LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented

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mgagnonlv mgagnonlv
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Re: LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented

Le 2010-11-04 04:34, Sebastian Spaeth a écrit :
> On Wed, 3 Nov 2010 20:55:19 +0100, Johannes Bausch wrote:
>> things concerning tables. We absolutely HAVE to make the user use the
>> stylesheet stuff, and it must be so easy that they start to use it on
>> one-paged documents.
> Removing the font chooser, and font-size selector would save lots of
> space that could be replaced with a simple style chooser :)
>
We should not go overboard. While we should _encourage_ people to use
styles when they are best used, we should not _force_ them to do so. We
will loose the followers we have and not gain any new ones if we impose
"the right way".

Besides, there are times when styles are useful and styles should be
used much more than they are by most people. But there are many
situations where styles add an unncessary level of complexity and a few
times when styles are NOT warranted. For instance:
- Take this text and assume I want to emphasize one word. I could simply
do Ctl-I and get the text in Italics or define a character style and
apply it. The character style may be warranted, but it's a multi-step
process, and quite frankly, if I decide further down the road to change
the entire text from Cambria to Bodoni, the text in Italics will change
accordingly and the text defined with a character style may not change
appropriately (it may stay in Cambria Italics). On the other hand, if
character styles work properly, I may define a "book name" style as it
would allow me to change all those from one font to another in a jiffy.
- In Desktop publishing, there are times when fragments of text are out
of context (ad, poster...). I find it easier not to have a base style
for these because neither paragraph nor font information is linked to
the rest of the text.

Finally, if we need to train people to the proper use of word-processing
software, I would suggest that emphasis be given, in order to the
following "nasty" habits:
– proper use of spaces and punctuation (hyphen vs n-dash vs m-dash);
– proper use of indents and tabulations (many people still use spaces or
default tabs in succession);
– proper use of "space before paragraph" and paragraph-chaining options
such as "keep with next paragraph", rather than paragraph returns in series.
All these make document modification harder than it needs to be. A
couple of short videos might even help educate people very quickly.
Speaking of modifications, it is much easier to work with a document
that uses the above techniques even if it has no style, than it is to
work with an improperly formatted document that has styles.

--
Michel Gagnon
Montréal (Québec, Canada) -- http://mgagnon.net

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Peter Rodwell Peter Rodwell
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Re: LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented

Quoting Michel Gagnon:

> Finally, if we need to train people to the proper use of word-processing software, I would suggest that emphasis be
> given, in order to the following "nasty" habits:
> – proper use of spaces and punctuation (hyphen vs n-dash vs m-dash);
> – proper use of indents and tabulations (many people still use spaces or default tabs in succession);
> – proper use of "space before paragraph" and paragraph-chaining options such as "keep with next paragraph", rather than
> paragraph returns in series.

The problem is to define "proper use". This is an elusive attribute with wide national and cultural differences that
would be hard -- if not impossible -- to enforce. Rigidly forcing people to adhere to a "proper" usage when they have
other customs would be *most* offputting. This also starts to move into the minefield of personal taste: I might prefer
one style while you might prefer something quite different.

P.




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RGB.ES RGB.ES
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Re: LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented

In reply to this post by mgagnonlv
2010/11/4 Michel Gagnon <[hidden email]>:
> - Take this text and assume I want to emphasize one word. I could simply do
> Ctl-I and get the text in Italics or define a character style and apply it.
> The character style may be warranted, but it's a multi-step process, and
> quite frankly, if I decide further down the road to change the entire text
> from Cambria to Bodoni, the text in Italics will change accordingly and the
> text defined with a character style may not change appropriately (it may
> stay in Cambria Italics).

