Bug 41316 - Page styles should support hierarchical parent-child relationships (like paragraph or character styles)
Summary: Page styles should support hierarchical parent-child relationships (like para...
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
Hardware: Other All
: high enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
: 94647 119291 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Blocks: Writer-Enhancements ODF-spec Writer-Styles-Page
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Reported: 2011-09-28 23:23 UTC by Andreas Neudecker
Modified: 2019-09-15 12:10 UTC (History)
20 users (show)

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Description Andreas Neudecker 2011-09-28 23:23:44 UTC

With OOo (and, in fact StarWriter before that) I have always been wondering why, contrary to paragraph styles, page styles are not implemented in an object-oriented fashion, i.e. all inherit from one basic page style. After my opinion this would make handling and modifying page styles much nicer, just as it does with paragraph styles, character styles, and frame styles.

It should at least be possible to link newly created derivative styles with their sources (should become parents).

Kind regards

Comment 1 Björn Michaelsen 2011-12-23 12:35:00 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 2 sasha.libreoffice 2012-02-03 05:42:35 UTC
in LibO 3.6.0 master field "Linked with" is still grey (not possible select)
Comment 3 Roman Eisele 2012-05-10 01:29:45 UTC
I think this feature request could be reformulated in a more general way:

We should allow page styles to be based on each other in an hierachical way, just like page styles and character styles, using the 'Linked with:' popup menu in the first tab of the Page style dialog.

I see at least four points which show the importance of this request:

1) Consistency with page styles and character styles would be improved, and therefore the user experience.

2) The first tab of the Page style already contains the 'Linked with:' popup menu, it is just not enabled (as already pointed out by Sasha in comment #2). This suggests, at least for the understanding of an ordinary user, that this feature is already planned and just not yet implemented/completed.

3) This feature would it make easier to apply the common formatting consistently to all/plenty of the page styles in a document. For example, I had to edit a 300pp. proceedings volume (a 'Sammelband' in German) with different essays by different authors. To get the different page headings right (incl. the name of the author and the title of his essay), I used one page style per essay. This works fine. But when I wanted to change the page margins, I had to apply this change to all the page styles one by one. If I could base these page styles on one base style, changing only the header contents, it would be possible to change the common attributes of all these page styles (like the page margins in my case) with one action. This would allow much (a) faster and (b) more consistent changes to the page layout. The consistency of page styles is very important for professional publishing, of course.

4) Implementing this feature would also help to prevent situations and misunderstandings like in bug 35900. In this report, a user reported that the "last page loses headers footers". His document had a single endnote; for this endnote LibreOffice used the 'Endnotes' page style (correct!); the user had already added headers and footers to the 'Default' page style and wondered why they did not appear on the last page (the one with the endnote). If the 'Endnote' page style was based on the 'Default' page style, adding header and footer to the 'Default' page style would add them to all other page styles, including the 'Endnote' page style; the misunderstanding would not have occured. (If one WANTS to disable footer and/or header again on a page style based on the 'Default' style, this would be still possible by editing this particular page style.)
Comment 4 Elmar 2012-05-21 23:54:21 UTC
I agree with the other notes.

Most of us users do not have the time to tinker with styles and in fact, most users find Styles incomprehensible (I wonder what percentage of MSOffice users actually use styles, in spite of their power to save time and improve document manageability). It is just too confusing to them - not to speak of setting up list styles, even I as a person who will take the time - a whole day sometimes - to set up a template for myself - find it is a trial and error / hit and miss task. I cannot figure out what the logic is behind it. There is some inheritance, clearly, but it seems to be ditched for whatever reason.

Also, once one has set a style, it is hard to revert to the default without deleting the style and starting over.

It would be better if there were a reset button that reset everything to the parent style, so that one can then modify with that as the consistent basis. (In fact, to be intuitive, the RESET should apply to the attributes that are in view on the TAB, not to the whole style.)

When "structured development" was first put forward by Yourdon, De Marco and others, they emphasised the principles of 
-- low binding
-- high cohesion

This laid the groundwork for object orientation. Every object is atomic, and receives changes by way of data passed to it in a controlled fashion. The sloppiness of MS until fairly recently and the adoption of a "good enough" paradigm was not useful and influenced far too many developers.

