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On Fri, 2013-02-15 at 15:15 +0000, Brian Barker wrote:
At 09:35 15/02/2013 -0500, Eric Beversluis wrote:
Something I've never figured out--and seems true of LO/OO as well as 
M$ Word: When reading through a document, one hits 'PgDn', but one 
doesn't get a new page--it only scrolls down some seemingly 
arbitrary number of lines. One has to scan the new screen to see 
what one left off reading and one may only have gotten a half page 
of new reading for the effort.

Maybe I'm spoiled by e-readers. But maybe, even after all these 
years, I haven't figured out how to do this correctly in a word processor.

I think you are missing the different functions of the two sorts of 
software.  E-readers are what they say they are: readers.  In other 
words, their users are using them to read documents.  More than that, 
in general they will be reading the documents sequentially: when they 
get to the end of one page, they will next want to see the next 
page.  And the only sense of "page" is as much as fills the screen of 
the display device.
My allusion to e-readers was a red herring. I don't expect word
processors to be e-readers.

Word processors are quite different.  In general, they are still 
fixated on printing the final document: the page size is the format 
of the eventual supposed printed version, not necessarily (and not 
usually) the size and format of the screen used for display.  People 
usually choose settings that display less than a printed page of a 
document; if you were looking at such a screenful and then moved down 
a full page, you would unhelpfully have missed part of the text.

I'm not wanting the next full page (per a print layout). I agree that
the reader/editor needs an over-lap. What bothers me is that the amount
of overlap seems random rather than being, say, always the last two
lines of the previous screen.

But the bigger point is that a word processor is designed for 
editing, not reading.  If you are editing at one point in a document 
and you now need to move down to a point currently off your screen 
image, it is not at all obvious - quite unlikely, in fact - that you 
would want to move to a following page.  It is much more likely that 
you would want to be able to see some part of the document further 
down but whilst also still seeing the part on which you had just been working.

The original model, then, is that no-one would read documents on 
screen but only from hard copy. 

That's not been true, though, for something like 20 years. Since WYSIWIG
word processors, my sense is that most reading of word processor
documents gets done on screen. And has always been a hassle.

 It is interesting that software has 
been moving towards servicing screen reading, albeit rather 
slowly.  Microsoft Powerpoint allows you to save a presentation as a 
"slide show", in which case it opens for any recipient as for 
display, not for further editing.  Microsoft Word has a reading mode, 
which displays screenfuls - not necessarily in the original layout - 
and in which your page down function works as you want.  There is 
also a freeware Word Viewer available from Microsoft, intended for 
users without Microsoft Word installed.  Again, since this is a 
reader and not an editor, it responds to page down requests by moving 
down a screenful.  Oh, and try opening a read-only file with 
LibreOffice Writer: I think you'll find that it will now treat "page 
down" differently and move down (almost) a screenful.

Should word processing and similar software provide an explicit 
reading mode for use in reading, not editing, 

I think this is a false dichotomy. When one is reading a document and
making a few edits here and there, it's important to be able to screen
down smoothly and consistently with, as I suggested above, a consistent
one or two lines from the previous screen at the top of the new screen. 

 Possibly.  Meanwhile, if you want something close to this 
behaviour in Writer, here's your workaround: just click the Edit File 
button in the Standard toolbar to toggle on this behaviour.

Unfortunately this doesn't help my use-case, since toggling puts one
back at the beginning of the document. So one can't just toggle to the
edit mode, make the changes, and then toggle back to the read-only mode.

I trust this helps.

Brian Barker

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