My blog post on Separating Presentation from Content – Office Software made a general case for the use of styles in improving information architecture, but I want to go into a lot more depth. Proper use of styles is essential to productivity in using a word processor, but it requires some time to master.
The starting point, as I mentioned in my blog post, is that each element in a document has a functional role to play. What styles let you do is associate each functional role with a variety of appearance characteristics, so that you can focus on creating your document without worrying about those appearance characteristics. You can access the styles in Writer by going to Format–>Styles and Formatting, which opens this window:
Libre Office Writer has 5 types of styles, and we need to discuss all of them. They are:
- Paragraph styles
- Character styles
- Frame styles
- Page styles
- List styles
A Note about Styles and Templates
Remember that all configuration information for your documents is stored inside of Templates. This means that Styles need to be in templates as well. I recommend that as we go through the process of creating styles that you do this within the default template created in this tutorial. To do this, first open the template for editing by going to File–>Templates–>Edit, and opening your default template for editing. When you save the template, all of your styles will be saved here, and will be available to you every time you open a new blank document.
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