How to provide horizontal rule paragraph separators

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V Stuart Foote V Stuart Foote
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How to provide horizontal rule paragraph separators

During code maintenance preparing for LibreOffice 4.0 the feature set for Insert -> Horizontal Ruler...  for direct styling of the swrite component was removed. This has caused some problems for  compatibility and maintenance of  .ODT documents created in earlier versions.

These are not the <HR> or <HR  /> tags of HTML 4 or  XML markup. Rather these Horizontal Rulers function as paragraph separators. And while some provisions of paragraph styles remains there has been a loss of ability to incorporate a graphically pleasing separator.

See fdo#60858 and referenced thread and Ask

It seems there now are UX issues of:

1)  providing swrite direct styling by inserting horizontal rules, from the Insert menu, or not. And of what construction;

2) how best to provide a now needed enhancement to paragraph styling to accommodate different paragraph separators, e.g  text, svg or images and where to hold them.
Cedric Bosdonnat Cedric Bosdonnat
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Re: [Libreoffice-ux-advise] How to provide horizontal rule paragraph separators

Hi Stuart,

On Thu, 2013-06-13 at 12:30 -0700, V Stuart Foote wrote:
> 1)  providing swrite direct styling by inserting horizontal rules, from the
> Insert menu, or not. And of what construction;

There is still the --- auto-correction adding a bottom border to the
paragraph.

--
Cedric

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sberg sberg
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Re: [Libreoffice-ux-advise] How to provide horizontal rule paragraph separators

On 06/14/2013 09:21 AM, Cedric Bosdonnat wrote:
> On Thu, 2013-06-13 at 12:30 -0700, V Stuart Foote wrote:
>> 1)  providing swrite direct styling by inserting horizontal rules, from the
>> Insert menu, or not. And of what construction;
>
> There is still the --- auto-correction adding a bottom border to the
> paragraph.

"The only thing that never looks right is a rule.  There is not in
existence a page with a rule on it that cannot be instantly and
obviously improved by taking the rule out." — George Bernard Shaw, in
The Dolphin (1940) [according to Knuth]  :)

Stephan
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V Stuart Foote V Stuart Foote
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Re: [Libreoffice-ux-advise] How to provide horizontal rule paragraph separators

In reply to this post by Cedric Bosdonnat
Cedric,

Yes but although -- Apply Border -- from the Tools --> Auto Correct Options panel, is enabled  by default and functions to set a bottom edge border with direct paragraph formatting, there is no corresponding fixed style that can be applied (or modified for each triplet). Meaning the user can't control what bottom edge style gets applied with the respective triplet.

So in writer, while completing a paragraph, the immediate entry of a triplet of: - (dash),   _  (underscore),   =  (equal),  *  (asterisk)  ,  ~  (tilde) or  #  (hash)  each will apply direct formatting creating a bottom edge border for the paragraph.

But aside from no control over what style for the border is applied,  even the autocorrect/autoformat it is a little wonky,  for example if using three dashes, auto replace disrupts it after the second replacing with an em dash  (so you have to ctl-Z to clear).   And with Default paragraph style (a current master 4.2.0.0alpha+)  the three equals places a double line style that is so thin it appears as a single line.

In any case the triplet autoformat does apply and the active paragraph style is updated with the hard-coded equivalent line style (I believe using just a position from the default numerical list of line style).

However,  if you look at the resulting direct formatting from Format --> Paragraph --> Borders panel (or alt-o+a) for each autoformat, the border "Line arrangement" is always in the "User-defined" area,  showing the bottom edge selected, while "Line" --> "Style" drop down and "Width" and "Color" have all been associated with the direct styling action. So again no user control over the style applied with the triplet.

The same "User-defined" bottom edge is  also present when applying the default "Horizontal Line" paragraph format style, from the Styles and Formatting panel ( <F11>). And while it or any of the default paragraph styles could be modified to include an edit to the Border tab--creating a bottom edge paragraph separator using the border--there is no way to establish a paragraph separator using something else--e..g text, svg object, or an image.

In other words, the only thing that has been available to function as a paragraph separator since the 4.0 release has been the bottom edge paragraph border, using either direct formatting or modifying and using a paragraph style. Something more is needed, and we still have the issue of backward compatibility with documents that were prepared with "Horizontal ruler" images inserted from gallery that break because the images were dropped.

Stuart
Regina Henschel Regina Henschel
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Re: [Libreoffice-ux-advise] How to provide horizontal rule paragraph separators

In reply to this post by V Stuart Foote
Hi,

V Stuart Foote schrieb:
> During code maintenance preparing for LibreOffice 4.0 the feature set for
> Insert -> Horizontal Ruler...  for direct styling of the swrite component
> was removed. This has caused some problems for  compatibility and
> maintenance of  .ODT documents created in earlier versions.
>
> These are not the <HR> or <HR  /> tags of HTML 4 or  XML markup.

The menu provides two kind of rulers. The first one "Plain" is a
paragraph with paragraph style "Horizontal Line". In import and export
filter for html this is transformed to a <hr> tag.

  Rather
> these Horizontal Rulers function as paragraph separators. And while some
> provisions of paragraph styles remains there has been a loss of ability to
> incorporate a graphically pleasing separator.

That is the real problem. The graphics were collected in a gallery
theme, that is no longer available.

The first kind of rulers, this "Plain" ruler, can still be made by
applying the paragraph style "Horizontal Line". There is no need for a
special menu item. But the way to use the paragraph style directly
should be mentioned in release note and/or help.

For the ruler-graphics I suggest to again deliver this theme, to not
break existing documents.

Kind regards
Regina
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Stefan Knorr Stefan Knorr
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Re: [Libreoffice-ux-advise] How to provide horizontal rule paragraph separators

Hi all,

sorry for jumping on that so late. So for one, how do the graphically rulers
actually look in a document? (A screenshot would be nice.)

So, I personally don't agree with the view that the entire rulers dialogue or
the clipart associated with it should be brought back, but it would be a good
idea to try to convert those rules to something that looks okay.
E.g. how about converting those graphical rules to rules consisting of bullets?

Astron.
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