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I would like to suggest two wee changes to your treatment of templates in the February 2021 edition of "Getting Started with LibreOffice 7.0".


When managing LibreOffice /Writer/ templates, it is helpful to understand that /Writer/ usually identifies templates by the title of the template, not the file name.

The titles of template are what is on display when you open /Writer/'s *Templates* window. To open that window you follow, for example, *File → New → Templates* or *File → Templates → Manage Templates*.

A convenient way of starting a new document from a template is to use the computer's file manager to locate the template file and then to double-click it. This is arguably quicker than laboriously opening /Writer/, following *File → New → Templates* and then navigating to where the template is located.

Furthermore, to create a template, it is possible to avoid following *File → Templates → Save as Template* by following *File → Save As* and selecting .ott from the unlabelled list in the unlabelled window. Doing that can be convenient, especially if you want to place templates in places outside of the usual template directories.

The problem is that you can (1) create a template with a file name different from the template's title, (2) create more than one template with the same title but different file names or even (3) create a template with a file name but no title. If you now try to start a new document (*File → New → Templates*) from one of these templates, /Writer/'s *Templates* window shows the title in the first case, one of the files in the second case and the file name in the third case. On the other hand, if you simply double-click the file name in the file manager, /Writer/ starts a new document from any of the files.

Of course if you create a template by following *File → Templates → Save as Template*, /Writer/ assigns the same file name and document title to the template and the *Templates* window then identifies templates unambiguously. I imagine that is the way /Writer/'s software architect wants us all to work.

Convenience leads some of us to find other ways to avoid laboriously toiling through /Writer/'s labyrinthine menus. Of course, from your point of view, when trying to document the way /Writer/ is to be used, you have to write up the official method. But, to help maverick users and skim-readers, I hope you will allow me to suggest the following small changes to the document.

*Suggested changes*

(I)   On page 72, under "What are templates? Why use them?", add one of your little notes to the effect:

      "When you select a template for a document, be aware that the names that LibreOffice offers for selection are the titles of template documents, not the names of template files."

(II)  On page 79 under "Renaming a template", change the text to read:

      1. *File → Templates → Manage Templates*.

      2.  In *Templates*, right-click the template and click *Rename*.

      3.  Type a new name and click *OK*.

      Observe that the title of the template (*File → Properties → Description*) has now changed to the name you typed at Step 3 but the file name has not changed.


That's it.

In "Renaming a template" I think you should spell out the procedure. A cautionary tale: I wanted to learn how to rename a template, so I looked up "Organising Templates" in the Table of Contents, jumped to that heading and skimmed down through the document until I found "Renaming a template". I read that topic without reading anything else. The text looked like it was talking about the file manager —endless confusion was the result. I make no apology for trying to read your document in the way I did. If one just wants to know how to do something, skim-reading is the modern way.

The 'observation' added at the bottom of (II) covers the way my current version of Writer works (Version The way it works might be a bug as it is not consistent with the way *File → New → Templates* labels titles and files.


John Parker



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