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Hi :)
That is true.  However i rarely need to do more than correct tpyos or
sepling mistooks or maybe reword something.  Luckily i don't have to
collaborate with other people much either (apart from them sending me
hideously malformed MS documents and me pasting their article into 'my' Odt

I suspect a lot of people are in a similar position to me but of course a
lot are in a similar position to you and also a lot similar to Virgil too.
Regards from
Tom :)

On 17 April 2014 18:20, Kevin O'Brien <> wrote:

The problem with mixing direct formatting and styles is that you
usually discover you should have used styles after the document is
done and you need to make changes. Our ability to foresee the future
is often very limited.I often get asked by someone how to fix
something in a long (e.g. 600 page) document without having to crawl
through the entire document page by page. My answer is that I can help
you not have this problem in the future, but for now it is going to be
tricky if not impossible.


On Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 10:22 AM, Tom Davies <> wrote:
Hi :)
I think it's great that LibreOffice allows both systems to be used
within a
single document.  I rarely need to completely change the entire look of
documents so direct formatting works well for me.

I think this is one of those things that you can make as simple or as
complex as you like.  Just because a choice exists doesn't mean you have
use it.

So, my use of style is very minimal but is a HUGE help that saves me
hours hours of work every time i have to import anything from certain

The only time i collaborate with others is when they give me documents
a quarterly newsletter and once i've reformatted their work i tend to
need to reformat it or make any changes at all.  So the only style that
really matters to me is the "body text" one, or the "default" one.  The
various headings help a little bit.  So although styles can be far more
complicated and allow much flexibility all of that is beyond my
requirements.  Even if i did need the more advanced stuff the biggest
saving in time was with the initial "paste as unformatted text" and
the text already in the format i wanted.

I am glad the more complicated stuff is there so that if i ever had more
advanced requirements i could upscale quite easily.

However i think "scaring people off" by pointing out how complicated it
could be might make them miss out on the huge benefits they could get
the very simple bits of it.

Oooops!  sorry for ranting!  I know it's not the way you meant it!  Happy
Easter all! :)))
Regards from
Tom :)

On 17 April 2014 02:03, Virgil Arrington <> wrote:

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
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
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.
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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