Formatting a Newsletter Containing an Index

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Formatting a Newsletter Containing an Index

Jean Lear
I have a template for a weekly newsletter with an index which I use.
I open the template and below the index copy into it the body of the
previous weeks newsletter as some of the items remain the same each week or
have minor date changes etc.  Also new items are added.
The basic layout is
Heading 1
Body Text
Heading 1
Body Text
Occasionally I use a Heading 2
When an item is copied to or written in  the Newsletter it needs to be
formatted as Heading and Body Text..  The index is then Updated.
The problem starting this week is that when a Heading is formatted as
Heading the Body Text is also changes to Heading.  When that body text is
highlighted and changed back to Body Text the Heading also changes back to
Body Text.  I can change the Heading back to Heading and the Body Text also
changed to Heading again.
I have not  had much experience with using Indexing and have not found any
solutions on the Forum for this particular problem.  The procedure I have
been given to use has worked well for months until this week.
I am using Apache OpenOffice 4.1.8 with Windows 10.
After the Newsletter is completed in OO it is copied to a Thunderbird email
to be a template for mailing out.
There is another formatting exercise but that is quite a separate issue.
Any suggestions for OO would be appreciated.
Thank you.
Jean
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Re: Formatting a Newsletter Containing an Index

Jean Lear
Thank you to Martin and Brian I have now sorted this out.
I knew there were Hard Returns and Soft Returns but never consciously used
them. I now have to understand which, when and where to use them as I add
items to the Newsletter.  I do not know how I have managed to format the
Newsletter for the last several months without encountering the problem
that started this week.
For Martin - I use the Index part of the template I work from and update it
when I change  the items that are changed in the next week's Newsletter.
For Brian - I made an error in using the words "Body Text" instead of "Text
Body" for Writer. The term becomes "Body Text" in Thunderbird email.
" the appearance of the relevant parts of the text changes or are you
actually looking at the applied paragraph style name?" The appearance of
the text actually changes along with the style name"
Thank you both for your help sorting this out for me.
Jean

On Thu, Dec 10, 2020 at 12:13 AM Brian Barker <[hidden email]>
wrote:

> At 20:13 09/12/2020 +1000, you wrote:
> >I have a template for a weekly newsletter with an index which I use.
> >I open the template and below the index copy into it the body of the
> >previous weeks newsletter as some of the items remain the same each
> >week or have minor date changes etc. Also new items are added. The
> >basic layout is
> >Heading 1
> >Body Text
> >Heading 1
> >Body Text
> >Occasionally I use a Heading 2
>
> I'm guessing that by "Body Text" you actually mean the built-in "Text
> body" paragraph style?
>
> >When an item is copied to or written in the Newsletter it needs to
> >be formatted as Heading and Body Text. The index is then Updated.
> >The problem starting this week is that when a Heading is formatted
> >as Heading the Body Text is also changes to Heading. When that body
> >text is highlighted and changed back to Body Text the Heading also
> >changes back to Body Text. I can change the Heading back to Heading
> >and the Body Text also changed to Heading again.
>
> In taking about these changes, do you mean that the appearance of the
> relevant parts of the text changes or are you actually looking at the
> applied paragraph style name?
>
> >The procedure I have been given to use has worked well for months
> >until this week.
>
> So the question is: what have you changed? There are various
> possibilities, I think:
>
> o You have changed the details of one or other of the paragraph
> styles involved to match the other - or at least have sufficient
> changes to show the problem.
>
> o You have applied local formatting to some parts of your material to
> mimic the appearance of the other style without actually changing the
> style.
>
> o You do not have proper paragraph breaks (as created by pressing
> "Enter") between your various elements. If you have line breaks
> instead, or if the text flows from one line to the next without any
> break, there cannot be a change in paragraph style. If you are not
> careful about how you paste material, you may be deleting necessary
> paragraph breaks. Have you (perhaps temporarily) toggled on the
> display of "non-printing characters", so that you can see what is
> happening?
>
> It's impossible to tell exactly what you are doing from your
> description, and you may need to send a sample copy to someone for
> diagnosis.
>
> I trust this helps.
>
> Brian Barker - privately
>
>
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Re: Formatting a Newsletter Containing an Index

Brian Barker-2
At 21:05 10/12/2020 +1000, Jean Lear wrote:
>I knew there were Hard Returns and Soft Returns but never
>consciously used them. I now have to understand which, when and
>where to use them as I add items to the Newsletter.

The terms "hard return" and "soft return" are probably unhelpful.
Indeed, Wikipedia explains a "soft return" as the line break that
occurs as text flows naturally from line to line. These will move
about in the text as fonts are changed (or substituted) or paper
sizes or margins change (or the text is modified), so they do not
exist within the word processor document and you cannot "use" them,
as you claim. The useful distinction - and one that will help you
understand your problem - is between line breaks and paragraph breaks
(both of which are varieties of "hard return").

>I do not know how I have managed to format the Newsletter for the
>last several months without encountering the problem that started this week.

Luck, rather than judgement.

>>"... the appearance of the relevant parts of the text changes or
>>are you actually looking at the applied paragraph style name?"
>The appearance of the text actually changes along with the style name

Er, yes - well, of course it does: that's the idea! But the question
was whether you were detecting the apparent change of paragraph style
by looking at the style name or *just* by observing the appearance of
the text. In the former (and more probable) case, it must be that you
had changed the paragraph style applied to some text, but in the
latter you may instead have changed the properties of the existing
paragraph style.

Incidentally, there was one point that I forgot to mention. You said
"When that body text is highlighted and changed back to Body Text
...", which suggests that you think the change is applied to the
selected text. But no: "Text body" is a *paragraph* style (not a
character style), so any such application is to the entire paragraph
containing the current cursor position or to all paragraphs (possibly
only partially) included in the selection. Don't select anything:
just put the cursor somewhere in the required paragraph.
Understanding that will help you see what is happening.

Brian Barker  


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Re: Formatting a Newsletter Containing an Index

Martin Groenescheij-2

On 10/12/2020 18:33, Brian Barker wrote:

> At 21:05 10/12/2020 +1000, Jean Lear wrote:
>> I knew there were Hard Returns and Soft Returns but never consciously
>> used them. I now have to understand which, when and where to use them
>> as I add items to the Newsletter.
>
> The terms "hard return" and "soft return" are probably unhelpful.
> Indeed, Wikipedia explains a "soft return" as the line break that
> occurs as text flows naturally from line to line. These will move
> about in the text as fonts are changed (or substituted) or paper sizes
> or margins change (or the text is modified), so they do not exist
> within the word processor document and you cannot "use" them, as you
> claim. The useful distinction - and one that will help you understand
> your problem - is between line breaks and paragraph breaks (both of
> which are varieties of "hard return").


The definition from PC Magazine

What is the difference between a hard and soft return in Word?
*Hard return*: Pressing the *Enter* key in *Word* ends a paragraph. It's
officially known as typing a *hard return*. ... The *soft return*, or
*line break*, is used primarily in titles and headings; when you have a
long title and need to split it up *between* two lines, you press
Shift+*Enter* to insert the *soft return*.



>
>> I do not know how I have managed to format the Newsletter for the
>> last several months without encountering the problem that started
>> this week.
>
> Luck, rather than judgement.
>
>>> "... the appearance of the relevant parts of the text changes or are
>>> you actually looking at the applied paragraph style name?"
>> The appearance of the text actually changes along with the style name
>
> Er, yes - well, of course it does: that's the idea! But the question
> was whether you were detecting the apparent change of paragraph style
> by looking at the style name or *just* by observing the appearance of
> the text. In the former (and more probable) case, it must be that you
> had changed the paragraph style applied to some text, but in the
> latter you may instead have changed the properties of the existing
> paragraph style.
>
> Incidentally, there was one point that I forgot to mention. You said
> "When that body text is highlighted and changed back to Body Text
> ...", which suggests that you think the change is applied to the
> selected text. But no: "Text body" is a *paragraph* style (not a
> character style), so any such application is to the entire paragraph
> containing the current cursor position or to all paragraphs (possibly
> only partially) included in the selection. Don't select anything: just
> put the cursor somewhere in the required paragraph. Understanding that
> will help you see what is happening.
>
> Brian Barker
>
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Re: Formatting a Newsletter Containing an Index

Brian Barker-2
At 22:12 10/12/2020 +0100, Martin Groenescheij wrote:

>The definition from PC Magazine
>
>What is the difference between a hard and soft return in Word?
>*Hard return*: Pressing the *Enter* key in
>*Word* ends a paragraph. It's officially known
>as typing a *hard return*. ... The *soft
>return*, or *line break*, is used primarily in
>titles and headings; when you have a long title
>and need to split it up *between* two lines, you
>press Shift+*Enter* to insert the *soft return*.

It would be interesting to know as well what
point you are wishing to make  - apart, perhaps,
from merely advertising your copy-and-paste skills!

The key word in your quotation is "Word": this
definition of "soft return" is the language
apparently used by Microsoft in describing the
behaviour of Microsoft Word. As you will realise,
I was attempting instead to assist a user of
OpenOffice. If you do a little more research, you
will indeed find many references to Microsoft's
(mis-?)usage, but find most other references disagreeing:

Computer Hope says:
A … soft return … is a carriage return
automatically inserted by the software program usually because of a word wrap.

Webopedia says
… soft returns are inserted automatically by the
word processor as part of its word wrap capability.

and PCMag, Your Dictionary, The Computer Language
Company Inc., and McGraw-Hill Dictionary of
Scientific & Technical Terms all say (more or less):
A control code that is automatically entered into
a text document by the word-processing program to
mark the end of a line, based on the current right margin.

(There are also some references that don't
mention Word, but I suspect they are in the "Oh,
but everyone uses Microsoft Word, don't they?" camp.)

These definitions refer to the natural wrapping
of text in a word processor document from line to
line, and have nothing to do with manually
inserted line breaks, of course. In any case,
Microsoft's usage makes no sense: there is no
sense in which a line break is in any way "soft".
Just like paragraph breaks, line breaks are
hard-coded into any text document and do not move
around nor disappear and reappear - as the word
"soft" might suggest. Microsoft (if it was them)
and their followers have hijacked a useful term inappropriately.

The original questioner's problem occurred
because she was looking at the appearance of her
document and failing to be being aware of its
structure - in particular of the significance of
paragraph breaks in separating parts with
different paragraph styles. Talking of "hard
returns" and "soft returns" does not clarify
where paragraphs begin and end. Surely it is more
helpful to use self-explanatory language? Why
should anyone recommend OpenOffice users to use
unhelpful terms apparently promulgated by Microsoft?

Brian Barker  


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