Issue 47893 - Format --> Default resets applied character style.
Summary: Format --> Default resets applied character style.
Alias: None
Product: Writer
Classification: Application
Component: formatting (show other issues)
Version: 680m91
Hardware: All All
: P3 Trivial with 18 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Keywords: oooqa
: 87420 104391 112802 (view as issue list)
Depends on:
Reported: 2005-04-21 16:33 UTC by alvarezp2000
Modified: 2013-08-07 14:44 UTC (History)
5 users (show)

See Also:
Issue Type: DEFECT
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---


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Description alvarezp2000 2005-04-21 16:33:00 UTC
Writer should not remove explicitly applied character styles (via Stylist) when 
applying "Default Formatting" to a selection; it should only reset "overriding 
format" --or-- it should include an option in Stylist to chose what to reset.

1. Open a new text document.
2. New Heading1, say "Agenda".
3. New paragraph: "John, 555-1234".
4. New paragraph: "Mary, 555-1235".
5. Select "John" (w/o the phone number), make it "Bold".
6. Switch to the Character Style tab.
7. Click on "New style from selection", chosse "Name" as the name.
8. Apply "Name" to the text "Mary".
9. Apply italics to "555-1234".
10. Assume you have a great long agenda, 200 pages long.
11. Select all document.
12. Do "Format -> Default Formatting".

Writer should ONLY reset the italics placed to the phone number, but it resets 
the names too back to not bold.

XHTML equivalent: <p><span class="name">John</span>, 555-1234.</p>
I would then define in the style: "name { font-weight: bold; }"
Comment 1 michael.ruess 2005-04-22 13:00:16 UTC
MRU->FL: for decision to you now. Currently, Format.Default turns everything
back to the "default" of the paragraph style. It is quite a 50-50 thing, if it's
better to leave the text formatted with character styles as is or (like now) to
remove the character styles.
Comment 2 alvarezp2000 2005-04-22 17:27:53 UTC
If FL changes it (which I hope), a user could still reset character styles by 
applying the "Default" character style before asking for "Format -> Default 
Formatting". while still having the text selected, so there would be no 
functionality loss. That's what the program does, anyway.
Comment 3 peschtra 2005-04-23 04:57:59 UTC
I'm trying to remember/decipher. The behavior of 1.9.95 is not the same as the
behavior in 1.1.4.

1.1.4 behaves as alvarezp2000 would expect, doesn't it? So, is this a
regression, or a planned change?
Comment 4 frank.loehmann 2005-04-28 10:47:07 UTC
FL: The Format - Default formatting functionality has not been touched for OOo
2.0. Furthermore the paragraph style list box in the Text Object Bar contains a
new entry "Clear Formatting", which behaves different. Please find details in
the following spec.:

Currently there are no plans to change this behavior. Therefore I set the target
to OOo later just that the community has the possibility to vote for this issue.
Comment 5 alvarezp2000 2005-04-28 17:12:44 UTC
The mentioned document clearly states this as a bug, as it refers to "hard 
character formatting".

According to the document, I should be able to select all the document and ask 
for "Format -> Default formatting" and have my document completely reset to 
applied styles, being paragraph, character or whatever else. The new 
functionality will NOT allow me to do it because it would set all my paragraphs 
to "Default" paragraph style (see tables around line 130).

Therefore it has all my votes and I ask the community to vote for this issue. I 
ask the developers also to reconsider and understand that this issue is located 
at the heart of the character stylist functionality.
Comment 6 alvarezp2000 2005-05-21 03:06:55 UTC
Will there eventually be a menu entry or button to clear hardly applied 
formatting **ONLY**?
Comment 7 nemoresus 2006-11-02 10:01:25 UTC
Yes, please reconsider this.
When working on a long document where consistency is important (and I guess many
OOo users have this need, even if they do not know it), this is a pretty
annoying behaviour.
IMHO, character styles are an important part of a document and should not be
dissmissed by default.
In 2.0.4, the "clear formatting" thingy removes everything, styles and hardcoded
formatting, while the "format->default" only keeps paragraph styles, user have
still no way to remove only hardcoded formatting :/
Comment 8 alvarezp2000 2007-07-07 21:00:35 UTC
Any updates on this issue?
Comment 9 Joe Smith 2008-01-11 22:20:24 UTC
In the process of testing the current snapshot (SRC680_m242), I noticed that
Writer now has the behavior requested here: Selecting a paragraph and using
Format > Default Formatting removes direct formatting, but does not remove
applied character styles.

Is this change intentional?

I'm afraid it's not clear to me from the spec document (linked above) what is
intended for OOo 3, in part because the spec often refers to "hard formatting"
without clearly distinguishing whether "hard formatting" includes applied
character styles or only direct character formatting.

Is there another issue tracking this change? I've had no success identifying a
recently-integrated CWS for this change either.
Comment 10 huw 2008-01-28 16:18:21 UTC
See also issue 85464. Unless I'm mistaken these two issues are saying the 
opposite of each other.

Surely Default should ONLY clear direct formatting (i.e. retain character 
styles), otherwise how can it be done?

