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On Thursday, 1 February 2018 20:59:43 GMT Virgil Arrington wrote:

I don't know your level of experience with styles, so forgive me if I 
tell you something you already know.
Thanks Virgil, more information is always a big help. My biggest bit of me being clueless was the 
not knowing that direct formatting was overriding the style because if I highlighted a paragraph 
and it had the same style/font/size setting, it looked like a style and i couldn't work out why it 
wouldn't change when i change the style setting.
I use the "Default Style" simply as a starting point for all my other 
styles. I rarely actually apply the "Default Style" to a given paragraph.

LO's styles are hierarchical in nature, so that subordinate styles will 
share certain formatting characteristics of the parent style.
I think i need to get a graphical representation printed out and stuck about my monitor.

Rather than use LO's built-in styles, I tend to create my own, so my 
style hierarchy looks something like this:

I like to stick to the standard one but change the font etc i don;t do enough writing to justify 
creating a new set for myself. 
Default Style
     BodySingle (just like Default, but with a 1 pica empty space above 
the paragraph)
         BodySingleIndent (just like BodySingle, but with no empty space 
above the paragraph, and the first line indented 2 picas)
         BodyDouble (just like BodySingle, but with double spacing, and 
an indented first line)
     Title (Usually a different font style and size and centered with 
spacing above and below the paragraph)

Each subordinate style will inherit most formatting characteristics from 
the parent style, but then change one or two particular attributes. For 
example, BodyDouble will inherit its font (style and size) and margins 
from BodySingle, which, in turn, inherits those attributes from Default 
Style. If I change the font style or size in Default Style, then that 
change will apply to BodySingle, BodySingleIndent, and BodyDouble. It 
will not, however, affect my Title style as I control the font at that 

Likewise, BodyDouble has a unique formatting attribute. It is double 
spaced. So, if I change the line spacing in Default Style (say from 
single to 1.5 lines or to a proportional line spacing) that change 
*will* carry forward to BodySingle and BodySingleIndent (both of which 
share the line spacing of Default Style), but it will *not* affect the 
line spacing of BodyDouble, which will remain double spaced, because I 
set the line spacing for that style within BodyDouble itself.

The key is to know which attributes are dictated by any given paragraph 
style and to make changes at the proper style within the hierarchy that 
it affects all of the paragraphs you want changed, and only those 

When making formatting changes to styles make sure you do it properly. 
Do not just put your cursor in a given paragraph and start changing 
formatting from the toolbar or the "properties" panel in the sidebar. 
That will result in "direct formatting," which will not change the 
style. Instead, make sure you right-click on the particular style you 
want to change in the style list (sidebar), and select "Modify." Any 
changes you make should affect that style and any subordinate styles 
that share the same attribute that is being changed.
I think this is where i went wrong. Is there an obvious indicator that shows its direct formatting 
as opposed to a style? It would be handy when picking up someone else's document (which is what 
happened here)

If it doesn't, then that most likely means you have direct formatting 
peppered in along with style-based formatting. If that is the case, then 
I would follow Steve's advice and select all of the text (Ctrl-A) and 
clear direct formatting (Ctrl-M). At that point, you should have all of 
your formatting controlled at the style level.
Yes, I'm going to do that now i know it exists.

I hope all this makes sense. It's easier to do than to explain.
Great explanation, thanks a lot for your time. 


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