Well, that's simply not true: if you link the character style to
"Predefined" and just change the attribute, the font will be picked
from the underlining paragraph.
Styles are far more flexible than most people think. The problem with
them is not features nor "corner case" solutions, problem with styles
in Writer is nowadays a documentation problem and a not so clear user
interface.
For example, defining headers and footers "by hand" on a large
document where you need different page layouts is impossible, you MUST
use page styles... but new users get confused. Why? There are several
reasons, but for example you can activate headers or footers on the
page style but you cannot set its content... Why do I need to go to
the page style to activate the header and then to the real page to
give it content? ask users. There are two possible answers for that:
- The MSWord solution where there are no page styles and you do all
the page setup by hand.
- Add to the page style editor the ability to set header/footer contents.
I prefer the second option best.

> - In Desktop publishing, there are times when fragments of text are out of
> context (ad, poster...). I find it easier not to have a base style for these
> because neither paragraph nor font information is linked to the rest of the
> text.

Writer is not a DPT tool. DPT tools are "page oriented" while Writer
is "text oriented". You can of course use Writer in combination with
Scribus, obtaining amazing results. Maybe we need to think about
better integration between these two wonderful opensource apps.


> Finally, if we need to train people to the proper use of word-processing
> software, I would suggest that emphasis be given, in order to the following
> "nasty" habits:
> – proper use of spaces and punctuation (hyphen vs n-dash vs m-dash);
> – proper use of indents and tabulations (many people still use spaces or
> default tabs in succession);
> – proper use of "space before paragraph" and paragraph-chaining options such
> as "keep with next paragraph", rather than paragraph returns in series.
> All these make document modification harder than it needs to be. A couple of
> short videos might even help educate people very quickly.

Fully agree.

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Jim White-2 Jim White-2
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RE: LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented

In reply to this post by Peter Rodwell
Quoting Michel Gagnon:

> Finally, if we need to train people to the proper use of word-processing
software, I would suggest that emphasis be
> given, in order to the following "nasty" habits:
> - proper use of spaces and punctuation (hyphen vs n-dash vs m-dash);
> - proper use of indents and tabulations (many people still use spaces or
default tabs in succession);
> - proper use of "space before paragraph" and paragraph-chaining options
such as "keep with next paragraph", rather than
> paragraph returns in series.

The problem is to define "proper use". This is an elusive attribute with
wide national and cultural differences that
would be hard -- if not impossible -- to enforce. Rigidly forcing people to
adhere to a "proper" usage when they have
other customs would be *most* offputting. This also starts to move into the
minefield of personal taste: I might prefer
one style while you might prefer something quite different.

P.

P.,
I think you missed Michel's point. The examples he gave of "proper use" are
those formatting features that will make re-formatting easier. If we
encourage such "proper use" through the design of the UI, as well as through
education, many will be happier with the product.
-JimW


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Peter Rodwell Peter Rodwell
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Re: LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented

Quoting Jim White:

> I think you missed Michel's point. The examples he gave of "proper use" are
> those formatting features that will make re-formatting easier. If we
> encourage such "proper use" through the design of the UI, as well as through
> education, many will be happier with the product.
> -JimW

I was trying to say that one person's idea of proper use is another's idea of mis-use. Consider the following:



1.- Introduction:
This chapter, is the introduction- the initial explanation -, of the subject blah blah blah etc etc...




This is considered perfectly proper here in Spain. I think it's awful, but that's what local custom requires. It breaks
any number of the punctuation rules I was taught as a youngster in the UK but is absolutely valid here. I'm not sure how
these wide cultural differences can -- or even should -- be catered for in a UI.

P.


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mgagnonlv mgagnonlv
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Re: LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented

In reply to this post by Jim White-2
Le 2010-11-04 12:30, Jim White a écrit :

