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Dave and Doug,

I appreciate, Dave, hearing your perspective as a true end user. Your sentiments are those I've heard from my employees. They just need to get a brief done and filed, and they don't have time to learn the styles.

Doug, obviously, nobody's trying to "force" styles on anyone. What I'm trying to do is find an effective way of persuading people that their lives would be so much better if they took the time to learn them.

It pains me to watch people mouse around a document going from paragraph to paragraph trying to get formatting consistent when all they need to do is make one change to a paragraph style and "voila", every paragraph having that style is automatically changed. Just today, one of my students was stunned to watch that work. "You mean I don't have to make the same change to every paragraph?" she asked.

It also pained me in my law office to see documents presented with no formatting consistency with paragraphs that are supposed to be the same looking haphazardly different.

There is a better way, and since a university pays me to teach students how to take advantage of modern technology, I feel it my duty to at least give it a college try to find a way to explain it to them.

Don't want to use it? Then, don't. Nobody here's going to "force" you to do it. If you want to take twice as long to create documents as it takes me (and have results that are not as good), go right ahead.


-----Original Message----- From: Doug
Sent: Monday, April 29, 2013 9:06 PM
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Paragraph styles

On 4/29/2013 7:46 PM, Dan Lewis wrote:
On 04/29/2013 05:10 PM, Dave Liesse wrote:
I'll admit to not using styles, but not so much because I don't want to. I've been using the various word processing programs since PCs were first produced, before the concept of styles. They came out shortly after, of course, but they got little or no attention in the limited technical press that I followed at the time. By the time they were in widespread use, I was pretty well entrenched in my ways.

I've tried reading the documentation on them, but (a) I never have the time to sit down and actually learn them and (b) the documentation isn't all it could be -- this goes for MS as well as OO/LO. The biggest problem I've had, and I still don't know the answer, is how to actually save the styles so they're available for any document. I don't like any of the defaults, but don't see the point of creating a style that is usable only in one document, so I just do all the hard-formatting I need (which may take up more disk space, but it's also a lot more flexible as far as I can tell).

I'm slowly catching on, but it's going to be a while.
Have you read chapter 3, Using Styles and Templates, of the Getting Started Guide? It was written using a template containing all the styles that were needed. I use the same template to write several chapters of the Base Guide. It also contains what I need even though the topics are vastly different.


This whole business about forcing people to use "styles" reminds me of
the "Green Belt" program that was introduced into
my business about 12 years ago. It required at least a week's work to
just try and make a plan for the simplest project,
which, when the project was undertaken, would wind up scrapped anyway,
since no-one can foresee everything. I don't
know what eventually became of this--it's one of the reasons I took
retirement when I did. The green-belt Nazis and your
style Nazis should get along well with each other!


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