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Hi, Steve!

On Sun, 22 May 2011 17:25:09 -0700, Steve Edmonds
<> wrote:
The documentation at doesn't explain how they work and possibly if I can gain a better understanding I can update the wiki with a view to distilling the information I garner into something simple for the bulk of average users.

Page 5 explains pretty much everything, I think.

Maybe it is clearer to say it this way: styles set defaults for a "kind"
of paragraph, so you can have all your titles look the same.

You apply the paragraph style "Heading 1" to all your first-level
headings. You can redefine the "Heading 1" with different attributes (like
bold and some top spacing) and you will see all of them being uniformly
updated. If you don't apply any kind of direct formatting, all will look
the same.

For paragraph attributes (indents, tabs, spacing...) the computed
attributes will be those applied by the paragraph style, overridden by
whatever direct paragraph formatting (indents, etc.) you apply.

For character attributes (bold, font size...) the computed attributes will
be those set by the paragraph style, overridden by those set by the
character style, and then overridden by whatever direct formatting.

Just consider the following: A style will inherit all undefined attributes
from its parent style (which, in turn, may inherit attributes from its own
parent style, up the way to Default).

These are the basics, but should get you started. If you know HTML/CSS,
styles are similar to classes.

As this ultimately may end up with design consequences, should the discussion be in one list or the other of both?

Design, I think. Other people have suggested some ideas. Some good, some
not so much.

To start with, what is the underlying construction of the document. It would seem that document features have styles associated. Do styles modify the document construction on application (or modification) of the style or do the styles work in layers like a filter.

No, it's not that complicated. Paragraph styles are just a collection of
formatting attributes (text flow attributes like "keep with next" are also
formatting attributes) that get defined with a name, and then, applied to
any paragraph.

Some functions may use styles, like, the Table of Contents field will use
Contents 1 to N, and hyperlinks will use the Hyperlink style.

I.e. a line of text entered initially in a default document has a certain indent. If I adjust the slider on the ruler it changes the indent. If I apply a paragraph style it changes the indent. Does applying the style change the basic indent value or override the basic value. If the style is removed, does the indent revert to the basic value.

Two mistakes here.

First, there is no "basic indent". If you do those steps in order, when
you change the paragraph style indent you will not see any different
because it is already overridden by whatever value you set by sliding the

Second, styles don't get "removed". You are ALWAYS using a style. People
who never apply styles will just be overriding the attributes from the
"Default" style all over the document.

If I apply a paragraph style and then a list style, do these subsequently override the indent. Are they hierarchical so no matter what later change I make to the paragraph style my override by the last applied list style maintains the indent.

I would say that those are not mixed, but I'm not sure about this. Try
it for yourself.

Hope this helps.

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