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I drew a mock-up for how an interface like this would work. Here it is: <>  

The first tab in the sidebar in this case is used to edit the current style,
while a toolbar at the bottom contains some reasonable direct formatting
options like bolding , italicizing, and highlighting, as well as a few other
actions that don't make sense in the sidebar, like adding in bullets and
numbering. The toolbar at the top contains actions that don't change and
that the user should always be able to do: creating/opening/saving documents
as well as undo/redoing and looking up help. I added an "insert" tab,
because that seemed to make sense as something the sidebar should be able to

This would all take a great deal of work to implement, but it would be worth
it. People have been wanting a newer, better UI from LibreOffice for a long
time. An interface like this would make using styles an essential part of
any users' work-flow, rather than pushing them to the side. It also takes
advantage of a large amount of wasted space and reduces the usage of
dialogs--which have the problem of blocking the document. 


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