Suggestions for an update to the LibreOffice user guide template to help prevent formatting problems when user guides are being prepared for issue.
No change required for heading styles already in use.
All other paragraph styles have the option “Do not split paragraph” selected. This is found in Options on the Text Flow page of the Paragraph dialog. “Orphan control” and “Widow control” are deselected.
Selecting “Do not split paragraph” does mean that there has to be a writing style change because long paragraphs cannot be used. Suggested paragraph length is no more than six sentences using approximately 25 words in each sentence. This suggestion comes from Simplified English rules to assist in making a document easier to read. I have come across some long paragraphs in the LO user guides and these long paragraphs will create formatting problems.
List paragraphs - length and number of sentences to kept as short as possible, but explain the list item. Long List paragraphs defeat the object of creating an unordered list.
Numbering paragraphs - these are normally used in procedures and should only contain one step in the procedure. Normally, only one sentence should be used.
Figures and illustrations - these should be positioned as close as possible to the paragraph containing the reference. Preferably at the top or bottom of the page the paragraph containing the reference, but that is not always possible.
Figures and illustrations - to help prevent large gaps appearing on a page, the frame size should be adjusted with the "Keep ratio” option selected so that the figure or illustration is positioned on the correct page. This will prevent any distortion of the figure or illustration when adjusting width or height of the frame.
Please let me know what you think of my suggestions and any suggestions you have to improve the template.
Technical Writer, LO Documentation Team