> Quoting Michel Gagnon:
>
>> Finally, if we need to train people to the proper use of word-processing
> software, I would suggest that emphasis be
>> given, in order to the following "nasty" habits:
>> - proper use of spaces and punctuation (hyphen vs n-dash vs m-dash);
>> - proper use of indents and tabulations (many people still use spaces or
> default tabs in succession);
>> - proper use of "space before paragraph" and paragraph-chaining options
> such as "keep with next paragraph", rather than
>> paragraph returns in series.
> The problem is to define "proper use". This is an elusive attribute with
> wide national and cultural differences that
> would be hard -- if not impossible -- to enforce. Rigidly forcing people to
> adhere to a "proper" usage when they have
> other customs would be *most* offputting. This also starts to move into the
> minefield of personal taste: I might prefer
> one style while you might prefer something quite different.
>
> P.
>
> P.,
> I think you missed Michel's point. The examples he gave of "proper use" are
> those formatting features that will make re-formatting easier. If we
> encourage such "proper use" through the design of the UI, as well as through
> education, many will be happier with the product.
> -JimW



I am thinking of "training" rather than "enforcing". Apart from that, I
am aware that there are cultural differences and typographical
preferences such as the use of a hard space before the colon and
semi-colon in French. But while having a 1-cm indent on the first line
of a paragraph is a matter of personal taste and cultural preference
(for lack of better expression), typing 10 or 20 spaces at the beginning
of the first paragraph instead of setting the 1st line indent at 1 cm is
NOT a cultural preference. It shows either laziness or a lack of
knowledge of the software.

And Jim got it right: if using the proper formatting techniques is easy,
more people will use it and less training will be needed.
--
Michel Gagnon
Montréal (Québec, Canada) -- http://mgagnon.net

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Robert Derman Robert Derman
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Re: LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented

In reply to this post by spaetz
Sebastian Spaeth wrote:

> On Wed, 3 Nov 2010 20:55:19 +0100, Johannes Bausch wrote:
>  
>> things concerning tables. We absolutely HAVE to make the user use the
>> stylesheet stuff, and it must be so easy that they start to use it on
>> one-paged documents.
>>    
>
> Removing the font chooser, and font-size selector would save lots of
> space that could be replaced with a simple style chooser :)
>  
Here I have to disagree, non power users are much more likely to use the
font chooser and size selector than they are to have anything at all to
do with styles.

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Brenden Seibel-2 Brenden Seibel-2
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RE: LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented

Here I agree with Robert. The average user I've worked with will be much quicker to use the font chooser and size selector than any style selector.

-----Original Message-----
From: Robert Derman [mailto:[hidden email]]
Sent: Thursday, November 04, 2010 12:19 PM
To: [hidden email]
Subject: Re: [tdf-discuss] LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented

Sebastian Spaeth wrote:

> On Wed, 3 Nov 2010 20:55:19 +0100, Johannes Bausch wrote:
>  
>> things concerning tables. We absolutely HAVE to make the user use the
>> stylesheet stuff, and it must be so easy that they start to use it on
>> one-paged documents.
>>    
>
> Removing the font chooser, and font-size selector would save lots of
> space that could be replaced with a simple style chooser :)
>  
Here I have to disagree, non power users are much more likely to use the font chooser and size selector than they are to have anything at all to do with styles.

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Craig A. Eddy Craig A. Eddy
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Re: LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented

In reply to this post by Robert Derman
Robert, I'm sorry, but I must
disagree with you.I'm not a developer, I'm a user.I will admit that
I started with Microsoft Word (More years ago than I'm comfortable
admitting), but switched to OO.o as soon as it came out.It's only
just recently that I've begun to understand how to use (and create)
styles because of the complexity and lack of intuitiveness involved.That, coupled with the gadawful heading and text styles left me with
having to adjust the Microsoft way - manually.I would much rather be
able to set up a style and have a document stick to it than to have to
go through manually and adjust everything just because I made a
change.But, not being a "trained" power-user, the best I can do is
stumble along learning by accident.And, just in the way of introduction, I have been many things in my
life.In one job, alone (that I held for 15 1/2 years), I was a
self-taught AutoCAD operator, a self-taught webmaster and website
designer, a brochure and flier creator, and the jack-leg systems
administrator that answered such questions as "how do I do this with
this program" (a program with which I was unfamiliar and didn't have
installed on my machine), or "how come my machine keeps slowing
down/crashing" (people just won't learn about viruses).I am looking forward to LibreOffice as the new freedom from Microsoft
thinking.Craig A. EddyOn 11/04/2010 11:19 AM, Robert Derman wrote:Sebastian
Spaeth wrote:On Wed, 3 Nov 2010 20:55:19 +0100, Johannes
Bausch wrote:things concerning tables. We absolutely
HAVE to make the user use thestylesheet stuff, and it must be so easy that they start to use it onone-paged documents.Removing the font chooser, and font-size selector would save lots ofspace that could be replaced with a simple style chooser :)Here I have to disagree, non power users are much more likely to use
the font chooser and size selector than they are to have anything at
all to do with styles.
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spaetz spaetz
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RE: LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented

