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Writer: New template keeps reverting to default.

asked 2020-05-02 03:11:03 +0100

LCL999 gravatar image

updated 2020-07-12 02:17:04 +0100

Alex Kemp gravatar image

Using latest Writer ( (x64)) I'm trying to create a new template and have been following the guidelines in the Help pages. Nevertheless, whatever I do it keeps reverting to the styles in the default template. For example, I want Text Body and most Headings in Oranienbaum. I create a document with those styles and save it as a new template. When I reload that template the original text I entered is still in Oranienbaum, but if I hit Enter to start a new paragraph, and select, say, Heading 1, it has now reverted to the default Liberation Serif. If I then select Body Text as a style, it has now gone back to Liberation Serif. I have tried various variations of Template (ott) and Text (odt) files, but this problem persists. Using Windows 10. In detail, here is how to reproduce the problem.

In LibreOffice Writer

1) Click on File, New, Text Document

A new screen header "Untitled 4 - LibreOffice Writer appears.

A box, left-hand-most in 2nd row of icons says "Default Style" and to its right a box (the font box) says Liberation Serif and next box (the size box) says 12 for 12 point.

2) Click on the down arrow in that box. Drop-down list shows a variety of styles - Text Body, Title, etc.

3) Click on Text Body, click in the font box, choose, say, Georgia and size 11. Start typing. Text is now 11pt Georgia as selected.

4) Hit Enter for a new line. In style box choose "Title", then, say, Limelight and set size to 18. Start typing New text is 18 pt Limelight as selected. Hit enter for new line

5) Style box now shows "Text Body" but font is still Limelight, size is 12 (Not 11 as chosen for Georgio text body)

6) I would expect "Text Body" to remain at the last setting, i.e.Georgia 11 point. But now if I click on the style box and select "Text Body" it changes the font back to Liberation Serif, 12 point.

7) Similarly, if I choose "Title" after entering some body text I get the Liberation Sans font, not the Limelight I first set up.

So how do I set up Writer so that once having set a font-size combination for a particular style, I will always get that combination all the way through the document for that style?

I think that if I can fix this problem, then the problems I have with creating a template, which are similar, may also be solved.

(edited by ajlittoz for better readability)

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When I reload that template

What do you mean? Opening to modify the template or creating a new document based on this template? Which menu command do you use? What is your OS? Do you create a new document from the desktop with a right-click?

The answers should be provided either editing your question or commenting below. Don't use an answer which is reserved for solutions.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2020-05-02 08:15:06 +0100 )edit

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answered 2020-05-03 08:25:45 +0100

ajlittoz gravatar image

According to your description, you didn't modify the style definition. Instead, you first chose a style as it is currently defined (from the style drop-down menu) in step 2 and forced above it a different font (from the font drop-down menu) in step 3. The second action is called direct formatting.

You now have two formatting instructions applied to your text: a paragraph style in the lowest layer and this direct formatting at the highest level which overrides some attributes (here font face and size).

There is also another layer in-between, the character style, which you haven't used and is usually under estimated by newbies (mostly those coming from Word because this layer doesn't exist there).

Each layer is independent from each other. The attributes set remain set until they are modified.

  • In your step 4, you change both layers. When you type Enter, you trigger a special event coded in style Title which causes an automatic switch to paragraph style Text Body, thus changing the paragraph style layer, but the direct formatting layer has not been modified and keeps its overriding attributes.

  • Consequently, in step 5, your formatting context is Text Body (indents, spacing, alignment, ...) overridden by direct formatting (font face and size).

  • In step 6, when you reapply Text Body explicitly, this clears the direct formatting layer, as would Ctrl+M or Format>Clear Direct Formatting.

What you need to do is to customise the style definitions.

  • Display the style side pane with F11 or Format>Manage Styles if not already done
  • There is a toolbar at top of the list with small icons to display various categories, from left to right:

    • paragraph styles
    • character styles
    • frame styles
    • page styles
    • "list" styles (incorrectly named because these styles do not format lists but only the bullet or number of the list item)
    • table styles (but these are not really styles like the others but simply table templates)
    • ...
    • a down-pointing triangle at the extreme right (see below)
  • Ensure the paragraph list is displayed

  • Right-click on a style name and Modify

    You can now modify the style attributes. Click OK to save.

Your customisation is stored in the current document. This means it has to be done again in the next new document.

You can however copy styles from an existing document. Click on the rightmost down-pointing triangle in the style toolbar. Select Load Styles. Check all the boxes (most important of all is Overwrite) and push the From File button to designate the document containing your styles.

A more elaborate method is to create a template and eventually to make it your default template.

I recommend you read the Writer Guide for exhaustive information on styles and templates. The built-in help (F1) is also a valuable source of information but this is not a tutorial.

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Asked: 2020-05-02 03:11:03 +0100

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Last updated: May 03