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Font Size in a List Style

 
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pilaftank
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 4:04 pm    Post subject: Font Size in a List Style Reply with quote

It seems strange that lists (bullets and numbers) get their own style group. Since the list styles do not have any font settings (that I could locate), I find myself using both a paragraph style and a list style to create bullet lists. It's very awkward and requires that I overlap the two styles perfectly. I'm sure I'm doing something wrong.

What's the correct way to use a style to control the font size of a bullet list?
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I use Format, Bullets and numbering, to insert a bulletted list the paragraph style is unchanged so I can modify the font size in the usual way.

List styles are new to me. I guess they are rather like character styles that can be applied on top of paragraph styles, but need not be used if not required.
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pilaftank
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I'm being too much of a purist, but I just can't bring myself to hard-coding any formatting into my documents. I use styles for all formatting.

In the case of font size for bullet lists, the reason is that I want to be able to cleanly change the font size of my bullet lists across the whole document. In other words, the font size for my bullet lists should be maintained in one single place.

I don't mean to be harsh, but OpenOffice simply got it wrong in this case. Bullet list formatting should be part of the paragraph style. The current implementation results in documents that are kludgy and unmaintainable.
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Bhikkhu Pesala
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 12:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

pilaftank wrote:
I don't mean to be harsh, but OpenOffice simply got it wrong in this case. Bullet list formatting should be part of the paragraph style. The current implementation results in documents that are kludgy and unmaintainable.

Why do people always criticise what they don't understand? You have 2 posts. That doesn't necessarily mean that you have only just started using Open Office, but it does suggest that you're relatively new to the program.

Just because it works differently to what you're accustomed to doesn't mean that it is wrong. Like with most things, there are pros and cons of different approaches. Try to understand the program thoroughly before making value judgements about it.

There is an advantage of separating the bullet style from the paragraph style, but apparently you haven't seen it yet.

Say you have bullets applied to two different paragraph styles. You want the bullets to match, but you want the fonts or other formatting to be different. With OO you can apply the same bullet style to two different paragraph styles, say "Text Body" and "Text Indent"

Text Body 12 point TNR, no indents, justified, no paragraph spacing.
Text Indent 11 point Arial, 0.5" indents, justified, 6 pt spacing above and below.
Bullet List Red Star bullets

Now you can modify the paragraph style's font or paragraph spacing as usual without affecting the bullets.

You can also modify the bullet style to say, blue squares, and the change will apply to both Text Body and Text Indent, if that is the way you set it up.

List styles are new to me too, so I have only just begun to see their potential, but try to use the program for a while before deciding it is faulty. If you prefer Word, just carry on using it, and carry on putting up with its faults and bugs.
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pilaftank
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 6:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Word? I didn't mention Word and I don't use Word. Why would you tell me to "carry on using" Word? Anyway, Word does a horrible job of supporting styles (but that's irrelevant to this discussion). I'm very practical in my approach to these of types issues and will point out problems regardless of whether they are with friend (open source) of foe (evil monopoly).

You mention the scenario of having "bullets applied to two different paragraph styles" so you can "modify the paragraph style's font or paragraph spacing as usual without affecting the bullets". But, I do want to affect the bullets. That's the whole point -- how do you change the font size of a bullet list? In your scenario, you change the overlapped paragraph style, but that will also change the surrounding non-bullet text (which is definitely not the desired result). And even if that was not the case, your scenario still involves overlapping and managing two separate styles to control one very simple thing.

Overlapping styles makes sense for in-line text, such as a character style named "Book Title" to make text italic. However, for block text, like paragraphs and lists, it's generally better to use nesting (hierarchy) than overlapping. With nesting you can have a bullet style inherit formatting from a paragraph style and only override the settings you want to be different.

If OpenOffice does a great job of addressing the scenario you mentioned, that's wonderful (but the scenario I mentioned is still very valid... bullet lists are frequently set at a different font size than their neighboring text). For the paranoid out there: Don't worry... this is not even close to a deal breaker. OpenOffice is fantastic, and I'll definitely keep using (and preaching) it.
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pilaftank
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 19, 2005 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So avoiding all the political aspects of how styles should be implemented in OpenOffice, can anyone out there recommend the cleanest way to use ONLY STYLES to format a bullet list such that its font size is different than that of the surrounding paragraph text?
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