In reply to this post by Brenden Seibel-2
On Thu, 4 Nov 2010 18:28:35 +0000, Brenden Seibel  wrote:
> Here I agree with Robert. The average user I've worked with will be much quicker to use the font chooser and size selector than any style selector.

I would argue that this is more a bug with our way to define and select
styles then, than anything else ;P.

Sebastian

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RGB.ES RGB.ES
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Re: LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented

2010/11/5 Sebastian Spaeth <[hidden email]>:
> On Thu, 4 Nov 2010 18:28:35 +0000, Brenden Seibel  wrote:
>> Here I agree with Robert. The average user I've worked with will be much quicker to use the font chooser and size selector than any style selector.
>
> I would argue that this is more a bug with our way to define and select
> styles then, than anything else ;P.
>
> Sebastian

+1

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M Robinson M Robinson
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Re: LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented

Hello,

I don't think Microsoft's Ribbon is that big a deal either way. You
can effectively cover Microsoft Word 2007 training in about a 70-page
booklet and a 20-page project/tutorial style booklet---the same for
Microsoft Excel. In fact, the only problem I have with the ribbon is
that it isn't that customizable.

I agree with the argument that Libreffice needs to jazz up the
interface a bit, but I like a clean---no gimmicks---toolbar and
shortcut keys (some of which could be more intuitive). The main
problem with any application's shortcut keys is that they don't make
sense, in relation to work flow. And customizable short-cut keys are
overwhelming to new comers (The default shortcuts aren't intuitive out
of the box;  I could screw it up even worse.); I have noticed that a
lot of people are afraid they will 'break' their software.

I think a great solution to the GUI debate would be to take a page
from the Mozilla Foundation: resign the toolbar as an 'addon'. This
would separate LibreOffice from the rest of the pack: innovate, yet
stay the same---allow users to evolve at their own pace; as their
skills increase, so will their need for more sophisticated toolbars.
LibreOffice could also design task/profession toolbars or flavor them
by geographical regions.

The first two toolbars should be a Libre-polished 'classic' toolbar
and a 'ribbon' clone. The eye candy should be left and right arrows on
either side of the toolbar that causes the toolbar to slide in either
direction. Users can organize their toolbars, in a toolbar addons
window, in drag-and-drop fashion. Anyone can design and share their
idea of what a toolbar should be with the community via the toolbar
addon page.

This will be very appealing to companies that aren't really interested
in adopting Microsoft's ribbon---they're IT can even customize the
toolbar for their work flow/image needs.
(http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9194398/IT_pros_still_spooked_by_Office_s_ribbon_interface?source=rss_news)

Also, how about modularizing the suite altogether, I only use
LibreOffice, but I have to download a 300Mb file and tie-up valuable
hard drive space with the rest of the suite. That's on top of
Microsoft Office's (a necessary evil, so I don't get rusty) hard drive
demands.

Well, that's my two bits.

