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On 04/16/2014 04:08 PM, Kevin O'Brien wrote:
Interesting point, Virgil. I think we need to weak a fine line between
providing a tool that we can use intelligently, and forcing people to
do something they don't understand. Using styles the right way is
something you have to be educated about. Like you, I started by
getting the idea that I could change styles throughout the document if
I used them consistently. But it took longer for me to really
appreciate the need to do functional style definitions. Any character
can be bold for a variety of reasons, and the key is to create and use
styles based on the function of that element in a document. That way,
you can change a subset of all of the bold characters without changing
others. But that requires starting to really think about the
architecture of your information.


Good points, Kevin. I'm learning that using styles takes a lot of thought and planning. I like the way I can customize LO to make it do amazing things. But, it can't be done thoughtlessly, or you'll end up redoing stuff later on.

It occurs to me that, when we create style definitions, what we're really doing is making LO work more like LyX. The difference is that, with LyX, somebody else has already created really good styles (called "environments") thus shielding the user from the need to create them. Problem is, when the pre-created environments don't meet your needs, you have a steep learning curve to try to change them. With LO, you can much more easily create and modify styles, but, if you want really good output, you *have* to create and modify your styles, and that takes thoughtful planning. For a person just wanting to get his project done, the need to create and customize the styles seems to get in the way. It's as if each user is actually "finishing" LO by making it work the way s/he prefers. In creating my LO styles, I've tried to use LyX environments as a model, mimicking their output, and tweaking where I find it helpful.


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