Principle: Users shouldn't have to map their thinking process to the
computer. A good UI will map the data to intent to allow (as much as
possible) refinement in any order.
Beginning and ending tags of manual formatting versus styles are
clumsy to edit, and some of the rules can be awkward. This is where
trusty ol' Word Perfect had reveal codes. Given that the underlying data
is using an xml format, this is not a wild-eyed request. Simply display
things linked to a single tag, and allow a tag to be edited per an
appropriate style format dialog. An option to view the rules in play and
what styles/manual tags caused them would be grand.
Styles have rules in them, some of which are not obvious how to
separate, and none are obvious how to simply remove. Once a style has
been set to a differing font face from the parent style, for example,
it's not obvious how to remove the face change, say, but retain the
italics setting. The styles display a nice summary of the contained
rules, but deleting things from that list should be easier.
There needs to be a dialog of some sort one can call up that makes
removing rules or copying/moving rules to another style straightforward.
(Groups like font weight/slant/size should probably be lumped together.)
It would also be nice to get some options on the rule summary that
show the underlying rules & their defining styles that are overridden by
the rule in question and an option to show all rules defined by the
style and its inheritance. When there is no single value possible to
display, such as with character styles, a term like "Paragraph Defined"
Conditional Styles are currently bad about this. One may easily
define and use a style before realizing that it makes sense to rework
some of the logic and redefine a style to be conditional.
We need to make a few functions easy in the interface: copy style to new
name, copy some rules from style to a new name, and rework normal style
into a conditional one.
(I assume one can globally search for a style and replace it with
another, though I don't know how to do that without a macro, right now.)
A few dialogs would need to be written:
A dialog for deleting rules, and perhaps another for
moving/copying rules to other styles (also deleting them, presumably.)
When editing a style, the conditional style trait should simply
be a toggled state. One should just edit the style's conditions, one of
which, I guess, would be normal. (It could be in an "advanced" tab
hidden from a "simple" view, but I don't like doing that.) The interface
can look like this without a needing to change the lower level stuff,
either. The selection of conditional could trigger a new temporary style
which gains the rules, and becomes the default conditional style of the
new style, then replaces the original. Rename and done.
A display for the revealed formatting tags would need to be
worked out. (This COULD be some form of insertable mini-icons, (sorta
like spaces and tabs with revealed white-space characters) but that
seems a smidgen *too* terse.) This interface should allow any proper
movement of tags, as well as deletion.
These all sorta interact, so I'm placing them together for comment.
(Reveal codes should use the other dialogs, such as the 'copy rule into
new or existing style' and 'view style rule sources,' and so on. )
Mostly, this is to spawn ideas on how best to approach this issue. I
intend to consider further to cement more details.
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- [libreoffice-design] Writer: Styles & Formatting Ideas · Nathaniel Schultz
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