Templates are a Mess

Using them, Making them , Finding them

Templates are a Mess

Postby tomcloyd » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:17 am

[Am running Kubuntu Linux 9.04, and OO 3.0.1]

After well over 2 hours, I'm totally frustrated. OO Templates functionality is the biggest mess I've run into in a while. I program, I design databases. I cannot make sense of THIS. The OO help is no help. There seems to be several points from which templates may be edited, but if I can even get that to work the edited template, when saved, just disappears.

Is there some big secret I don't know? Or are templates just a mess, as I believe? (For one thing, if it's THIS hard, they undeniably are a mess. "If you have to explain it, you screwed up.")

I have the template path pointing to where my templates actually are, but while they appear when asked for, editing them is almost impossible, and if THAT's accomplished, saving them is beside the point, if you're even allowed to save them at all. If saved, they cannot be found. What shows up next time is NOT the edited version.

I'm finding it very difficult to describe the problem here, since there are so many things that don't work or don't work as expected.

Any thoughts???
Kubuntu Linux 9.04 & OOo 3.0.1
tomcloyd
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:04 am

Re: Templates are a MESS

Postby r4zoli » Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:52 am

Handling templates not the best part of OOo, I agree.
Some OOo wiki documentation can ease your trouble, template part of Getting Started Guide, and Writer Guide.
If you want to use custom template as default.
AOO 4.0 and LibO 4 on Win 8
Hungarian forum co-admin
User avatar
r4zoli
Volunteer
 
Posts: 2882
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2007 8:23 pm
Location: Budapest, Hungary

Re: Templates are a MESS

Postby acknak » Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:04 pm

I'm finding it very difficult to describe the problem here, since there are so many things that don't work or don't work as expected.

You don't have to explain what isn't working, or why it isn't working, just pick one focused goal (e.g. "I want to make a new letter template.") and describe exactly what steps you tried, what you expected to happen, and what actually happened.

There are two things about the way OOo handles templates that tend to throw people off:
1) A template is nothing more than a "starting document". It only provides content and settings that you want to be there when you start a particular kind of document. There's no real "magic" in a template--once you use the template to create a document, you just have a normal document.

2) The templates themselves are also just normal documents--well, almost. They are normal documents that also have a flag that marks the file a template, and a couple of extra metadata elements.

You can use the normal File > New/Open/Save menus with templates and still get most of their functionality. However, OOo provides separate menus for managing and using templates that works in a completely different way from the usual File > New/Open/Save menus, and you have to use the special menus if you want to get access to all the template functionality.

The resources r4zoli linked to are good; here's a short tour:

The recommended way to create a new Writer template is:
1) File > New > Text Document (a template is just a text document!)
2) Create your content and settings
3) File > Templates > Save... Name it; click "OK"

Then, to use the template, File > New > Templates and Documents; navigate to your template; click "Open"

To edit the template: File > Templates > Edit.
AOO4/LO5 • Linux • Fedora 23
User avatar
acknak
Moderator
 
Posts: 22756
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:25 am
Location: USA:NJ:E3

Re: Templates are a Mess

Postby tomcloyd » Mon Sep 07, 2009 7:00 am

r4zoli, acknak,

Thanks very much for your kind help. I'm only now returning to this problem. I expect now to get past the obstacle.

(Sorry if this is my second post to this effect. My first one seems to disappeared into space, just like most of templates do. Damn.)

t.
Kubuntu Linux 9.04 & OOo 3.0.1
tomcloyd
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:04 am

Re: Templates are a Mess

Postby cindysdad » Fri Nov 13, 2009 6:42 am

So, if templates are just normal documents, why have them at all? Just type up your typical letter and call it typical-letter.odt?

"and you have to use the special menus if you want to get access to all the template functionality."

What functionality? I have not seen this discussed in any of the documentation. It just says "how to", but not what for.
-- Keith
cindysdad
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: Templates are a Mess

Postby acknak » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:03 am

why have them at all? ... What functionality?

As far as I know, there are only two benefits of using a template:
  • When you open a template, you get an "untitled" document which prompts the user for a new file name when it is saved. This prevents accidentally overwriting the file you started with.
  • If you modify the template, OOo will offer to update documents that are based on the template (when opened; not in batch).
AOO4/LO5 • Linux • Fedora 23
User avatar
acknak
Moderator
 
Posts: 22756
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:25 am
Location: USA:NJ:E3

Re: Templates are a Mess

Postby cindysdad » Fri Nov 13, 2009 8:51 am

Thank you.
I guess I can do without templates then.

"This prevents accidentally overwriting the file you started with." Don't need this. I've been writing new letters by editing old ones since my first Z80 computer. I ALWAYS save with a new name before I start typing. After more than 25 years, its a reliable habit.

"If you modify the template, OOo will offer to update documents that are based on the template". Modify an old document, without changing the name? Not me; not in my lifetime.

Thanks again.
-- Keith
cindysdad
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:51 pm


Return to Templates

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest