[Libreoffice] [PATCH] [UX] Rename "Default Formatting" --> "Clear Direct Formatting"

Octavio Alvarez alvarezp at alvarezp.ods.org
Fri Jan 21 20:49:37 PST 2011

Hi Christoph. Thanks for the comments. I'll do my best to address them
one by one.

On Fri, 21 Jan 2011 15:40:26 -0800, Christoph Noack
<christoph at dogmatux.com> wrote:

> First, thanks for the in-depth analysis and the patches, but I am not
> that convinced that this will work as expected - at least the naming is
> consistent behavior across the suite.
> My rationale ...
> "Default Formatting" does not only reset the direct / hard formatting,
> but also applied character styles. That also makes "Clear Direct
> Formatting" a bit inaccurate.

Well, this is not true in LibreOffice anymore. This got implemented in
ooo-build almost one year ago and ported to LibreOffice. See initial
discussion at

and applied patches at

> The terminology "Default" is used throughout the office suite. For
> example, the buttons "Default" resets all manual changes of an derived
> style (Stylist).

Didn't find it. I see "Reset" and "Standard". Is it any of those?

> And "direct" might also be unknown to those users who are unsure what
> "default formatting" is.

*Exactly*, because this change is NOT for those that don't use styles.
For them, it is a menu item that might as well not be there. This is for
those of us who *know* how to use styles. There is no loss there.

For us, we know the difference between formatting that is applied by
the style and formatting that works as an override. We call it "hard
formatting" or "direct formatting".

3. Help seems to back the "don't reset character styles" side:

(it defines it here)
'If you format a document without Styles, it is referred to as "direct"
formatting.' This line has been in the help since 2004.

'You can remove direct formatting from your document by selecting [...]
and then choosing Format - Default Formatting'

'To reset all direct formatting of existing text, select [...] then choose
the menu command Format - Default Formatting'

... or doesn't?

'Removes direct formatting and formatting by character styles from the

(inconsistent with the definition)

This is another instance of confusion caused by the mess that this has
become because the name itself is confusing. When a *developer* sees
"default formatting" he will apply his own interpretation of "default"
and code accordingly.

(BTW, I think I missed that last line in the patch. Gotta correct that.)

> The string length will make the menu wider, which gets an issue when the
> English text gets translated into foreign languages. Especially since we
> do have many sub-menus within this menu. Same applies to "Clear All
> Formatting" you are planning to change.

Of course, sorry about that. :-/ I'll need help here to make the change
as friendly as possible to others.

I assume menu widths automatically calculated on startup because of the
different possible fonts and other settings that affect appearance, but
I really don't know if this is true at all.

> By the way, it would be great to know some more information where this
> request came from (especially since you've invested quite a lot of
> work). Maybe I can help somehow ... at the moment (and this is quite
> bad) I don't have a better proposal. Sorry :-\

See the links above for the "Default Formatting" behavioral change. I can
gladly go further if you request it, but it was to improve functionality.

There are two opposite-pulling forces as shown by bugs i#47893 and i#85464
and each time this gets discussed, there are mixed opinions. Everybody
think differently about this. The proposed rename clarifies what the new
behavior does *exactly* as of today, so that any change follows a common

Links to the referred bugs:

This of course doesn't mean that a "Reset paragraph direct + all character"
shouldn't exist. It simply needs to be clearly differentiated, maybe its
own menu entry.

Best regards.

More information about the LibreOffice mailing list