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Thanks for that advice, i'll definitely put my head down and learn more about styles especially now 
i know about Ctrl-M etc.

all the best


On Friday, 2 February 2018 18:05:55 GMT Virgil Arrington wrote:
On 02/02/2018 05:20 AM, Ianseeks wrote:
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) 

I'm not sure that there is. In my career as a lawyer (I'm now retired), 
I often had to share documents with other people. We had contracts going 
back and forth with each side adding and subtracting edits. By the end, 
it was a formatting nightmare with styles and direct formatting all 
clashing with one another. Sometimes the document would get so corrupted 
it would crash the word processor.

Usually, once the substance was completed, as a last step in the 
process, I would reformat the entire document (because I'm obsessive 
about these things, and I really enjoy doing it). I would start by 
stripping all the direct formatting (Ctrl-A, Ctrl-M), and then I would 
go through and apply all of my own paragraph styles. Nobody ever 
complained because the finished product usually looked pretty good and 
was readable.

It doesn't take as much time as you might think. After stripping the 
formatting, I would then press Ctrl-A again to select the entire 
document, and then apply the most predominant style (typically my 
BodySingleIndent). I would then go through the document and apply 
special styles to the appropriate paragraphs, such as a Heading1 or 
Heading2 for headings and subheadings.

After I retired, I briefly taught a Law Office Technology course at the 
college level. For an exercise, I would give my students a plain text 
file and then tell them to format it to make it look like a given 
finished product, that I would give them in hard copy form. After they 
would spend twenty minutes wrestling with direct formatting, I would 
then demonstrate how do do it in about 45 seconds using styles.

In my current teaching position, I have given my students a book report 
for an old book that is now in the public domain. To keep them from 
having to buy the book, I downloaded the pure text file of the book, 
inserted it into LO and reformatted it using my styles. I pressed Ctrl-A 
and applied BodySingleIndent to the whole text, and then went back and 
applied a style called Heading1 for each chapter title. By using 
Heading1 for the chapter titles, I was then able to automatically 
generate a table of contents, and then I created a title page with some 
other special paragraph styles. The whole process for a 188 page 
(letter-sized) novel took me no more than 15 minutes, and that was only 
because I had to examine each page to find my chapter titles or other 
paragraphs that needed special styling (such as a block quote, etc.).

Learning Styles is definitely worth the investment in time.


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