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How to mass change Visited/Unvisited Link Styles in Writer?

asked 2020-03-19 16:11:51 +0200

J-Ewing gravatar image

The default styles in Writer for links ("Internet Link", "Visited Internet Link") do not show up in the styles list like other styes, and there doesn't appear to be any way to mass modify those styles for formatting of all occurrences in the same document. The only way I've found to do this so far is the very tedious process of selecting each text string with a defined link and manually editing the character attributes to change the default hyperlink styles for visited and unvisted link to a different user-defined style. Am I overlooking something, or is it really this difficult? The default styles for links make the text in many documents almost unreadable, and in some contexts one doesn't want to visually distinguish visited/unvisited links.

This seems to be a generic problem when you need to change many disconnected parts of a document from a default style to some user-defined style, which is an issue one frequently encounters with when combining text from a variety of sources. What would really be nice in cases like this would be a "Style Find & Replace" that would replace all usage of one style, including default styles, with another style in contexts where the styles are compatible.

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I now see how to do mass replace with Find & Replace using the "paragraph styles" option to replace for example "Heading 1" with "My Heading 1" everywhere, but it only gives that option for paragraph styles that are recognized as being in the current document not for character-level styles, so that can't be done for hyperlink character styles. Perhaps the real problem here is that all character styles options, Except hyperlink overrides, can be specified at the paragraph style level. The hyperlink character style overrides (not the URL link itself) should also be part of the paragraph style options and this is where the default "Internet Link" and "Visited Internet Link" defaults should be specified. The Character-level settings for the actual link should be null for those settings unless the paragraph style settings need to be overridden, and if they are, that should also go on "Clear Direct Formatting"

J-Ewing gravatar imageJ-Ewing ( 2020-03-19 17:04:33 +0200 )edit

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answered 2020-03-19 16:41:31 +0200

ajlittoz gravatar image

Your question present various understanding issues because it is not descriptive enough.

The default styles in Writer for links ("Internet Link", "Visited Internet Link") do not show up in the styles list

Do you mean the dropdown menu in the toolbar? In the side list?

You must remember that Internet Link and Visited Internet Link are Character Styles. As such, they will not be displayed in the toolbar menu, which only holds paragraph styles. To make them visible in the side pane, you must click on the second small icon of the style toolbar.

Then, you just need to right-click on the name and Modify to your taste. You can even make them ineffective so that the underlying paragraph and character styles are the only ones in control. The internet styles are special: they are the only ones which are overlaid above character styles (thus allowing to have two character styles with cumulative effects in this unique context). To make the styles "ineffectiv", press the Standard button in every tab of the style definition.

"Style Find & Replace" that would replace all usage of one style

This is presently only possible for paragraph styles, unfortunately not for character styles.

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answered 2020-03-19 17:53:41 +0200

J-Ewing gravatar image

The cases where I've really needed this feature involved starting with HTML documents that were extensively modified and converted to ODS. If I instead start with a blank document and add some text with hyperlinks, I find that the character styles list actually shows the "Internet Link" and "Visited Internet Link" characters styles, and they can be modified for mass changes. When editing the specific series of ODS documents I had that were derived from HTML, I now notice that the Manage Styles list of character styles has blank lines where the "Internet Link" and "Visited Internet Link" styles should have been! Comparing it to the list I had from the other document, I tried clicking on the blank lines and the missing "Internet Link" or "Visited Internet Link" styles magically appeared and could be modified.

Turns out the font color attributes for those styles in the derived document somehow ended up with a setting of "white", effectively making their WYSIWYG display in the Mange Styles list to be invisible! Without a native ODS document styles list for comparison, you would never realize the styles were there.

I think my earlier comment is still valid in that for consistency the hyperlink character styles should normally come from a hyperlink section on the paragraph style and that be the level at which the default "Internet Link" and "Visited Internet Link" should be specified. The corresponding values at the Character level would only be used for direct formatting overrides of paragraph style options, like all of the other Character level options, except for a hyperlink URL.

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To avoid this kind of inconvenience, I always uncheck Show previews because I'm interested in the style name, not its appearance. In my workflow, appearance is settled in the template and never modified in documents. Thus, for speed styling, I only need the "semantic-oriented" style name.

Now, about character attributes in paragraph styles; what you define here will style the whole paragraph content. There is no context dependence about which attributes apply to which. Try to imagine the difficulty to implement it and, worse, the difficulty to find a consensus among users about the context rules.

The present model is much simpler in both ways: a character style defines overrides against the paragraph attributes. The range of application is the sequence of characters marked up by the char style.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2020-03-19 20:18:40 +0200 )edit

As I mentioned, intenet styles are special because LO offers a "deactivatable" feature (see Tools>AutoCorrect>AutoCorrect Options, Options tab URL recognition) to automatically emphasise URLs, adding an extra layer of styling. This may be overkill when only typographical emphasising is concerned, but it creates also an hyperlink without the need to fiddle around. This goodie is really worth it for people with document full of URLs wanting to be able to launch a web brwser by a mere control-click.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2020-03-19 20:24:09 +0200 )edit

PS: you're talking about ODS documents. Extension .ods is for spreadsheets (Calc documents) and your question is tagged writer. Is it a typo? Should I change my answer to target Calc?

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2020-03-19 20:32:15 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2020-03-19 16:11:51 +0200

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Last updated: Mar 19