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On 10/06/2015 13:41, Pedro Rosmaninho wrote:
I guess it is controversial because there's a hostility of some LO users to
allow direct formatting of the document instead of resorting to Styles.
Therefore, some people consider that direct formatting should be hidden?

It is also an accessibility issue. If you make text bold and big instead
of using a proper heading style, it is much harder for software (e.g.
assistive technologies such as screenreaders, but also software that
converts word processing files to DAISY books) to figure out that
something is a heading. In fact, this category of software relies on
correct styles to figure out what kind of structure is being used.

This is why people have created accessible authoring guidelines such as
these <> (I contributed to these
guidelines) and an accessibility checker such as AccessODF
<> (sadly no longer compatible since
the introduction of the sidepanel from Lotus Symphony).
Similar issues exist in web content, which is why we have guidelines
such as WCAG <> (also an ISO standard) and

However, many users do prefer to use direct formatting and competing Office
suites provide easy access to direct formatting. I don't know why
developers consider this to be a wrong approach?
Making the access to direct formatting more difficult would just draw
people away from LO to closed source office suites.
And removing direct formatting just to make people more aware of Styles????

Most people don't know what direct formatting (as opposed to the use of
proper styles) is, so the preferred approach should be to make the use
of proper styles as easy and intuitive as possible.

Best regards,


wow. Is there a more heavy handed top-down approach from developers to
force users to do things as they want to? Christ.

If you want to make Styles more used than redesign the Sidebar for Styles
and Formatting into something more intuitive. The way as it is presented
now is completely unintuitive compared with the Properties tab where you
clearly know what pressing the Bold button will do for example.

If you want users to use Styles then strongly improve the UX of the Sidebar
pane, allow for easy visualization of different styles and easy change of
Style of each component.

On Wed, Jun 10, 2015 at 12:07 PM, Jay Philips <> wrote:

Hi Sophie,

On 06/07/2015 11:22 PM, Sophie wrote:

The promise, at the time, was to re-start the survey to obtain more
accurate statistics (I cannot remember the discussion word by word as
too much time and too many things have gone by). I suppose that some
objections coming from Sophie reflect those objections from the

Yes, I'm on my way to ask the FR community to react on that, mostly
those in real contact with users, doing migrations and training. Not
because we want to rely only on users feedback but also on the
robustness of our document roundtrip and exchanges, and for that, we
know that styles are the common sense to treat them.

Look forward to the feedback.

 Unfortunately, the survey was never re-started because of the Oracle
acquisition and the subsequent turmoil inside StarDivision and inside
the community.

That would be a great thing to do a survey now that people are more
aware of the necessity to communicate in different environments.

Jay, I'll answer your details tomorrow, but about direct formatting,
that was one of the most controversial thing to add it to the sidebar so
prominently. Most of the training material available remove the
formating toolbar to make people aware of styles...

Dont see why it would be controversial when all other office suites that
utilize sidebars (iWork, Calligra) have direct formatting in the sidebar.
The sad thing is that paragraph and character styles dropdown lists arent
present in the sidebar's properties tab.


Christophe Strobbe
Akademischer Mitarbeiter
Responsive Media Experience Research Group (REMEX)
Hochschule der Medien
Nobelstraße 10
70569 Stuttgart
Tel. +49 711 8923 2749

“It is possible to make a living making free software for freedom 
instead of closed-source proprietary malware for cops.” 
Jacob Appelbaum, 

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