Are page- and column-breaks considered members of direct formatting?
Here is a problem which cannot be solved exclusively with styles:
A book is made of a master document and (really) many subdocuments. The master contains the cover, various legalese, TOC and a preface. The subdocuments contain material which can be considered conceptually as chapters. All files are based on the same template, implying that all styles are shared.
The subdocuments are rather short. Globally they are a kind of library from which books with different content are made, some subdocuments are common to several books, albeit not always in the same position.
Per specification, subdocuments are required to start a new page. This is done by including a page break in the Heading 1 style. There is always an initial Heading 1 in subdocuments.
The formatting specification further requires that book pages are mirrored with page number at the outer margin. It is easy to use Right Page and Left Page page styles with footers respectively styled Right Footer and Left Footer. The “natural” alternation of the page styles does the job.
The first sub-document must start on a right page, which is traditionally done by configuring the Heading 1 page break to force Right Page page style. But since the sub-documents are rather short, frequently 3 or 4 pages long, there is a 50% probability that the page number parity will cause a blank page to be inserted. Considering the volume of the document, this leads to too many blank pages and to an unaccepted increased in the book thickness.
The solution is to specify a bare page break in Heading 1 so that there is no longer any parity issue. However, subdocuments will be formatted with the page style active before them. In this case the Preface page style which is different from the required Right Page and Left Page.
This is fixed by a direct formatting on the first paragraph of the first sub-document, adding a forced page style Right Page (with page number restart at 1). Then the alternation between Right Page and Left Page does the rest.
The question is:
I first always advocate against direct formatting because of the maintenance issue.
I would like to know if the manual page breaks are considered by Writer as Direct formatting or not.
It seems that
Clear direct formatting does not remove the manual break. But this manual break takes precedence over the one defined in the paragraph style (thus behaving like direct formatting).
Is this use legitimate is style-oriented formatted document?
Note that, in principle, there is only one such manual addition in the master, leaving the rest to styles.