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Re: [tdf-discuss] LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented


2010/11/4 Michel Gagnon <michel@mgagnon.net>:
- Take this text and assume I want to emphasize one word. I could simply do
Ctl-I and get the text in Italics or define a character style and apply it.
The character style may be warranted, but it's a multi-step process, and
quite frankly, if I decide further down the road to change the entire text
from Cambria to Bodoni, the text in Italics will change accordingly and the
text defined with a character style may not change appropriately (it may
stay in Cambria Italics).

Well, that's simply not true: if you link the character style to
"Predefined" and just change the attribute, the font will be picked
from the underlining paragraph.
Styles are far more flexible than most people think. The problem with
them is not features nor "corner case" solutions, problem with styles
in Writer is nowadays a documentation problem and a not so clear user
interface.
For example, defining headers and footers "by hand" on a large
document where you need different page layouts is impossible, you MUST
use page styles... but new users get confused. Why? There are several
reasons, but for example you can activate headers or footers on the
page style but you cannot set its content... Why do I need to go to
the page style to activate the header and then to the real page to
give it content? ask users. There are two possible answers for that:
- The MSWord solution where there are no page styles and you do all
the page setup by hand.
- Add to the page style editor the ability to set header/footer contents.
I prefer the second option best.

- In Desktop publishing, there are times when fragments of text are out of
context (ad, poster...). I find it easier not to have a base style for these
because neither paragraph nor font information is linked to the rest of the
text.

Writer is not a DPT tool. DPT tools are "page oriented" while Writer
is "text oriented". You can of course use Writer in combination with
Scribus, obtaining amazing results. Maybe we need to think about
better integration between these two wonderful opensource apps.


Finally, if we need to train people to the proper use of word-processing
software, I would suggest that emphasis be given, in order to the following
"nasty" habits:
– proper use of spaces and punctuation (hyphen vs n-dash vs m-dash);
– proper use of indents and tabulations (many people still use spaces or
default tabs in succession);
– proper use of "space before paragraph" and paragraph-chaining options such
as "keep with next paragraph", rather than paragraph returns in series.
All these make document modification harder than it needs to be. A couple of
short videos might even help educate people very quickly.

Fully agree.

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