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Avoid style being changed all the time

asked 2019-11-22 12:04:50 +0100

groovier gravatar image

Hi, this is my #1 annoying LibreOffice problem:

  1. Type something using Default Style.
  2. Select a Character Style that uses another font - in my case, "Source Text".
  3. Type something using the Character Style.
  4. Select Format → Clear Direct Formatting to end using the Character Style.
  5. Type something.

At 4, I expect the Default Style to be back. Instead, I get text with the font used by "Source Text". The only way I can get the Default Style back to normal is:

  • Go back to the first text where the Default Style looked normally and see what the name of the Default Style is (I'm not good at remebering such things).
  • Manually scrolling the font dropdown until I find the correct font.

Now, if you have to do this five or ten times per day, it starts getting really irritating. There must be a better way, but how?

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answered 2019-11-22 12:26:26 +0100

Applying a character style is not a direct formatting. Any text in Writer is thought* to have some style - and reverting to Default style is done by applying the Default style. Just double-click the Default style in character styles list when you need to end the previous style.

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I was two seconds from writing "That does not solve my problem" - but then I realized that there is also something called "Default Style" in the Character Styles list (I first tried in the Paragraph Styles list). Double-clicking "Default Style" in the Character Styles list actually solved my problem.

I don't think I'll ever fully understand the concepts behind styles in LibreOffice, but as long as I can get the basic things to work I'm fine, so thanks for this tip.

groovier gravatar imagegroovier ( 2019-11-22 13:09:21 +0100 )edit

@groovier I did not find an enhancement request about this, which is quite strange (maybe my search skills are failing me), so I created one:

Bug 128960 - Editing: Add a more clear way to clean character styles

RGB-es gravatar imageRGB-es ( 2019-11-22 13:59:13 +0100 )edit

@groovier: styling is quite easy when you understand there are three layers. See my answer to this question which is identical to yours.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-11-22 14:34:44 +0100 )edit

Reading the comment above I realize that in most cases I shouldn't use character style at all, but just paragraph style. The reason why I used character style was that I needed a style for source code (I'm a developer), and "Source Text" is only available as a character style. However, a style called "Preformatted Text" _is_ available as paragraph style, and this style in fact suits my needs even better since it's smaller, so I'll just use that instead.

groovier gravatar imagegroovier ( 2019-11-23 09:18:11 +0100 )edit

@RGB-es For me, what I tried to do to make the unwanted character style go away (Format -> Clear Direct Formatting) intuitively felt like the right thing to do. So one proposal for a UI enhancement could be to make a similar option in the Format menu called Clear Character Style. Another option - to avoid having two very similar menu items - could be to replace Clear Direct Formatting with a menu item called "Clear Local Formatting". This could bring up a dialog where you could choose to clear either character style or direct formatting or both.

groovier gravatar imagegroovier ( 2019-11-23 09:48:02 +0100 )edit

@groovier: I feel very reluctent about your proposal because it may confuse much more users (at least those trying to implement a rigorous workflow). The intended method in Writer is the use of styles. Direct formatting is only offered to temporarily bridge the gap between Word-accustomed new users and Writer-regulars. It should be considered as an emergency workaround when in haste or experimenting. Offering a feature leveraging use of direct formatting will rather prove harmful in the long run.

I am not totally against direct formatting (because some advanced properties can only be set through direct formatting) but it should not be routinely used as it creates more maintenance/editing problems than it solves.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-11-23 10:26:25 +0100 )edit
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Asked: 2019-11-22 12:04:50 +0100

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Last updated: Nov 22