Bug Hunting Session
Bug 69551 - Styles & Formatting deck is overpopulated with styles
Summary: Styles & Formatting deck is overpopulated with styles
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: UI (show other bugs)
Version:
(earliest affected)
unspecified
Hardware: Other All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
URL:
Whiteboard:
Keywords: needsDevEval
: 118664 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Blocks: Sidebar-Styles
  Show dependency treegraph
 
Reported: 2013-09-18 21:10 UTC by Tin Man
Modified: 2019-09-03 06:33 UTC (History)
10 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:


Attachments
Styles in Groupedbar (29.35 KB, image/png)
2018-08-08 09:24 UTC, Pedro
Details

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Description Tin Man 2013-09-18 21:10:00 UTC
There are too many styles to choose from, which discourages a person from using styles.

I'd suggest presenting styles based on context.

In the case of headings, only Heading 1 should be shown by default. When the user uses Heading 1, Heading 2 should appear in the selection. When they use Heading 2, Heading 3 should appear, and so on and so forth.

In the case of other styles, they should appear as needed. Header should appear only when there's a header in the document. Header Left ande Header Right should appear when alternating page styles are used. List and Numbering styles should appear only when there are lists in the document. Caption should appear only when there's an image with a caption.
The other styles should be treated similarly.
Comment 1 Cor Nouws 2013-09-19 16:46:29 UTC
see https://bugs.freedesktop.org/show_bug.cgi?id=69550#c1 :)
Comment 2 Jorendc 2013-10-13 22:32:28 UTC
(In reply to comment #0)
> There are too many styles to choose from, which discourages a person from
> using styles.

Agreed to that point of view.
 
> I'd suggest presenting styles based on context.
> 
> In the case of headings, only Heading 1 should be shown by default. When the
> user uses Heading 1, Heading 2 should appear in the selection. When they use
> Heading 2, Heading 3 should appear, and so on and so forth.

Makes sense in most cases I think. Might be a problem where you are using 'Master documents' (see LibreOffice writer guide Chapter 13 https://wiki.documentfoundation.org/Documentation/Publications#LibreOffice_Writer_Guide). In that case you can split 1 big document up into multiple smaller documents. It might happen you have to start with 'Heading 3', without using Header 1 or 2.
 
> In the case of other styles, they should appear as needed. Header should
> appear only when there's a header in the document. Header Left ande Header
> Right should appear when alternating page styles are used. List and
> Numbering styles should appear only when there are lists in the document.
> Caption should appear only when there's an image with a caption.
> The other styles should be treated similarly.

Makes sense too :). But what about templates where you can pre-format styles that aren't used in the document now, but will be in the feature (and might be the same for all depending documents).

A solution might be to have a kind of 'expert style modus/tab/...' where you can have access to all styles :). Templates and Master Documents are mostly used by people who aren't new to an office suit and knows about styles etc.

Kind regards,
Joren

PS: marking as NEW because it looks like a valid report. I think marking as 'enhancement' is more correct :). Please correct me if I'm wrong
Comment 3 Cor Nouws 2014-02-03 10:47:59 UTC
(In reply to comment #0)
> There are too many styles to choose from, which discourages a person from
> using styles.


Just to put a bit of nuance to that complain:

the list Apply Style 
 - by default shows only applied + some more
 - shows styles for Frames when a frame is selected

What about a pane in the sidebar for styles listing
 - active paragrapgh style
 - active character style
 - active frame style
 - active page style
 - active list style
with at each item a [more ...] or somesuch :)

So for the UX hackfest ;)
Comment 4 Cor Nouws 2014-02-03 17:17:14 UTC
(In reply to comment #0)
> There are too many styles to choose from, which discourages a person from
> using styles.


What about giving some more visibility to the list box for the selection (Automatic, In use, Custom ...) by either:

 - placing it at top of the list with styles ?

 - making it blink when the window Styles and formatting is opened first ?
Comment 5 Joel Madero 2014-02-27 22:55:12 UTC
In order to limit the confusion between ProposedEasyHack and EasyHack and to make queries much easier we are changing ProposedEasyHack to NeedsDevEval.

Thank you and apologies for the noise
Comment 6 Robinson Tryon (qubit) 2015-12-13 11:20:47 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 7 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2017-05-21 01:46:46 UTC
It would be great if the 'Automatic' entry could be set as default, but it doesnt list Title and Subtitle and doesnt list user defined styles. So i'm thinking that if we utilize the existing code found in the toolbar paragraph style drop down menu (.uno:StyleApply) and place it into a new filtering entry called 'Recommended' and set that as the default when opening the deck, we could have a good list. I'd also recommend adding unused custom styles to this list as well (bug 85930).

