Bug 47295 - Default paragraph style should be "Text body" and not "Default"
Summary: Default paragraph style should be "Text body" and not "Default"
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
Inherited From OOo
Hardware: All All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords:
Depends on: 94464
Blocks: Templates Writer-Styles-Paragraph 46550
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Reported: 2012-03-13 16:46 UTC by Rūdolfs
Modified: 2019-12-27 13:00 UTC (History)
16 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


Attachments
Default vs Text Body (120.03 KB, image/png)
2017-05-30 06:22 UTC, Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired)
Details

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Description Rūdolfs 2012-03-13 16:46:28 UTC
The "Default" paragraph style is not a good idea for a default paragraph style. A "Text body" would be more suitable.

Reason 1:
If "Default" is used as base style for all other paragraph styles. If a user includes this style somewhere in the document and then changes it through "Edit paragraph style" context menu command, like adding first line indent, it indents all other styles. This happens quite often, almost silently, and usually breaks appearance. 

Reason 2:
When composing text, the normal paragraphs will have style "Default", however, after the first heading, the style will change to "Text body" and stay such. It could be argued that text before any heading is not typical "Text body", but not all writers set heading styles the moment they are written, especially, if text is copied and pasted.

The first problem can be solved by linking all other styled to something different than "Default" or making the default style of a new document something other than "Default" (this sounds a bit confusing).
Comment 1 sasha.libreoffice 2012-06-05 03:44:03 UTC
Thanks for new idea
1. Problem may be in default template, not in program itself
2. Paragraph Style dialog, tag "Organizer", field "Next style"
so again, it is in template

So, this all may reformulated as this: "Use different template as default"
Comment 2 Joel Madero 2012-07-02 21:18:42 UTC
Can you provide a document that shows this behavior and what you mean by "breaks appearance". I'm going to mark this as NEEDINFO, once you provide the document please mark it as UNCONFIRMED and we'll take a look at it again. Thanks for your input on LO, we appreciate it :)
Comment 3 QA Administrators 2013-05-26 22:32:28 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 4 QA Administrators 2013-07-08 21:23:04 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 5 Thomas Lendo 2017-05-29 09:53:08 UTC
I reopen this bug because I think it's worth discussing about it.

Summary:
Default Writer template should start with Text Body (paragraph style) instead of Default Style (paragraph style).

UX team:
Do normal users like the Default paragraph style? Would Text Body disrupt their workflow? Are users annoyed if there is vertical white space without using blank lines when doing a carriage return?

Personally I don't use the Default Style. For me it's the "master style" without any practical meaning, only used to define default text formatting for all other paragraph styles.

If it won't be taken into consideration, please close the bug again as WONTFIX.
Comment 6 Heiko Tietze 2017-05-29 11:46:39 UTC
(In reply to Thomas Lendo from comment #5)
> Default Writer template should start with Text Body (paragraph style)
> instead of Default Style (paragraph style).

Fully agree. It's good practice and I also switch to Text Body.

> Do normal users like the Default paragraph style? Would Text Body disrupt
> their workflow? Are users annoyed if there is vertical white space without
> using blank lines when doing a carriage return?

https://plus.google.com/u/0/107566594492891737454/posts/LC6AnLuQL9z
Comment 7 V Stuart Foote 2017-05-29 16:30:52 UTC
Sorry but before making such a change, the paragraph metrics for the "Text Body" need to be corrected as per bug 94464. The 120% proportional is incorrectly calculated against the font, and paragraph metrics for the style should default either to single space or correctly calculate the 120%.
Comment 8 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2017-05-29 23:59:26 UTC
*** Bug 108206 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 9 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2017-05-30 06:22:11 UTC
Created attachment 133716 [details]
Default vs Text Body

(In reply to Thomas Lendo from comment #5)
> Do normal users like the Default paragraph style? Would Text Body disrupt
> their workflow? Are users annoyed if there is vertical white space without
> using blank lines when doing a carriage return?

Normal users use the default paragraph style provided, which in Writer is 'Default Style' and in MS Word is 'Normal', which are both the root style for all other paragraph styles to inherit from. Presently 'Text Body' is a better default style than 'Default Style' as it has more line spacing and has a below paragraph value, which makes the text easier to read.

The problem with defaulting to Text Body and not moving its line spacing into Default Style is that other paragraph styles still look crammed, e.g. Quotations, Preformatted Text.
Comment 10 Thomas Lendo 2017-05-30 22:12:27 UTC
(In reply to Yousuf Philips (jay) from comment #9)
> The problem with defaulting to Text Body and not moving its line spacing
> into Default Style is that other paragraph styles still look crammed, e.g.
> Quotations, Preformatted Text.
I wouldn't change the Default Style but the other styles if they are not looking good enough.
Comment 11 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2017-10-28 18:20:08 UTC
(In reply to V Stuart Foote from bug 94464 comment 35)
> Changing the Default style to be 115% of selected font's line height would
> be inherited by _all_ styles--effectively changing a lot more than just the
> Text Body style.