Fact is there is no free lunch. Quick and dirty IS always dirty and seldom quick.

IBM's findings of the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of software is still true today: that there is an exponential increase in the cost of fixing a defect depending on when it is discovered and repaired. Both in time and cost. And Open Source is as costly to create and use even if it has no price. In fact, given the improvements in development tools, the difference between in-development cost and in-use cost is probably far more pronounced. 

One of the most important attributes of the Quality Criteria: Stability and Useability is internal Integrity, which includes Consistency and Reliability (that the software works every time as you would expect it to.)

But that does not change the fact that we owe you developers a huge debt of gratitude for the work you do.

Thank you.
Comment 5 sasha.libreoffice 2012-05-22 03:43:06 UTC
One very often situation with page styles: we need page numbers on some pages and no page numbers or Roman numbers on another pages. It is necessary in such situation to use two different page styles, but they differs only by presence of page number, all other parameters all identical, and user may expect that changing something, for example page margin, will change it in all pages. In such situation it is naturally to create new page style and set previous page style as parent, then only change header or footer.
Comment 6 Roman Eisele 2012-05-22 08:49:52 UTC
(In reply to comment #4)
> Also, once one has set a style, it is hard to revert to the default without
> deleting the style and starting over.
> It would be better if there were a reset button that reset everything to the
> parent style, so that one can then modify with that as the consistent basis.
> (In fact, to be intuitive, the RESET should apply to the attributes that are
> in view on the TAB, not to the whole style.)

IMHO this is a very good idea. Even now, while we don't have base styles for page styles, such a button would be very useful for paragraph styles and characters styles. Therefore, please file a separate enhancement request for this issue (and add me to the CC list, I want to second that request ;-). Thank you very much!
Comment 7 stfhell 2012-10-25 22:14:16 UTC
Hierarchical page styles would be a great help in many situations. But I modified the summary line a bit: Hierarchical linkage is only optional with paragraph or character styles, you can select "[none]" as parent. So not all styles are children of "Default", not everyone has a parent...

Hierarchical relationships are supported for paragraphs, characters and frames. Page and number styles don't support parent-linkage, for no apparent reason.
Comment 8 R. Becke 2013-10-18 13:21:16 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 9 R. Becke 2013-10-21 05:46:40 UTC
Hi together,
FYI (& FYA) I've added this bug to the list of enhancemts in LibreOffice: https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Vote_for_Enhancement
If you like I would suggest to vote for this enhancement.
Thx & Regards
Comment 10 Regina Henschel 2015-10-01 11:32:56 UTC
*** Bug 94647 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 11 Jean-Francois Nifenecker 2015-10-01 18:43:05 UTC
Count my vote!

I'd appreciate this enhancement to be awaken and considered again.
Comment 12 ajlittoz 2018-02-09 07:00:57 UTC
I fully support this enhancement request and hope for it implemented soon.
Comment 13 Elmar 2018-02-09 07:44:08 UTC
Is there a definitive simple user guide to the creation and use of style in LO?

I have been sold on the concept of styles since I first used Wordstar and have always been frustrated by poor implementation in Word.

Every now and then (at least once a year) I take down my templates and try to fix them up, but get stymied by the priority and the complexities. Especially when it comes to headings and number lists.

I am prepared to attempt such a help document if it does not exist (and I ahve nto found one in my googling), but could you point me to any material (other than the standard help) - especially which can be used to create a precedence map, and rules?
Comment 14 Regina Henschel 2018-02-09 17:35:39 UTC
Currently inheritance is not supported by the file format. The needed attribute style:parent-style-name is missing, because the <style:page-layout> element is not child of a <style:style> element. Such new feature will only be possible in extended mode anytime soon.

Elmar: Please go to forum or mailing list for such discussions.
Comment 15 Regina Henschel 2018-08-15 13:37:09 UTC
*** Bug 119291 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 16 Md Ayquassar 2018-10-04 03:23:55 UTC
Comment: I would welcome the enhancement tremendously.  In fact, I strongly need an opportunity to copy a page style (in my case, creating a copy of an already changed "Default" page style).
Comment 17 Wolfgang Jäger 2019-09-15 12:10:03 UTC
+1 for implementing page style inheritance if not there are hidden technical reasons making it (next to) impossible.