@Heiko, @Stuart, @Maxim: What are your thoughts?
Comment 8 Heiko Tietze 2017-05-21 06:53:39 UTC
(In reply to Yousuf Philips (jay) from comment #7)
> It would be great if the 'Automatic' entry could be set as default...

Sounds like hidden magic. Automatic has the same entries as Text Styles, listing headings down to nine levels (such a deep structure in documents is a torture for readers). Two entries, at least, are about letters and may not be relevant in 80% of the use cases.

I think the better approach is to organize styles in a tree like

+ Custom
+ Headings
+ Text
- Document
  Header
  Footer
  Endnote
  ... 
+ Captions
+ Lists
+ Tables
+ Emphasize

similar to what we have with Hierarchical but sorted for improved overview. Alternative to a tree it's possible to sort with an accordion. I would add a checkbox "[ ] Applied styles only" (my personal first choice in this dropdown), and perhaps another "[x] Simple" that hides the less often used styles (e.g. Header left/right, Illustration index header...).
Comment 9 Yousuf Philips (jay) (retired) 2018-06-20 15:27:08 UTC
(In reply to Heiko Tietze from comment #8)
> I think the better approach is to organize styles in a tree like

Having a tree view as the default view for styles over complicates things, which is what we currently have, especially for new users of styles. Lets say Benjamin is starting to get familiar with styles and opens the styles drop down in formatting toolbar and sees a few styles there and wants a bit more styles to play with, so he clicks on the 'More Styles...' entry, having a slightly larger list of styles for him to play with is what would be of benefit to him and most casual style users.
Comment 10 V Stuart Foote 2018-07-10 17:43:43 UTC
*** Bug 118664 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 11 Octavio Alvarez 2018-08-03 13:53:43 UTC
Quick opinion: I would just like to ask to be careful not to break existing workflows. I agree that "automatic" is the best place to implement an improvement.

I also have some suggestions:

- Rename "automatic" to "beginner", or even add a "beginner", making it the default view without removing "automatic" to prevent existing workflow breakage. I use hierarchical anyway; automatic is too unpredictable.

- No need to have 10 heading levels in automatic view. Reduce it to 3 and dynamically show more. Because of the comment above, showing only Heading 1 by default leads to a "no, that's too big / too small / too whatever" reaction and users not using it. Beginners don't easily grasp at first that style definitions can be changed.

Just as a reply to Tin:

> List and Numbering styles should appear only when there are lists in the document.

I use these to apply bullets and numbering without clicking the toolbar button first.
Comment 12 Cor Nouws 2018-08-08 08:29:23 UTC
(In reply to Octavio Alvarez from comment #11)

> - Rename "automatic" to "beginner", or even add a "beginner", making it the
> default view without removing "automatic" to prevent existing workflow
> breakage. I use hierarchical anyway; automatic is too unpredictable.
> 
> - No need to have 10 heading levels in automatic view. Reduce it to 3 and
> dynamically show more. Because of the comment above, showing only Heading 1
> by default leads to a "no, that's too big / too small / too whatever"
> reaction and users not using it. Beginners don't easily grasp at first that
> style definitions can be changed.

This are reasonable suggestions.

For the rest: the deck Styles and Formatting is the place where all about styles need to be found. So that might be a lot, yes.
Comment 13 Pedro 2018-08-08 09:24:47 UTC
Created attachment 144024 [details]
Styles in Groupedbar
Comment 14 Pedro 2018-08-08 09:25:44 UTC
I vehemently disagree with decreasing the number of Styles to choose from. 
And I vehemently disagree that a large number discourages a person from using Styles.
Also having plenty of headings is important to help creating indexes.

I agree that the Styles sidebar could be better organized and that impacts the ease of use.
The default view of Styles in the Sidebar should not be the Hierarchical view, but the Automatic view. 

Also, the Styles pane seems to present the Styles by an alphabetical order. So what I would propose is to ditch the alphabetical order and organize this by usability.

There's already even a well thought out layout of Styles to be used done by Andreas in the Groupedbar. I would propose to use this layout in the Automatic and make it the default view in the Style Sidebar pane.
Comment 15 Heiko Tietze 2019-09-03 06:33:30 UTC
*** Bug 93111 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***