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Why is "clone formatting" almost useless?

asked 2015-09-23 02:34:06 +0200

registrationsucks gravatar image

So I am a very capable user of MSWord; been formatting large and complex docs on that platform for decades. I've switched to LO and am really excited about moving quickly away from MS.

I've been having a good time with writer and don't complain too much about its differences. I really appreciate the considerable effort that has been sustained over the last several years to move the product along. What escapes me is that the FORMATTING PAINTBRUSH, or CLONE FORMATTER doesn't do what I think it is supposed to do.

Here is a typical scenario. I'm formatting a short document that I have typed and I don't bother setting up and using styles. Instead I simply get a paragraph set with the font, size, line spacing, etc. I want to use the PAINTBRUSH or CLONE tool to copy the formatting that I have from that paragraph to the others in the document. About all I get is the font size, or so it seems.

Why doesn't this tool take ALL of my formatting values, not just changes but ALL OF THE VALUES, and then apply them to what gets painted?

I think I read somewhere that I can contort fingers to perform some OPTION-CONTROL-BACKWARDS-TRIPLE-LINDY-CLICK when using this tool and I'll get more than the default.

Without getting everything, this tool is useless for me. What gives? Can I permanently fix this?

thanks

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You should pick one of the answers so others can benefit from them. Thanks.

Kruno gravatar imageKruno ( 2016-09-15 17:18:29 +0200 )edit

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answered 2015-09-30 17:48:05 +0200

this post is marked as community wiki

This post is a wiki. Anyone with karma >75 is welcome to improve it.

I can't upvote, so I'll reply, hoping to garner some attention to this. It's the only reason I joined this forum. In MS Word, one can copy and paste formatting (which includes indenting and, most of all, line spacing.) I often have several paragraphs (with things like bullet points) that need to be identically formatted. I typically adjust one and then paste the format to the other paragraphs. I'm used doing this to all (or at least several) and only then checking whether the visual feel is as I want it. Without this feature, trial and error is very tedious, forI have to change line spacing in all the items to 0.04, then checking whether it works, then going to 0.06 in all paragraphs one by one.This is especially important in presentations. Impress doesn't even have the format paintbrush. It being only available in Writer is not ideal but workable, as I can always cut and paste. Is any solution on the works? I've installed a linux distribution (Ubuntu) and it would gut me to go back to Windows (which I'll resist until the very end), but without this I can't honestly tell people what I want to tell them, namely that the fully open-source LibreOffice has every feature MS Office does, and hence that there's no need for office computers to run Windows (which is very expensive.)

Any way, thank you so much for the work you've done so far. You have a 4.5 stars Office Suite which I believe is better than MS Office. Unfortunately, getting people to change software is hard (like languages, only the second one is hard to learn) and so Libre Office is going to be held to a higher standard than MS Office. It sucks, but it's how it is.

Thanks everyone who's part of the development of the software, this community and this forum,

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answered 2016-09-14 09:27:02 +0200

ajlittoz gravatar image

updated 2016-09-14 09:28:20 +0200

The main differrence between M$ Word and LO is the number of formatting layers.

In M$Word, you have only one, therefore copying or cloning format properties is easy and unambiguous.

In LO, you have three: paragraph, character, manual (or "direct formatting*). Consequently, when you try to clone, which layer do you copy?

As pointed out by @Kruno, LO chooses character as it makes sense: you can set paragraph style from the menu. But I would guess, it clones only direct formatting on the same ground as paragraph style: a named character style can also be set from the menu.

Unless you are writing a short document which will be thrown away as soon as it is sent/printed, I'd recommend using styles. You can design your styles in a "representative" document and afterwards load them from there in new documents (or open the old document and rewrite it, with the risk of erasing the original) if you don't want to invest into template management.

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answered 2016-09-13 22:10:01 +0200

larkguit gravatar image

It's just "we're linux so f* how Office does it" thinking

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answered 2016-09-14 04:32:38 +0200

mark_t gravatar image

Use Styles, its so much easier than copying and pasting formats to multiple places in your document. You can even just use the default "Text Body" for all your paragraphs. After you change the format of one paragraph, use "Styles". "Update Styles" instead of copy and pasting formats to multiple paragraphs.

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I completely backup this recommendation. Even for one-shot document, using styles is THE solution. You can do with 3-4 styles in a letter for example.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2016-09-14 09:14:58 +0200 )edit
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answered 2016-09-14 06:13:18 +0200

Kruno gravatar image

updated 2016-09-14 06:15:23 +0200

By default, LO copies only character formating, not the paragraph style.

To get what you want, try CTRL + mouse click and that will include paragraph formating. Or do CTRL + SHIFT + mouse click for copying paragraph formating. I don't know what is the difference.

Read Help pages on copying attributes with the format paintbrush.

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Did help a lot thanks!

Kresten Skovsted gravatar imageKresten Skovsted ( 2017-08-02 13:58:56 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2015-09-23 02:34:06 +0200

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Last updated: Sep 14 '16