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Hi :)
*  Text editor = plain text with no formatting

*  Word-processors allow you to add little bits of formatting as and when you want.  Results look a 
little different on each different machine but it's easy for people to edit and collaborate.  It's 
more about the process of writing than about the final result

*  Desktop publishing is all about the final result.  Consistent, well laid out.  The same on every 
machine and every printer.  

LibreOffice seems to straddle both word-processing and, to some extent, desktop publishing.  It can 
be used just as a word-processor, like Word, but then you miss the opportunity of getting faster 
and better results.  The important thing, imo, is that it's your choice.  Many of us start using it 
just as a word-processor and then take advantage of the extra bits once we have worked out the 
style we want to aim for with the document.  Sometimes the document is already finished before 
we've even thought about layout and it looks fine.  You don't need to have any clue about how the 
final document will look when you start.  You can just jump in and figure it out as you go along.  

LaTex, Inkscape(?), Scribus and others are almost purely about Desktop Publishing.  You kinda have 
to know what you are aiming for before you start.  You probably can "rough it" a bit but it's going 
to be awkward.  

Just my thoughts from what people have written in this thread and from my own limited experiences.

Regards from 

Tom :)  

From: Doug <>
To: Virgil Arrington <>; 
Sent: Sunday, 5 May 2013, 19:20
Subject: Re: [libreoffice-users] Re: Paragraph styles

On 05/05/2013 01:19 PM, Virgil Arrington wrote:
Doug wrote,

I may be wrong, but it would seem to me that all this fuss about 
styles is made by people who are trying to do desktop publishing.
That's fine, altho there are probably better programs to do that, 
even available to Linux users. I'm not ashamed to say that I use
word processors as word processors, not as desktop publishers. I am 
very happy to have this glorified typewriter--one which
can import whole paragraphs, move them, or existing ones around, 
correct spelling errors without retyping, so some editing--all the
things I might have done on my typewriter, except now so much faster 
and easier.  Let the publisher of my document format it with
his desktop publishing app.  He doesn't need a word processor, he 
needs its big brother--but I don't!

Actually, Doug, it sounds like you're using word processors as "text 
editors," simple programs that allow you to enter and edit text 
without worrying about final output. Most people using word processors 
are preparing documents to be printed, and if you're going to print a 
text file, you're going to have to format it.

Styles provide a very effective way to quickly and consistently format 
a document. I agree, if you don't care about formatting, don't worry 
about styles. But, if you do care about formatting, and you want to do 
it efficiently, consistently, and quickly, then styles let you do that.

Let's say you want to build a house. You can do it with a hand saw and 
a hammer if you want, but my guess is that a professional builder 
would want to take advantage of the most advanced power tools 
available even if s/he might need to invest some time to learn how to 
use them.


I write letters--where I have a heading saved as a file that I can 
import--and I write occasionally for publication, in which case I write 
extra space for paragraph, and no indent. I don't need any kind of 
"style" to do that--I can set the double space once per article--that is 
no more
trouble than finding and turning on a preset style, which I could only 
do if I knew how to create it in the first place. And I edit material 
sent for a
newsletter of some 1000 circulation, for which the publisher uses 
Pagemaker on a Mac to format it. I don't know, but I think  any kind of 
setting would go bonkers seeing the formats that come in and trying to 
mold them into something consistent. I mold them fairly easily in a word
processor, by hand. And I save in MS .doc 1997~2003 format, because 
everybody in the world can read that. And I write emails, and all I need to
do is fix typos, which styles can't do!

I rest my case.  --doug

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