Just want to make sure I will not break something in my document… When we format a single paragraph it is still assigned to whatever paragraph style it was assigned to correct? But the formatting we make to it only applies to that paragraph and that paragraph is still bound to its assigned paragraph style? If so as far as what? I tried changing font of the main paragraph style but it doesn’t effect the section I changed but still it appears as if the default paragraph style is assigned to it (that was the style before change anyway)
Formatting in Writer is “layered” with upper layers overriding lower layers.
At bottom, you have paragraph styles; above it, character styles; at top, direct formatting.
Taking the example of font face, you define your default in the paragraph style. You can change it in the direct formatting layer. You then see this latter font face because it hides those in deeper layers (but it doesn’t change those definitions).
Change now the font face in the paragraph style. This will change the look of non-overridden paragraphs. But the paragraphs were you applied direct formatting will keep their direct formatting.
Direct formatting is not your friend. When working with elaborate (or long-standing) documents, don’t direct format because it will always play some trick on your back and, at least, will cause a huge burden on document maintenance. Direct formatting should only be used to experiment with formatting features to quickly see the result.
Direct formatting is not controlled centrally. The only available action is
Clear direct formatting.
Direct formatting has been offered to ease transition from Word (because Word has no character style layer) and should be converted as soon as possible to character styles. Writer is based on styles which open much wider formatting versatility and possibilities (e.g. with the page, frame and list styles, all unknown to Word).
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