at these signs a little closer, but I can not figure out what that could mean. When printing, the color is not displayed, here the corresponding characters look just like a normal space or a normal hyphen. Likewise, the characters do not appear to be tagged with a background color. The grey color seems to be independent of the highlighting.

Can someone explain to me what those mysterious signs are?


Stefan Trost

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OpenOffice marks non breaking spaces and hyphens with a gray background.

Non breaking spaces and hyphens are characters that can not be word-wrapped. If you write to a line with a non breaking space or hyphen between two words at the end, you'll see that OpenOffice always wraps the two words together into a new line and never breaks them.

The purpose of these signs is to keep related words together, such as numbers, chemical formulas, or fixed terms. In OpenOffice, you can enter a non breaking space with CTRL + Shift + Space, a protected hyphen can be inserted with CTRL + Shift + Hyphen.
31/01/2018 at 16:06

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