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marcpare4 marcpare4
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Re: LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented

Le 2010-11-05 17:15, M Robinson a écrit :

>
> The first two toolbars should be a Libre-polished 'classic' toolbar
> and a 'ribbon' clone. The eye candy should be left and right arrows on
> either side of the toolbar that causes the toolbar to slide in either
> direction. Users can organize their toolbars, in a toolbar addons
> window, in drag-and-drop fashion. Anyone can design and share their
> idea of what a toolbar should be with the community via the toolbar
> addon page.
>

Good idea on the left<->right arrows on the toolbar to slide. Of course
KDE people have known these and lived through these. It could give up
more screen space and where a user has mastered the short-cuts. We could
have them also "tearaway" so that they could be positioned on the
right-hand or left-hand or bottom side of larger sized monitors.

I have always liked the idea of themable toolbars (as you can tell by
past threads) not only for personal use but for corporate/educational.

> This will be very appealing to companies that aren't really interested
> in adopting Microsoft's ribbon---they're IT can even customize the
> toolbar for their work flow/image needs.
> (http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9194398/IT_pros_still_spooked_by_Office_s_ribbon_interface?source=rss_news)

Marc


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mirek2 mirek2
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Re: LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented

In reply to this post by Craig A. Eddy
2010/11/4 Craig A. Eddy <[hidden email]>

> Robert, I'm sorry, but I must
> disagree with you.I'm not a developer, I'm a user.I will admit that
> I started with Microsoft Word (More years ago than I'm comfortable
> admitting), but switched to OO.o as soon as it came out.It's only
> just recently that I've begun to understand how to use (and create)
> styles because of the complexity and lack of intuitiveness involved.That,
> coupled with the gadawful heading and text styles left me with
> having to adjust the Microsoft way - manually.I would much rather be
> able to set up a style and have a document stick to it than to have to
> go through manually and adjust everything just because I made a
> change.But, not being a "trained" power-user, the best I can do is
> stumble along learning by accident.And, just in the way of introduction, I
> have been many things in my
> life.In one job, alone (that I held for 15 1/2 years), I was a
> self-taught AutoCAD operator, a self-taught webmaster and website
> designer, a brochure and flier creator, and the jack-leg systems
> administrator that answered such questions as "how do I do this with
> this program" (a program with which I was unfamiliar and didn't have
> installed on my machine), or "how come my machine keeps slowing
> down/crashing" (people just won't learn about viruses).I am looking forward
> to LibreOffice as the new freedom from Microsoft
> thinking.Craig A. EddyOn 11/04/2010 11:19 AM, Robert Derman wrote:Sebastian
> Spaeth wrote:On Wed, 3 Nov 2010 20:55:19 +0100, Johannes
> Bausch wrote:things concerning tables. We absolutely
> HAVE to make the user use thestylesheet stuff, and it must be so easy that
> they start to use it onone-paged documents.Removing the font chooser, and
> font-size selector would save lots ofspace that could be replaced with a
> simple style chooser :)Here I have to disagree, non power users are much
> more likely to use
> the font chooser and size selector than they are to have anything at
> all to do with styles.
>

On styles: http://clickortap.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/citrus-styles/

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Johannes Bausch Johannes Bausch
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Re: LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented

Is that Citrus UI stuff just a design study or actually implemented
somehow? Because I really think this is the way LibO should look like
- and work. The style replacement thing is great, and the "unsaved
style" "suggests" the user that there is such a thing as styles. The
problem with current programs is that even though you might style your
text bold, the style chooser still sais "standard".

2010/11/8 Mirek M. <[hidden email]>:

> 2010/11/4 Craig A. Eddy <[hidden email]>
>
>> Robert, I'm sorry, but I must
>> disagree with you.I'm not a developer, I'm a user.I will admit that
>> I started with Microsoft Word (More years ago than I'm comfortable
>> admitting), but switched to OO.o as soon as it came out.It's only
>> just recently that I've begun to understand how to use (and create)
>> styles because of the complexity and lack of intuitiveness involved.That,
>> coupled with the gadawful heading and text styles left me with
>> having to adjust the Microsoft way - manually.I would much rather be
>> able to set up a style and have a document stick to it than to have to
>> go through manually and adjust everything just because I made a
>> change.But, not being a "trained" power-user, the best I can do is
>> stumble along learning by accident.And, just in the way of introduction, I
>> have been many things in my
>> life.In one job, alone (that I held for 15 1/2 years), I was a
>> self-taught AutoCAD operator, a self-taught webmaster and website
>> designer, a brochure and flier creator, and the jack-leg systems
>> administrator that answered such questions as "how do I do this with
>> this program" (a program with which I was unfamiliar and didn't have
>> installed on my machine), or "how come my machine keeps slowing
>> down/crashing" (people just won't learn about viruses).I am looking forward
>> to LibreOffice as the new freedom from Microsoft
>> thinking.Craig A. EddyOn 11/04/2010 11:19 AM, Robert Derman wrote:Sebastian
>> Spaeth wrote:On Wed, 3 Nov 2010 20:55:19 +0100, Johannes
>> Bausch wrote:things concerning tables. We absolutely
>> HAVE to make the user use thestylesheet stuff, and it must be so easy that
>> they start to use it onone-paged documents.Removing the font chooser, and
>> font-size selector would save lots ofspace that could be replaced with a
>> simple style chooser :)Here I have to disagree, non power users are much
>> more likely to use
>> the font chooser and size selector than they are to have anything at
>> all to do with styles.
>>
>
> On styles: http://clickortap.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/citrus-styles/
>
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Re: LibreOffice UI should be tweaked, not reinvented

2010/11/10 Johannes Bausch <[hidden email]>

> Is that Citrus UI stuff just a design study or actually implemented
> somehow?


Unfortunately, it's just a mockup, just a suggestion to the Document
Foundation.


> Because I really think this is the way LibO should look like
> - and work. The style replacement thing is great, and the "unsaved
> style" "suggests" the user that there is such a thing as styles. The
> problem with current programs is that even though you might style your
> text bold, the style chooser still sais "standard".
>

:) thanks.

>
> 2010/11/8 Mirek M. <[hidden email]>:
> > 2010/11/4 Craig A. Eddy <[hidden email]>
> >
> >> Robert, I'm sorry, but I must
> >> disagree with you.I'm not a developer, I'm a user.I will admit that
> >> I started with Microsoft Word (More years ago than I'm comfortable
> >> admitting), but switched to OO.o as soon as it came out.It's only
> >> just recently that I've begun to understand how to use (and create)
> >> styles because of the complexity and lack of intuitiveness
> involved.That,
> >> coupled with the gadawful heading and text styles left me with
> >> having to adjust the Microsoft way - manually.I would much rather be
> >> able to set up a style and have a document stick to it than to have to
> >> go through manually and adjust everything just because I made a
> >> change.But, not being a "trained" power-user, the best I can do is
> >> stumble along learning by accident.And, just in the way of introduction,
> I
> >> have been many things in my
> >> life.In one job, alone (that I held for 15 1/2 years), I was a
> >> self-taught AutoCAD operator, a self-taught webmaster and website
> >> designer, a brochure and flier creator, and the jack-leg systems
> >> administrator that answered such questions as "how do I do this with
> >> this program" (a program with which I was unfamiliar and didn't have
> >> installed on my machine), or "how come my machine keeps slowing
> >> down/crashing" (people just won't learn about viruses).I am looking
> forward
> >> to LibreOffice as the new freedom from Microsoft
> >> thinking.Craig A. EddyOn 11/04/2010 11:19 AM, Robert Derman
> wrote:Sebastian
> >> Spaeth wrote:On Wed, 3 Nov 2010 20:55:19 +0100, Johannes
> >> Bausch wrote:things concerning tables. We absolutely
> >> HAVE to make the user use thestylesheet stuff, and it must be so easy
> that
> >> they start to use it onone-paged documents.Removing the font chooser,
> and
> >> font-size selector would save lots ofspace that could be replaced with a
> >> simple style chooser :)Here I have to disagree, non power users are much
> >> more likely to use
> >> the font chooser and size selector than they are to have anything at
> >> all to do with styles.
> >>
> >
> > On styles: http://clickortap.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/citrus-styles/
> >
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