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The root of the hierarchy of Paragraph styles, on which all Paragraph styles are based, is "Default Style".  There is 
also a /Character/ style "Default Style", which /cannot/ be either modified or chosen as the basis of other Character 
styles; its sole function seems to be, when invoked, to de-select any other character style, to the return the selected string to 
the character attributes specified in the Paragraph style governing the paragraph(s) housing that string. [That summary is a 
result of years of use as well as study of the Help (which is silent in this regard) and the Writer Guides from 2.0 to 6.0. If, 
after all that, I have missed something essential, I would welcome correction. OTOH, if a proposition so elementary to 
understanding Writer -- the meaning of the Character style "Default Style" -- is really this simple, I wish the 
documentation would be more explicit in this regard.]

A Paragraph style has attributes of paragraph structure and character style. [This fact, probably 
done for MS Word compatibility, is likely responsible for much if not most of the awkwardness of 
styles. When formatting directly from the main menu, one is sent directly to a character-only or 
paragraph-structure-only dialog box. It would be helpful/simpler if Paragraph and Character styles 
were that cleanly separated functionally.]  For paragraph structure, the Paragraph style has these 
  *Indents & Spacing*

For both Paragraph styles and Character styles, the character attributes are grouped as:
  *Font*: Font (typeface), Style (attributes Bold and Italic) and Size (absolute or relative);
  *Font Effects*: Font Color, Text Decoration (various types of over/through/under lines), Effects 
(Case and Relief variations)
  *Position*: (Position (super/normal/sub script), Rotation (0~360), Scaling (%) Spacing 
(absolute), Kerning (on/off)
  *Highlighting* (character color background)

Both Paragraph and Character styles include a *Borders* tab, but this apparent commonality if 
misleading because the Border scopes are different: around the selected text string in the case of 
the Character style, around the paragraph(s) in the case of the Paragraph style.

In most cases the Paragraph and Character styles seem to coexist with the rules above -- 
essentially, that the Character style modifies the character attributes of the Paragraph style -- 
but something different happens with relative font size: the character size is some percentage, but 
of what? - apparently /not/ of the character size specified in the relevant Paragraph style, or 
even in the Paragraph Default Style.  All percentages seem to be based on a 12pt font, regardless 
of the font size specified in the Paragraph style.

Can someone tell me what is going on here? Is my understanding of the principles correct?

Also: can someone explain "text-to-text alignment" (Paragraph style Alignment tab)?


But one problem (of several) with this understanding is that it doesn't really seem to work that 
way, either.  If a Character style modifies the character attributes of the Paragraph style,

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