we have to convert a complex (I mean a file, with a lot of images, links, headers, footers, etc) from LO 5.3 to Word.
During conversion we have a lot of problems. The formatting is all messed up.
If formatting, images, etc. are anchored to the page, rather than to a paragraph or character, there is a lower likelihood of the formatting getting messed up when converting to Word docs. Also, the fonts used should have identical fonts in Word. Keeping the formatting as simple as possible, such as using only one Style for the entire document and keeping word wrap on images inline, will also reduce formatting inconsistencies when converting.
Even Word files being read on an earlier version of Word can have formatting issues. If your files are read only and not going to be edited (other than adding comments) after being converted to Word, I suggest converting the file to PDF (keep the original .odt file for editing and backup). PDFs preserve all formatting and are cross platform (they can be read in pretty much any OS without formatting issues). Most PDF readers can add comments to PDFs if the files are being sent out just for that purpose.
+1, though I don’t see a purpose in using only a single style.
Multiple styles in a document increase the chances for formatting glitches when converting from one platform to another.
Well, that’s similar to asking to only use one paragraph for all text, because multiple paragraphs … (well, you know). Better yet, try to restrict a doc to a single character for that reason.
Actually, likelihood of glitches depends not on number of styles, but on using styles features not supported by other app. Given that styles are in the heart of LibreOffice, I suppose that suggestion to restrict their usage is bad (unlike the rest of advise).
Given that I find styles to be a confusing pain in the neck (polite term) and have had problems trying to make sense of them in LO, (I also hated them in Word, but for other reasons), I feel your answer to be a bit condescending and facetious. It’s much easier and less stressful to just stick to the default style and format on the fly, which works just fine.
That said, your second paragraph is probably correct.
It would be offtopic here, but…
Styles are one of most powerful concepts behind LO. They do require some training, and some specific order of thinking about your document. Without these, they may seem inconvenient, unnatural and all. But actually they are what really makes the difference between a tweet and an electronic document.
They are not always faster for any single action. And that is what often creates a feeling that they are needless hassle. But I am sure that they are advantageous in the longer run, in 99% of cases, even if it seems initially that every single formatting takes slightly less when applied without styles.
Unfortunately, too often the real advantage may only be seen when everything has already been formatted directly, so one cannot realize what one had lost.
So, I only can advise to try to forget your previous unpleasant experience, and give it another try. Feel free to ask, and be open to another modus operandi, and that will pay.
I stumbled on something that pretty much solved another problem I was having and might work here. Try making a Writer template from a blank Word doc. and use it to make the documents you plan on converting to Word. That may take care of any Style incompatibilities.
A suggestion is: if you need to use different applications with any single document, then you need a thoughtful planning beforehand, evaluation a common set of features that work correctly when round-tripped between these applications, and after identifying those, stick to those in work. It’s expected that supporting an external format will never be ideal.
Thank you for suggestions!