I am using LibreOffice Writer to edit a Word document sent to me by a Microsoft user. It contains certain formatting that I can't figure out how to change (a gray background on some of the text).

I usually use LaTeX for my text documents, and so I'm used to seeing explicit formatting commands, which make it relatively obvious what to change. But in this case, I don't know where to look; there seem to be a lot of places where background color can be set.

In general, does LibreOffice have a way to "debug" formatting, to determine what is causing a certain effect, and help figure out how to change it?

I know some word processors used to have a "reveal codes" feature that would show all formatting directives in the document. As far as I can tell, LibreOffice doesn't have such a feature, but maybe there is something else that can help me.

(If I don't get an answer to this general question, I'll post a more specific one about the particular bit of formatting I'm trying to excise.)

  • The most you can get is Ctrl+F10. You'll see the return, space, tab characters and some special fields (if used). A full reveal-code (with format/font etc info) is not (yet) available for Libre-/OpenOffice.
    – Rik
    Sep 23, 2013 at 20:58
  • Gray background may indicate a field or formula. Another approach: unzip the .odt file (or .docx, if you didn't convert it yet) and check the resulting XML source files.
    – tohuwawohu
    Sep 24, 2013 at 6:01
  • Hahaha, have you ever unzipped a .odt or .docx and looked for content? Well, i guess it is just what was asked for... to reveal codes... :) And it could help find weird converting errors... if you can find your text.
    – Rik
    Sep 24, 2013 at 13:26


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