LAYOUT Text boxes



I have an issue selecting text within a text box. At the last two or three lines of text, I cannot select with my cursor - it changes to click behind the text box. I have to click on a line above and use arrow keys to add text to the end of the text box. Is this a software issue or have I set something up incorrectly with my text boxes? They are bounded to create a structured construction notes page.

In addition - I would love to have an option of text justification to distribute text over the entire block and have left and right alignment. This would look much better for my uses of layout - creating solid text blocks with neat borders all the way around.


As for the first, I’ve seen that when the text overfills the text box. If you leave generous spacing below the text, it doesn’t seem to be a problem. I don’t always like to leave that space so I just use the down arrow key to place the cursor in the bottom portion of the text.

As for the justification, there isn’t an option for justification like that in LO but you could create the blocks of text as RTF files and set the justification in your text editor. This will also provide you with many more text format options such as multiple columns and line spacing control among other things.


Hi Dave,

Thanks for your response. I have found that even stretching the text box out way down doesnt allow me to click on the lower pieces of text. I think it may be because I have small text and when I initially select it, it gets larger in the editing mode and exceeds the original text box that bound it. Unless I add spaces after my existing text, I can’t select it.

Thanks for the suggestion on RTF files, I’ll see if this might be a good way to edit text and do the justification. I hope that in a future update LO can add this functionality!


I like the RTF insert option. Just make sure you don’t do anything to edit the text box in LO other than resizing it if needed. Then, if you need to make changes to the text, right click on it and open it in your text editor. Another cool feature with the RTF files is you can easily replace one RTF file reference with another.

Before you get too far with that, though, go to Edit>Preferences>Applications and select the desired Default Text Editor.

Personally, I hope they don’t add a lot to LO’s text editing capabilities. To make it really powerful they would need to nearly duplicate existing word processing programs and that would bloat LO and make it more complex. I like that you can leverage the text editor you’ve already got and probably already know how to use. the same applies for editing images, as well.


I’m having some trouble keeping my RTF formatting when I import. Is there something I have to specifically do? I have created an RTF file with text in columns but when I import there are no columns.

Thanks again!


Could you share the RTF file so I can see what you’ve got? Send it privately if you don’t want to make it public.

How are you creating the columns? Every RTF file I use in LO has columns and I don’t have any problems with them showing as columns.


Sure, that would be great! I tried attaching to this message but RTF is not an accepted file type. How can I send to you privately?


Heres a dropbox link to it if that works for you


What font and what font size are you seeing this problem with?


I’m using Georgia size 8. I didn’t even think that could be contributing to the problem. Any recommendation for font and size that might solve the problem?

UPDATE: I tried increasing size and changing to Arial but still no luck having the columns and justification transfer into LO properly


The font will contribute to the issue you’re seeing where you can’t click on the text - there are some rendering inaccuracies in the text editor that usually aren’t too bad, but can get really annoying. These inaccuracies are particularly noticeable for text blocks that have a lot of text wrapping.

About justification: strangely enough, the Mac version of LayOut allows justified text but the Windows version does not? That seems like a bug on our end, I’ll do a little investigation to see what’s going on there.



Thanks for the info Marc,

Yes, my text blocks are wrapping a lot because I have detailed construction notes laid out in three columns across an 11x17 landscape page. If you have a recommendation for the best font to avoid the rendering issues, please let me know. I am very open to using a different one.

If the windows version could incorporate justification that would be really great!


Didn’t know where to add this so adding it to this thread. In addition to some of the comments above about selecting the end of a text box I have a few things to add:

  • The cursor should automatically be visible when moving it around a text box; it seems that when using the arrow keys to move the cursor, the default behavior is to be not visible first, then blinking to visible. With Layout text editing already being kinda laggy, having to wait to see where your cursor is after using arrow keys to move it around is an inconvenience.

  • When trying to select and change specific characters, it seems that the default is to select the entire word when attempting to highlight. For making edits to repeated elements such as window dimension callouts this behavior is also annoying as it becomes necessary and quicker to individually change each character instead of simply highlighting the desired characters to change.


Wanted also to add that often when an entire word, line, or text box is highlighted, editing that text is not possible - sometimes - when attempting to type without first zooming in or out repeatedly while typing until the text is replaced. Of all the text edit bugs, this one is perhaps the most cumbersome. Do others have this problem?


@jsclark89 and @Marc: As for justification, last I checked there was easy text justification within Layout. I always set it by dragging with the text box tool from the direction I want the text justified to the opposite corner direction. That technique gives 4 options for justification. I never thought about center or distributed justification, but assumed there was a menu option for it. (I’m on my Mac or I’d check the PC Menu).



Are you on a Mac, I cannot get LO to recognise columns from my RTF. [W10]. Like javascriptClark89 I have set up my LIBREOFFICE RTF document to match A3 sheet with columns… but when imported into LO the columns are no longer there…??

PS, is the any way of flowing text from one box to another in LO…

I cannot find any help / reference re that?


I use both but mostly Win10. I create columns for tables using tabs.These are created in LibreOffice. I do that instead of inserting tables from xls files because I have better control over some format things in Writer.

No. There isn’t


So only way I can get a long specification note into LO from RTF is to

1] Insert the RTF

2] Adjust the text boxt width to column width [that now becomes mightly long]

3] Copy that text box multiple times to create columns

4] Then selectively delete all the text duplicated in the wrong column.

Then do it all again if the formatting or content changes

A simple FLOW TEXT option would be invaluable

[so much for LO’s parentage being DTP ]

Maybe better transfer this to 2018 Feature Request !

Anyone have a better methdology ?


I’ve asked for some option to be able to continue a single RTF file from one text box to another. Being able to crop the top lines like you can the bottom would be one way. It’s not there yet but it won’t be long and there’ll be a new version out. We’ll see what is available then.