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Writer: documentation for built-in styles

asked 2015-11-02 09:44:11 +0200

ajlittoz gravatar image

updated 2015-11-02 17:22:45 +0200


I went thoroughly through the latest Writer guide (WG40-WriterGuideLO.pdf, no WG 5.0 as of now) and did not find description of the built-in styles (paragraph, character, pages, frame and list).

What I am looking for is the intended use of these various styles so that I can minimise the number of custom styles and try to have "standard" (if such a word has an agreed meaning here) documents. Apart from Default style (with its obvious intent of "no-style" or root of every other), Heading x and partially Marginalia, there is nothing in the guide.

Is there any document describing the intended semantics of built-in styles?

Update: using the built-in styles is a requirement in international context like FOSS since built-in style names get translated while custom style name are not. Consequently, a co-writer using a different native language can better understand why a particular style is used. Here we meet the intended use-case behind the built-in style and the specific use by the original contributor. Presently, I solve that with a guideline document for writers, but I may deviate from the initial intent.

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Same question asked here.

oweng gravatar imageoweng ( 2015-12-17 13:50:40 +0200 )edit

@oweng Glad to see you're still active on the forum. Yes, your link is exactly the same request.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2015-12-18 09:07:19 +0200 )edit

@ajlittoz I have written a more detailed response about why there are no such definitions available but have not posted it as it tends to become a bit of a rabbit hole. There are several related factors but the essence is essentially legacy / historic.

oweng gravatar imageoweng ( 2015-12-25 11:25:06 +0200 )edit

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answered 2015-11-03 13:30:23 +0200

Sveinn í Felli gravatar image

You seem to get to a reasonable conclusion in your update.

I don't know of any single document describing the intended use of styles, but I know this was discussed a bit on one of the LibreOffice mailinglists some weeks ago (sorry, seems I can't find a pointer right now). There was also a discussion here on, where there are links to bugreports which may clarify a bit.

It's also possible that the styles are part of the OASIS OpenDocument standard definitions, which I have not really dwelved into.

Hope this helps a little.

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I had a quick look to OASIS definition (essentially the table of contents) and it seems to me that it only gives very general orientations for styles. Their actual definition is left to the implementation and many choices are possible. Some of them may even be totally arbitrary (no more rational argument could be develop in the end to opt for an alternative and one was chosen because a decision had to be made).

(to be cont. because of max comment length)

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2015-11-04 09:48:03 +0200 )edit

I am presently on a heavy documentation task and, though I base the work on a template from a previous project, my style usage is different, perhaps even contradictory with the initial (personal) intent. See a discussion with @oweng about list style understanding.

This is why an "orientation document" is needed.

If you can give me leads to the information, I volunteer to write this document.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2015-11-04 09:53:31 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2015-11-02 09:44:11 +0200

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Last updated: Nov 03 '15