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I think the problem is that we need to clearly define what goes into the
sidebar and stick to it. Basically, it needs to be designed. I would propose
one "home" tab, a "Styles" tab, a "Navigation" tab, and an "insert". The
home tab would have a quick styles selector,
bold/italic/underline/highlighting/bullets/etc, paragraph properties, and
page formatting options. The "home" tab would also change contextually based
off of what was highlighted/edited. For example, when a chart is being
edited, the contextual options would take the place of the formatting
options in the "home" tab, much like they do now in the formatting toolbar.
It might offer room for /limited/ customization, like the adding of
buttons/toolbars in a designated place. 

All in all, I think the sidebar is an issue of implementation. It offers
potential benefits, but it needs to be designed to work as an integrated
part of the LibreOffice UI in order to make sense. 


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