# Why does formatting show attributes of both Paragraph and Character styles? [closed]

It looks like when the paragraph style is Default, the character style prevails (except for the Default character style, which is linked to the Default paragraph style).

However, when a paragraph style other than Default is applied, the result appears to be a combination of attributes.

Example:
Text with Table Index Heading (paragraph style: Liberation Sans, 14 point, no italics) combined with Quotation (character style: Liberation Serif, 12 point, italics).

The resulting text is 14 points, like the paragraph style, and italicized, like the character style.

Perhaps it is helpful to work like this way, but to avoid surprises, I need to understand the logic. I have been searching for a clear explanation and not found one.

I would deeply appreciate a clear explanation of how paragraph and character styles are supposed to work together. Which takes precedence when? For which attributes?

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### Closed for the following reason the question is answered, right answer was accepted by Alex Kemp close date 2020-10-27 22:07:27.979469

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Character style is applied atop of paragraph style, so all settings defined in the character style have precedence over those defined in paragraph style. But note, that a character style does not need to define every setting, and, e.g., Quotation only defines Italic by default, but no other properties like size or font (see Organizer tab).

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Hi Mike, That makes a lot of sense. Thank you for the rapid response.

After looking at the Organizer page, I am now unclear about something else: What determines the attributes contained in a character style?

I will post separately so that others can see the answer. Thanks again.

( 2018-01-30 01:53:18 +0200 )edit

One more thing. Do you happen to have seen a clear description or graphic that shows how the various styles fit together? It would sure be helpful for me and many others. The documentation I have seen doesn't do that in one place.

( 2018-01-30 01:59:42 +0200 )edit

I gave a thorough description here.

This answer could be extended with @Regina's one about multiple character styles.

You can view the styles categories as ordered layers, the shallower taking precedence on deeper. Only explicitly set attributes shadow those below (otherwise they are "transparent").

To be complete, attributes can be reverted to "transparent" state (which is different from explicitly forced "not set" value) with Standard button (one page at a time).

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Thank you so much. I have been compiling useful explanations about various aspects of how styles. I had already included yours--in fact, it is one of the best I have found. Regina's explanation is also useful, although I don't completely understand it.

Once I have a better understanding, my goal is to write something up that addresses many of the style/formatting problems that people ask about in the forums. Any more explanations would be appreciated.

( 2018-01-30 20:41:39 +0200 )edit

The lack of clear documentation about these issues is surprising. I would like to help address that problem.

I keep thinking that graphics about the logic would be quite helpful. Any thoughts or examples?

( 2018-01-30 20:45:42 +0200 )edit

Once you have something, I volunteer to proof-reading your memo. That was also something on my todo list. I'd like to write a few cheat sheets with graphics and pointers as to where to find the menu command/dialog to change such and such aspect.

Up to now, I lacked some incentive to start working and you could be the right trigger.

( 2018-01-30 20:52:17 +0200 )edit

That would be great! Thank you for the offer.

This is taking a while because it takes so much time to pull information together from various sources and to also ask a lot of questions, such as in this post.

Because I don't understand this very well, I think I am in a good position to detect when various explanations fail to articulate the underlying logic. It is the underlying logic and structure that need to be spelled out.

My motto in this effort: ignorance is strength!

( 2018-01-30 23:44:36 +0200 )edit

Do you happen to have expertise in graphic design?

( 2018-01-30 23:46:38 +0200 )edit

None at all, this ismy biggest handicap. As long as it is a matter of technical drawing, no problem, but when it comes to artistic decoration ...

( 2018-01-31 08:00:28 +0200 )edit

Could you make a technical drawing that shows how settings flow through the layers of styles?

( 2018-01-31 18:21:59 +0200 )edit

For such matter-of-fact illustration, I think so

( 2018-01-31 21:31:47 +0200 )edit

Do you think you could create an illustration that shows the relationships among paragraph, character, and list styles as well as direct formatting? Doesn't have to be beautiful but something to start with would be quite helpful.

( 2018-02-02 00:02:00 +0200 )edit

I could email you but don't see how to do that through this system. Do you know if there is a way?

( 2018-02-02 00:02:48 +0200 )edit