Issue 10459 - Template Association (apply templates to existing documents)
Summary: Template Association (apply templates to existing documents)
Alias: None
Product: Writer
Classification: Application
Component: ui (show other issues)
Version: OOo 1.0.1
Hardware: All All
: P3 Trivial with 13 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Keywords: oooqa
: 8327 (view as issue list)
Depends on:
Reported: 2003-01-05 02:00 UTC by rblackeagle
Modified: 2013-08-07 14:41 UTC (History)
3 users (show)

See Also:
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---


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Description rblackeagle 2003-01-05 02:00:46 UTC
A difficulty in writing large documents is the inability to associate a template with a document once the document has been produced.  Admittedly, this is caused by a mistake in starting a document before designing a template for it, but this is the reverse of the process most users follow.  Being able to save styles and settings as a template (instead of the entire document) would add extra complexity, but being able to associate a template with a document after it is created would add flexibility without extreme changes to the user interface.

Lack of this feature has cost me hundreds of hours using OOo in the past year and it is a problem that crops up frequently on the users' list.
Comment 1 h.ilter 2003-01-07 16:37:42 UTC
Reassigned to BH
Comment 2 eric.savary 2003-04-16 15:33:49 UTC
Set to "NEW"
Comment 3 rblackeagle 2003-08-17 02:01:39 UTC
Test in RC#:  I just opened a new blank text document and then did the
"Load" and picked a template.  All the styles were loaded (I checked
them all) and saved when I closed the file and reopened it.  However,
it was still not "set" to the template, so any changes to the template
have to be "hand-loaded."

It would still be a good idea to create a template association (or
remove one).
Comment 4 toralf 2003-10-03 18:38:01 UTC
I want this, too (as I've already mentioned several times on the
mailing list.) We are transitioning to OOo right now (from
Applix/AnyWare office, and partially MS Word), and this feature would
certainly make the job a lot easier. 

Obviously, many of or documents haven't been associated with templates
from the beginning, as they are converted from other formats. Also, it
will probably take some time to set up new templates the way we want,
and we would like to start using the program before they are all in
place, of course (so the opportunity of adding the template afterwards
to make the docs that have been created already look right would be
very useful.)

As for "Load Styles", I also suspect that it doesn't include all
settings that would be updated by a new template association.
Comment 5 rblackeagle 2003-10-05 23:17:59 UTC
Is anything happening with this issue?
Comment 6 lohmaier 2003-10-23 18:01:31 UTC
*** Issue 8327 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 7 lohmaier 2003-10-23 18:03:56 UTC
extended summary, setting OS/Platform to all, target-milestone "not
Comment 8 rblackeagle 2004-03-05 18:52:25 UTC
An example of the need or usability of the suggested enhancement is illustrated
by a MS Word document I needed to use in OOo.  I opened the document and, of
course, it is not associated with any template.  What I wanted to be able to do
is save it as an OOo document and associate it with the template my publishers
want to see when I submit anything to them.  IF I could do it (and I cannot at
present), it would save me a lot of time if I could "Change template
association" and point it to the template I want, then apply the styles.  

If I then needed to make changes in the template (something that seems to happen
every six months or so), I could simply change the template and all those
documents would be corrected.  The present method (open a new document using
File > New > Documents and Templates; cut and paste "special" from the original
document and then reset all styles; then for future changes in the template, go
to Format > Styles > Load to update for the template changes) is clumsy and
time-consuming.  I hope some work will be done on this enhancement.
Comment 9 dwig 2004-05-24 19:00:33 UTC
Here's an attempt to tease out some issues around "associating" a template with
a document:

Associating a template to a new document can mean (at least) the following:
1) Copy the template into the document (as though with cut&paste, but getting
styles, settings, etc. as well as content).  In this case, changes to the
template won't be reflected in any document that "has" that template - the
"association" was a one-time event.

2) Use a kind of "style inheritance" when editing.  For example, the styles
presented in the Stylist will include both those the user defines during
editing, and those present in the template.  The user can, while editing the
document, redefine a template style, which will cause a new style of the same
name to be stored with the document, and override the template's definition. 
(To change the style's definition in the template, edit the template itself.) 
In this case, any changes to the template will be reflected in each associated
document the next time it's edited.  (As an embellishment here, you could allow
for a list of templates to be associated with a document, each one adding its
non-overriden goodies to the document.  This would allow for "modularizing"

I'm not sure what OOo currently does, but it seems more like the former than the
latter.  I can imagine use cases for both designs; maybe both should be offered,
clearly distinguished in the UI and clearly documented.

There's another issue here: aside from styles and settings, a template can
contain text.  It's pretty clear how that would work under 1) above; how would
it work under 2)?  One possibility would be to identify a "unit of substitution"
(maybe a paragraph).  Then each unit would be taken from the template when
opening the document until the user edits it; then it becomes part of the document.

In general, I'd like to see the design clarified to the point that accurate and
clear user-level documentation is easy to produce.
Comment 10 rblackeagle 2004-05-25 10:02:19 UTC
MY understanding is that I can do the first version by simply loading styles 
from an existing document or template snd then using the ones I want in the new 
document.  Where this results in overwriting a style I already have (because of 
same name).  I can choose what I want using the existing "Style > Load" dialog.

What I want is the ability to take a document I started or imported (say from 
Word) and associate it with a template so it works exactly the same way as 
creating the document from the template.  The template now takes over all styles 
in the new document.  If I have defined new styles before loading the template, 
the template overrides same-name styles and leaves custom named styles alone.

What I end up with (what is wanted) is that I can now edit the template (say, if 
the publisher changes some requirements) and, when opening any document based on 
that style, I will be presented with a question about whether I want the styles 
updated since the template has been changed.  In other words, I end up with 
exactly the same thing I would have had had I begun the document with File > New 
> Templates and Documents and selected the template.

To clarify: this is NOT the same as installing additional styles -- that can be 
done using the Load Styles commands.  I do NOT want a ONE-TIME association 
(again, something that can be done with Load Styles).  What I want is for the 
document now and forever to be based on a template which I can modify for a 

Possible further enhancement: Ability to save the document with a new name and 
associate a different template with it -- useful for submission of documents to 
more than one publisher each with differing style requirements.  However, in 
every case, the result is One Template for the document and not some mixture.
Comment 11 lendo 2008-09-30 13:45:11 UTC
With the Template Changer extension it is possible to associate a document with
a template whenever you want.

With this extension it is also possible to "repair" the template association
after answering NO to the question for applying templates when opening a document.

This is a workaround, but it works. Hopefully, such a feature will be added to itself sometime.
Comment 12 bettina.haberer 2010-05-21 15:04:15 UTC
To grep the issues easier via "requirements" I put the issues currently lying on
my owner to the owner "requirements".