Page style selection/automation

Using them, Making them , Finding them

Page style selection/automation

Postby PairOdachs » Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:26 pm

Is there a way to have an indefinite string of page styles, that do not require the user to insert a manual page style and specify the new page style for the last page?

For example, an A (single page), B (single page), C (multiple pages), & D (single page) page style set followed by a X (single page), Y (multiple pages), Z (single page) page style set, where a user need only switch from C to D style or from Y to Z style – without having to insert a manual break. In other words, each of the following would be easily possible, simply by selecting D or Z from the page style menu (i.e. like applying any other style). (green regular → auto; reddish-orange bold – user applied)

A, B, C, C, C, C, C, C, C, C,
D, X, Y, Y, Y, Z

A, B, C, C, C, C, C,
D, X, Y, Y, Y, Y, Y, Y, Z

A, B, C,
D, X, Y, Z

I'm developing a set of templates. Teaching some of my users how to use styles is going to be challenging enough. If at all possible, I'd rather avoid having to teach them an exception to how styles work. I'm comfortable with OOo styles and this aspect of page styles confuses me, so it will inevitably be a massive problem for them. A script that I could embed in the template would also be acceptable, but I have no experience with OOo scripting and don't even know where to start.
OOo 3.4.1 on Mac OS X 10.6.8
PairOdachs
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:10 pm

Re: Page style selection/automation

Postby PairOdachs » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:53 pm

Additionally, if I need to go the script route, there is a paragraph heading at the beginning of page style X (currently triggers the change to page style X) and it would be even more user friendly to 'retroactively' implement style D.

So a basic user flow would be:
- user creates new document from template
- user fills in info on page A
- end of page automatically switches to B page style
- user fills in info on page B
- end of page automatically switches to C page style
- user fills in info on page Cs
- user inserts X heading
- X heading script automatically switches previous page to style D & current page to style X
- user fills in info on page X
- end of page automatically switches to Y page style
- user fills in info on page Ys
- using the page style menu, user switches last page to style Z
OOo 3.4.1 on Mac OS X 10.6.8
PairOdachs
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:10 pm

Re: Page style selection/automation

Postby acknak » Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:54 pm

PairOdachs wrote:Is there a way to have an indefinite string of page styles, that do not require the user to insert a manual page style and specify the new page style for the last page? ...

Not really, but I'm not sure it's really necessary, either. A template can make it quite easy for getting the right page style sequence.

First, most documents follow a pattern, often something like this: a single, distinct chapter/section title page, followed by some number of running text pages. It's not usually necessary to break that pattern. If you do need to break it, then it's for some kind of special page and you're going to need a page break anyway.

Setting up the basic pattern needs no action from the user, other than to apply the normal paragraph styles. For example, you (as the template creator) configure the chapter heading style to also provide the page break and page style change. When the document worker applies the chapter title style, the page break and page style are automatically included.

Also, the template document can function as a "gallery" of needed page types. If there are any special pages/page styles, the document worker can copy/paste them to the needed location, without having to manage it all "from scratch". The one really tricky part is that the page break+page style are actually paragraph settings, so you always have to copy/paste at least one paragraph to get the special page style.

As far as training, one possibility, at least to start with, is to teach them how to find & apply a style, then tell them: do all formatting with the styles; if you need something else, just leave it alone. That's quite simple and you don't need to understand how it works. I find it quite nice to work that way because I can think in terms of semantics, not formatting details: if I need to format a block quote, I look for the "block quote" style, double-click and done.

If you want to underscore that approach, close the formatting toolbar: you get more screen space and there's less temptation to get distracted fiddling with the formatting.
AOO4/LO5 • Linux • Fedora 23
User avatar
acknak
Moderator
 
Posts: 22756
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:25 am
Location: USA:NJ:E3

Re: Page style selection/automation

Postby PairOdachs » Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:44 pm

@acknak - thank you for such a quick response!

In our case, there is a definite formula to the pages. However, there is no formula on the last page of each set. Specifically, the first set of pages is detailed procedures and the second is a corresponding checklist. For both there is a header and footer information required on the first and last pages, but the content of the pages from the next to the last page to the last page is a continuous flow, e.g., there is no required heading on the last page (in fact, other than the checklist heading, there isn't even another heading option within the checklist section). As a result, the last page of the first sequence could conceivably have the second half of a hyphenated word from the previous page - i.e. a really, really bad place for a manually inserted page break. That page will frequently have a continued sentence or paragraph - i.e. almost always bad places for manually inserted page breaks. Page style D is left page only, so it is possible that there is nothing but the header & footer; however, in the documents I've been manually building up this has rarely happened. Likewise, the last page of the document will almost always have content that continues a numbered list from the previous page.

So the document flow is sort of like (ugly outline, but I hope it illustrates my challenge):
---------------------------
[Heading page style A]
Document title & meta
[footer page style A]
-------------------------
[Heading page style B]
formulaic document references
[footer page style B]
-------------------------
[Heading page style C]
Detailed procedures
[footer page style C]
-------------------------
[Heading page style C]
on how to write a
[footer page style C]
--------------------------
[Heading page style C]
a document in OpenOffice
[footer page style C]
-------------------------
[Heading page style C]
with only one line
[footer page style C]
-------------------------
[Heading page style D]
per page. <--- note the new page style, but the sentence is continued from the previous page
[footer page style D]
--------------------------
[Heading page style X]
Checklist Heading <--- note checklist heading that currently triggers change to page style X
[footer page style X]
-------------------------
[Heading page style Y]
Step 1 create a new
[footer page style Y]
-------------------------
[Heading page style Y]
document
[footer page style Y]
-------------------------
[Heading page style Y]
Step 2 fill in the
[footer page style Y]
-------------------------
[Heading page style Z]
template options <--- note the new page style, but the continued numbered list from the previous page
[footer page style Z]
-------------------------
Last edited by PairOdachs on Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
OOo 3.4.1 on Mac OS X 10.6.8
PairOdachs
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:10 pm

Re: Page style selection/automation

Postby acknak » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:28 am

I think it would be easier to discuss this if we had a specific example document to talk about, rather than a generic description.

I can tell you this: by my understanding, it is impossible to have a repeated page style suddenly switch to a different page style without a page break (your continued sentence/continued list).

There are only two ways (that I can think of) to change page styles: a page break+page style setting on a paragraph, or automatically according to the "next style" setting of the page style. The "next style" does not need a page break, but it always takes effect on the following page. So you can have alternating (or cyclical) page styles: A B A B ... or A B C A B C A ... but you can't have an automatic page style change at some arbitrary point without a page break.

Maybe someone else has a different idea?
AOO4/LO5 • Linux • Fedora 23
User avatar
acknak
Moderator
 
Posts: 22756
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:25 am
Location: USA:NJ:E3

Re: Page style selection/automation

Postby RoryOF » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:32 am

acknak wrote: So you can have alternating (or cyclical) page styles: A B A B ... or A B C A B C A ... but you can't have an automatic page style change at some arbitrary point without a page break.

Maybe someone else has a different idea?


That is my understanding also, acknak. However (thinking on my feet on the way to bed), if there was some form of User inserted marker, such as "The End" or a suitable type device, it could be coded to force the page break After with the desired style.
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.10 on Xubuntu 20.04.2 (mostly 64 bit version) and very infrequently on Win2K/XP
User avatar
RoryOF
Moderator
 
Posts: 32841
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:30 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Page style selection/automation

Postby PairOdachs » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:19 am

@acknak - I've attached a quick-n-dirty approximation.

@RoryOF - Thanks for the suggestion! When I select "After" I loose the ability to select a new page style. So, how do I do a new page style "After" the selected paragraph style? Also, I'm assuming that "After" option changes the following page style, which is actually already being changed by the heading style at the top of that page. More importantly, how can I use it to change the current page without actually inserting a manual page break smack dab in the middle of my page's content (which I believe is the crux of my quandary)?
Attachments
ABCDXYZ example.odt
Example of page style sequence.
(17.44 KiB) Downloaded 184 times
OOo 3.4.1 on Mac OS X 10.6.8
PairOdachs
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:10 pm

Re: Page style selection/automation

Postby PairOdachs » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:29 am

I've even toyed around with having a floating frame psuedo-footer that just covers up the actual footer of the 'last' pages, but (a) it's been accidentally deleted, (b) editing has introduced multiple blank pages between the end of text and the anchor that had to be manually deleted, and, worst of all, (c) because it is taller than the other footers (about twice the height in the actual template) it has also covered up the last lines of text.
OOo 3.4.1 on Mac OS X 10.6.8
PairOdachs
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:10 pm

Re: Page style selection/automation

Postby RoryOF » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:34 am

I hadn't realised that the Page Break After did not allow Page Style selection. A quick experiment indicates that it inserts Default page style, but I'd like to play with this tomorrow to be certain; might it force the follow on style of the page on which it is?
Apache OpenOffice 4.1.10 on Xubuntu 20.04.2 (mostly 64 bit version) and very infrequently on Win2K/XP
User avatar
RoryOF
Moderator
 
Posts: 32841
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 9:30 pm
Location: Ireland

Re: Page style selection/automation

Postby PairOdachs » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:42 am

It did strike me as odd that it wouldn't allow the declaration of a specific page style.
OOo 3.4.1 on Mac OS X 10.6.8
PairOdachs
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:10 pm

Re: Page style selection/automation

Postby PairOdachs » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:03 am

I'm racking my brain and just getting a concussion. My latest attempt was using two documents (one for A, B, C, & D) and another for (X, Y, & Z) replacing the default page style with page styles C & Y respectively, then embedding them in a master document. For anybody else pondering this possibility, it doesn't work. The default page styles are overriden by the master document's default (duh).
OOo 3.4.1 on Mac OS X 10.6.8
PairOdachs
 
Posts: 31
Joined: Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:10 pm


Return to Templates

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest