Thank you for your thoughtful suggestions and detailed explanations.
Good timing! I have started updating the chapter in the Writer 7.1
Guide, which is very similar to the one in the Getting Started 7.0
book. I have responded to some of your comments inline below.
On Thu, Mar 4, 2021 at 6:49 PM John Parker <email@example.com> wrote:
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.
If you start a new document from a template in that way, the document
is not associated with, or linked to, the template. This is often not
a problem (indeed, irrelevant), but the effect is different. Using
templates in the way described in the chapter does keep the
association or link between the document and the chapter.
That said, I realise that many (perhaps most) people use templates the
way you describe, and have no need to keep the association/link, so we
should say something about it in the chapter.
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.
This method results in a similar situation: a template that is not
associated/linked with any document created from it.
I think I had some info about this difference in an earlier version of
the Writer Guide, but it's no longer there - probably removed when
someone else updated the book. Or I may be misremembering.
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.
If you create a template using the SaveAs method, and place it
somewhere outside the usual template directories (or a directory added
to the templates path), then it doesn't show up in the Templates
window at all. Or have I misunderstood you?
As for the naming, I need to do some testing to get a better idea of
what, if any, instructions to give on that point. The title you
mention is what - if anything - is given in the document properties, I
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.
Thank you for these. I'll make some 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.
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 126.96.36.199). The way it works might be a
bug as it is not consistent with the way *File → New → Templates* labels
titles and files.
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