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it was a Writer file from the 3.4.x days.

The file needed a lot of work and additions to reflect the changes from 3.6.x to 4.0.x. I was not the one who created the document, but I had it for over a year and finally had some time to work on that documentation. I almost gave up. The person must have done a lot of "experimentation" with every style option in the document, even where it was not needed. I even found a sentence that has just a few words in it with their own style that was not used anywhere else. I ended up going back to an exported unformatted .txt file and starting over from there.

I hope the guy did not write the LO document in Word, but he could of, since he still has Word 2007, if I remember correctly. I use to use both Word 2003 and LO in the early days on a Win XP system, since I had to give others Word documents, so I made sure the LO .doc file looked correctly in Word. Sometimes it was easier to just do the editing in Word when I was using my laptop at their home or office. Now I just use 4.0.x on all my Windows systems, since it is better at dealing with the .doc/.docx files I am getting via email. I never went beyond MSO '03.

The KISS standard is something many "experimenters" do not use many times. They want to be to "creative" for my tastes.

as for the original posting. . . .
I really like the idea of teaching people to use LO in the higher education environments. The younger crowd would be easier to teach since they were not so "frozen" onto the MSO mentality and concepts. Making learning fun and people of all ages might learn more in a faster time and enjoy the learning process more than I found in most of my college courses, and in the high school courses I had to teach as a substitute teacher.

Templates vs. Styles is a whole different discussion with pros and cons with each. For the business world, templates might be easier to deal with for the user, since they do not need to remember which styles go with which document[s] they are required to make. Then you do not need to see if the "master document" creator's work with styles gets to work with all of the user's individual desk systems. I really do not know how to import a number style from computer to another so they can be used on different documents. The same problem might come up with one writer including a font in their document that the next person using it does not have that font installed. The document states/displays the correct font in the font drop-down window, but Writer tries to use a different installed font as a substitute.

On 04/30/2013 08:30 AM, Tom Davies wrote:
Hi :)
I think you are thinking of Word rather than Writer.  Also you are talking about "House Styles" for 
different companies, different institutions, different professors.  Language and fashions do  evolve too as 
you were also saying.

In Word Styles do tend to get very messy very quickly and it's overly complicated.  Plus you can 
never be sure that a style's definition will hold all the way through a document.

By contrast LibreOffice Styles "Cascade" (a bit like Css but different) so it's easy to change (for 
example the font of) one level of headings and find that change ripples out to other relevant styles.  KISS 
for internally consistent documents.

Regards from

Tom :)

From: Kracked_P_P---webmaster <>
Sent: Tuesday, 30 April 2013, 12:47
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Paragraph styles

I no longer need to write in any "required style or page format. SO, I never got into using styles.  But you have a 
valid point in needing students to learn how to use it.  The fact that writing "style" requirements change every 
so often.  I went to 4 colleges and received 3 degrees.  The problem I had was that every time I went back to college, the 
"standards" for foot notes, indexing, bibilography, and many other things I learn in one college English/Writing 
course changed.  I ended up taking English and Writing courses several time to learn the new standards that the colleges 
were teaching and required for any paper to be turned into the professors.  Then there are those classes that require 
specific formatting and styles for their paperwork.

If you create a set of styles, one per class/course/teacher, then you can write the documents and 
then apply the styles needed by the professor, or even the business reader.

I myself have run across times where using styles would work for me, but I never really learned how 
to use them correctly.  Never took the time.

Tom's and other postings about getting students to "compete" in how fast it would be to format a "mangled" text to a 
predefined style and the others doing it the "hard way".  Then having the students "compete" in a race to see who can 
create a style from scratch for the document.  I bet there would be different version created that do the same end results.

The only problem I see with styles is some people may go and make a document so complex with styles for 
"everything" that it creates problems for an new user to edit/modify the document with new 
information or reorganize the flow of the document.  I had to do that a few months ago and it was not easy.  
It seemed that every possible portion of the document, i.e. paragraph text and titles, columns and frames, 
images and headlines, were all defined in such a way that when moving text and images around the document, 
the styles setup would try to define the wrong text or document element.  The editing and moving of text and 
images broke the very complex styling of the document.

The point is, styles are great in concepts, but some people can get carried away with their 
complexity.  I have a book editor friend that I email back and forth with.  She has some real 
horror stories trying to edit manuscripts that the author wrote using a complex set of styles.  So 
if you teach and/or use styles, kept them simple enough that it does not get in the way of the next 
person needing to modify the document.

On 04/30/2013 06:56 AM, Tom Davies wrote:
Hi :)
I am a bit bitter about this sort of thing too.  Even back when i was in school i could see 
teachers clearly trying to help people.  Unfortunately general attitudes of the kids in the 
classroom meant that even those of us that were interested in learning the skill had a tough time.  
It didn't improve at Uni.

There have been some excellent suggestions in this list.  Perhaps set a mini-competition half the 
class using 1 technique. Perhaps ask for hands up if  they can't cope with using styles, in order 
to play to the machismo of some.  When the results are in ask who can change the formatting of 
their document fastest.

Another idea is to get a horribly mangled paragraph and challenge them to insert it into their 
document to fit the style of their own work.

I frequently have to do this for my company's newsletter and at first found it took hours to try to 
fix people's messes in Word.  In LibreOffice i just pasted as unformatted and then applied styles 
taking just a couple of minutes at most.

However i still think it's easier to teach people things they want to learn.  Trying to trick them 
into wanting to learn about something else is a tough challenge.

Regards from

Tom :)

From: T. R. Valentine <>
To: LibreOffice-list <>
Sent: Tuesday, 30 April 2013, 4:08
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Paragraph styles

On 29 April 2013 20:48, Virgil Arrington <> wrote:

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.
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.
Virgil, I think it is great that you are trying to show your students
a better way. I don't understand why there was an accusation (using
'Nazi' no less — that post seemed full of bitterness) that anyone was
trying to force anyone to use styles.

Styles are a better way, but some people are resistant to change,
preferring to use a word processor as if it were merely an electronic
typewriter. As the saying goes, 'you can lead a horse to water ....'

T. R. Valentine
Your friends will argue with you. Your enemies don't care.
'When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food
and clothes.' -- Erasmus

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