Question: Direct Formatting documentation?

I've been slowly learning about Direct Formatting in LibreOffice over the years. I joined this list with the intention of helping document this area of functionality, and in the coming months I may finally have some time to do so.

Is there somewhere I can read up on the topic?  My feeling is that it's under documented. Use of styles is pretty well documented I believe, but direct formatting is not, I think.

E.g. I only recently discovered that if you turn on italics to directly format a word, turn off italics, and continue writing, everything from that point on is still directly formatted.

I think the discussion around shows some of the complexities that can arise, around direct formatting (DF).

I believe the new Styles Inspector will help a lot in the use and understanding of styles, so perhaps DF is being documented even now?


Using direct formatting is a left over from using a typewriter to create text. It is much slower than using styles. Furthermore, it makes editing a very labor intensive task.  Personal example: I was hired by a lady to format the text in a project of hers.
During our collaboration, she changed her mind as to the font size and color of one of the headings found on more than 10 pages. Using styles, I did this by changing one style. The font size and the text color were changed. That task was done. Had I had to use direct formatting, I would have to first find every instance of that heading, highlight it, change the color, and change the font. You tell me which would take the most time to edit for this one change. So, it would be for every change that is desire as the text is edited. My conclusion is that direct formatting is a waste of time.

Using direct formatting has been frowned upon both when writing documentation and when using Writer since the early 2000's. The above paragraph is only one of the reasons.


I wouldn't argue very much with that Dan, but that wasn't my main question.

I'm asking where (if) DF is documented.

If your answer indicates it's not documented because it's deprecated, then
there's a much bigger problem.

I think the design and semantics of DF is Writers' biggest usability
problem, frankly. By far.


Direct formatting is not separately documented and deprecated is not the
correct terminology, it would be more accurate to say it is discouraged.
Nevertheless, there are endless possibilities for Writer to be used in
"Typewriter" fashion, which requires little, if any, explanation to
place an unnecessary drain on our limited documentation resources.

However, the documentation mailing list is definitely not the place for
debating the pro and cons of the software's design and usability. Those
are matters to be put forward to the developers and UX via Bugzilla:

Please address any reply to the mailing list NOT to me directly.