Yes this would be ideal that it does change all styles.

> That would be a completely different and unintended effect disrupting all
> styles, templates and existing documents.

The templates would need to be updated to support this new change, but this would not disrupt existing documents which have a defined paragraph line spacing already set.

> We can't do that.

Don't see why we cant.
Comment 12 Heiko Tietze 2017-10-29 21:20:22 UTC
We now have 1.15 line spacing for text body. So I don't see any blocker for this request. Could be an easy follow-up for you, Jim.
Comment 13 V Stuart Foote 2017-10-29 23:51:45 UTC
The 100% font metric size is the core measurement for any textual content, not the value (115%) now assigned to Text Body.

Anywhere that uses Default paragraph (aka Standard) for multi-line spacing would be impacted by moving from 100% (as read from Font metric) to a proportional 115% scaling. And when lining up textual content (e.g. text boxes and frames) with paragraph styling gets disrupted.

We gain little by refactoring everything that inherits from default to pick up the value for Text Body.
Comment 14 Heiko Tietze 2017-10-30 08:05:00 UTC
(In reply to V Stuart Foote from comment #13)
> The 100% font metric size is the core measurement...

Don't get your point as no one challenges the spacing in this ticket. It's only about moving towards "Text Body" as the default for the paragraph style.
Comment 15 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2017-10-30 11:01:20 UTC
Default paragraph style shouldn't be Text Body, as it will causing more problems than benefits, especially with interoperability, so this is a wontfix in my view. The issue of having 1.15 line spacing in the default paragraph style has been opened in a separate bug (bug 113517).
Comment 16 Heiko Tietze 2017-10-30 12:33:26 UTC
(In reply to Yousuf Philips (jay) from comment #15)
> Default paragraph style shouldn't be Text Body, as it will causing more
> problems than benefits, especially with interoperability, so this is a
> wontfix in my view. The issue of having 1.15 line spacing in the default
> paragraph style has been opened in a separate bug (bug 113517).

DOn't get the interoperability point as this format would be what we use for newly created documents. I read your comment 9 as +1 for text body when spacing is solved.
Comment 17 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2017-10-30 18:13:59 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #16)
> DOn't get the interoperability point as this format would be what we use for
> newly created documents.

As mentioned in comment 9, Writer defaults the base paragraph style 'Default Style' and MS Word defaults to 'Normal', so if we decide to default to 'Text Body', working with .docx files will have a different behaviour than .odt files.

> I read your comment 9 as +1 for text body when spacing is solved.

I was +1'ing in comment 9 the use of line spacing of text body into default style is it is beneficial as default style currently is set to single spacing. So i've separated this issue into a separate bug, so there are no confusions here.
Comment 18 Thomas Lendo 2017-10-30 18:54:34 UTC
For me the 2 reasons stated by the bug opener are still valid. And moreover (despite what MS Office does) LibreOffice should ease the making of good-looking documents out of the box without e.g. changing the default paragraph style or switching to another paragraph style manually.

Good-looking means to me: paragraphs without using blank lines, good line spacing, etc. That is what Text Body provides.

Existing documents/templates shouldn't be affected to not interrupt user expectations.
Comment 19 Heiko Tietze 2017-10-31 09:32:21 UTC
Why should we care what other programs do when creating new files? 
I hope that "working with .docx files will have a different behaviour than .odt files." because that's different programs. We also do not rename Default to Normal, right.

+1 to Thomas' comment
Comment 20 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2017-10-31 12:22:15 UTC
(In reply to Thomas Lendo from comment #18)
> For me the 2 reasons stated by the bug opener are still valid. And moreover
> (despite what MS Office does) LibreOffice should ease the making of
> good-looking documents out of the box without e.g. changing the default
> paragraph style or switching to another paragraph style manually.

When the bug opener opened this bug, LO 3.5 was out and the only difference between Default and Text Body was that Text Body had 0.08" spacing below paragraph and had nothing to do with line spacing.

The opener's reason 1 doesnt make sense to me, because if a user wanted a different indentation for particular paragraphs, he'd create his own paragraph style or use an existing paragraph style that isnt Default. It is obvious that if you dont want all text in a document to be affected by a change in a style that you wouldnt modify Default.

About the opener's reason 2, LO provides users who are heavy into styles (those who assign styles before or during editing) to automatically assign non-heading text to Text Body, while those who arent heavy into styles (those who assign styles after finishing their editing) to leave non-heading text without a paragraph style. Heavy style users may like this automatic setting of non-heading text to Text Body as an advantage as no other word processors (MS Word, WPS Writer, WordPerfect, Softmaker TextMaker, Calligra Words, Google Docs, AbiWord, iWork Pages) does this.

> Good-looking means to me: paragraphs without using blank lines, good line
> spacing, etc. That is what Text Body provides.

Text Body only provides that for itself and its child styles. So my reply in bug 113517 for more info.

> Existing documents/templates shouldn't be affected to not interrupt user
> expectations.

Yes if this change was made to the default writer template, and not to LO's behaviour, then it wouldnt affect existing documents.

(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #19)
> Why should we care what other programs do when creating new files? 

As we care about interoperability, we have to care.

(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #6)
> https://plus.google.com/u/0/107566594492891737454/posts/LC6AnLuQL9z

And lets not forget the poll results that 46% use Default, while 37% prefer to use Text Body.
Comment 21 Heiko Tietze 2017-10-31 12:37:41 UTC
(In reply to Yousuf Philips (jay) from comment #20)
> > https://plus.google.com/u/0/107566594492891737454/posts/LC6AnLuQL9z

Striking argument. Who runs these stupid polls? ;-)

> (In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #19)
> > Why should we care what other programs do when creating new files? 
> 
> As we care about interoperability, we have to care.

That's not the answer to "why should we care when we create our own new files". Your point is that when a new document is created in LibreOffice Writer we should care about saving it at some point to another program that might interpret our style differently from what is defined in the specification. Don't get the interoperability idea of "default" vs. "text body" in relation to _one_ program using "normal".
Comment 22 Rūdolfs 2017-11-03 13:04:35 UTC
Let me clarify what I meant when opening the bug.

The issue is NOT that the style named “Default” looks wrong. Problems arise from the fact that all other paragraph styles inherit from it, which leads to surprising behaviour. For example, if I add hyphenation to the “Default” paragraphs, I get hyphenation in headings as well. This is a gotcha (counter-intuitive, but documented, behaviour).

If the paragraph style for new documents would have been named “Default”, which would inherit from template called, lets call it “Baseline” and all other documents would inherit from said “Baseline”, then I there would be no bug. However, I do NOT think this is necessary, just don't use the “Default” style for the new documents.

My suggestion to use “Text body” style (Reason2) was proposed only because it is used after headings. If people like the formatting of the “Default”, make a new style, let it inherit all the properties of the ”Default“ style, call it something generic, like “Paragraph”, and use it for the first paragraph in new documents.

I don't think this would break any existing documents or affect interoperability.
Comment 23 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2017-11-03 15:19:31 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 24 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2017-11-03 15:20:30 UTC
(In reply to Rūdolfs from comment #22)
> The issue is NOT that the style named “Default” looks wrong. Problems arise
> from the fact that all other paragraph styles inherit from it, which leads
> to surprising behaviour. For example, if I add hyphenation to the “Default”
> paragraphs, I get hyphenation in headings as well. This is a gotcha
> (counter-intuitive, but documented, behaviour).

This is how inheritance works so there is nothing wrong with this behaviour.

> If the paragraph style for new documents would have been named “Default”,
> which would inherit from template called, lets call it “Baseline” and all
> other documents would inherit from said “Baseline”, then I there would be no
> bug. However, I do NOT think this is necessary, just don't use the “Default”
> style for the new documents.

New documents start with a paragraph that has not being assigned to a paragraph style, which is why it appears as if it is assigned to the 'Default' paragraph style. Similarly when no character style is applied to text, it appears as if it is assigned to the 'Default' character style.

> My suggestion to use “Text body” style (Reason2) was proposed only because
> it is used after headings. If people like the formatting of the “Default”,
> make a new style, let it inherit all the properties of the ”Default“ style,
> call it something generic, like “Paragraph”, and use it for the first
> paragraph in new documents.

It is the normal with all word processors to not assign a paragraph style to a new blank document.

> I don't think this would break any existing documents or affect
> interoperability.

No i dont think this change would break existing documents, as users could easily create a default template which had text body as the default, the interoperability issue i was mentioning was about other apps not using 'text body' as default and not assigning 'text body' after headings which results in different behaviours in LO when working with documents created outside of LO and those created inside LO.

Regina, Sophie, Cor: Do you guys have an opinion?
Comment 25 Cor Nouws 2017-12-29 21:11:19 UTC
IMO a good suggestion.
A change won't affect interoperability.
Comment 26 Thomas Lendo 2018-05-09 19:09:14 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 27 Heiko Tietze 2018-05-11 08:24:49 UTC
(In reply to Thomas Lendo from comment #26)
> As nobody has added new insights in the last months, can we do it or not?

UX input has been given so waiting for a dev. Or do you want to try yourself?
Comment 28 V Stuart Foote 2018-05-11 13:00:18 UTC
Yes UX input is that our standard ODF, aka "normal", document templates be changed to use Text Body style to Paragraph where now Default style is assigned. Some change to source is expected to be needed to assert Text Body where now Default style is applied.

Other styles that inherit from Default are not going to be changed.

And to be very clear there is no agreement to modify Default style--changing its line spacing (bug 113517) looks to be a WONTFIX.
Comment 29 Olivier Hallot 2018-06-26 18:43:36 UTC
Another interesting page on the subject:

https://wiki.openoffice.org/wiki/Documentation/Writer_for_Students/Text_Body