Character styles are easily removed by applying default character style - we 
don't need Default to do that too. That would be at the expense of losing the 
ability to remove only direct formatting (which is VITAL for cleaning and 
converting a 'second-hand' document to pure styles).
Comment 11 alvarezp2000 2008-02-04 09:31:31 UTC
I have just left a comment on the issue 85464 about reading comments on this 
one and the flaws in the spec document.
Comment 12 huw 2008-03-13 10:51:13 UTC
On the first page of Writer Help (Application Help) is a link to "Instructions 
for Using StarOffice Writer". On that page, under the heading "Using Styles, 
Numbering Pages, Using Fields" is a link "Undoing Direct Formatting for a 
Document". That leads to a page which says this:


"You can undo all formatting that has not been made by styles in a few steps."

"If you format a document without Styles, it is referred to as "direct" 

"You can remove direct formatting from your document by selecting the entire 
text with the shortcut keys Command Ctrl+A and then choosing Format - Default 

Converting someone else's ODT or DOC to pure styles should be that simple.

However tangled the specifications have got themselves, the actual intended 
behaviour is quite clear.

Please reconsider target - considering Writer's developing reputation as a 
styles based word processor, having to manually re-apply potentially hundreds, 
or even thousands of character stylings, is a severe limitation.
Comment 13 michael.ruess 2008-03-26 11:57:17 UTC
*** Issue 87420 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 14 alvarezp2000 2008-06-28 01:30:53 UTC
Any updates on this issue? Some users have already remarked the importance of 
the issue when handling long documents.
Comment 15 kohtala 2009-01-29 09:10:22 UTC
Seems to me we have two needs: 1) remove character styles, 2) remove local
formatting (to make document formatting only styles based).

Now it seems to me people who want to do 1+2 think it is too much to perform two
steps, so people that only want to do 2 do not have a command for it, but have
to perform manually hundreds or thousands steps to revert 1.

This is rather severe usability problem.

Please, raise priority of this issue to revert issue 85464 to fix this one.
Comment 16 Joe Smith 2009-01-29 22:18:16 UTC
Another very surprising and harmful consequence of Format > Default removing
applied character styles is that hyperlinks are destroyed because they are based
on character styles.

The dependence of hyperlinks on styles is not apparent to the user, who never
applied any style to create the link, and may not understand or use styles at
all, so it is easy to apply Format > Default to reset text formatting and as a
consequence also lose all the link addresses without realizing it.
Comment 17 michael.ruess 2009-08-21 10:38:47 UTC
*** Issue 104391 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 18 alvarezp2000 2010-02-22 22:19:43 UTC
I would like to ask what is it needed to get this bug fixed.

Is it just the patch? Is it discussion? Is it clarification on the Styles 
specification? Is it more users supporting fix of this bug (a. k. a. votes)?

Thank you.
Comment 19 alvarezp2000 2010-02-22 22:34:00 UTC
The help system says "To reset all direct formatting of existing text, select 
that text, then choose the menu command Format - Default Formatting."

It does NOT actually do this. Instead of "resetting all *direct* formatting" it 
also removes applied character styles.
Comment 20 pinchorrero 2010-03-03 23:19:37 UTC
Is there any other way to remove hardly applied 
formatting but keeping the character styles?
Comment 21 gnustavo 2010-04-22 15:36:52 UTC
This issue is generating a big discussion in the
Comment 22 Mathias_Bauer 2010-05-19 11:40:26 UTC
Finding a solution that pleases all OOo users as much as possible IMHO requires
to separate them into users that work with styles and those who don't (that -
I'm afraid - most probably are the majority).

A user that doesn't use styles will be confused by a command "remove hard
attributes" or something similar. OTOH a user working with styles will learn
easily how to remove applied styles.

So I suggest that we change "Default formatting" so that it does not remove
applied styles, as requested. But then we should think about a new name for this
Comment 23 alvarezp2000 2010-05-21 01:47:54 UTC
This has been fixed in Go-oo. See the following patch:

Furthermore, because, it will also NOT remove hyperlinks anymore, we must show 
'Remove Hyperlink' even with selection. See the following prerequisite patch:
Comment 24 Mathias_Bauer 2010-05-21 07:50:14 UTC
We already have "remove hyperlinnk" since 3.2 (IIRC).
That's a good point, thank you for mentioning it.

@fl: shall we keep hyperlink formatting in "Default Formatting" or not? It's
worth a consideration, though perhaps people might be used to get rid of
hyperlink formatting by calling "Default Formatting".
Comment 25 alvarezp2000 2010-05-21 08:13:50 UTC
@mba: Maybe I didn't explain correctly.

See discussion at

Hyperlinks are not formatting. In essence they alter functionality and not 
printing. Sure, it sets the text to the Hyperlink style, but that is just a 
consequence of being a hyperlink.

As such, in the patch, "Default Formatting" will NOT clear Hyperlinks anymore. 
It should NOT. Besides, there is a "Remove hyperlink" already for that, except 
that the shell is buggy: it doesn't show the option if you have text selected.

So, how can you "remove all hyperlinks from the document or an arbitrary text 
block otherwise"? Shouldn't you simply do "select, right-click, remove 
hyperlink"? That's what the other patch allows.

What I'm trying to say is that even if "Default formatting" wouldn't change, 
"Remove hyperlinks" should work this other way. We are fixing two different 

Now, if they are two different bugs, why is one a prerequisite of the other? 
Because without fixing the "remove hyperlink" mess, we would leave the user 
without a way to actually remove hyperlinks from a text block.
Comment 26 Mathias_Bauer 2010-05-21 12:40:43 UTC
Sorry, *now* I'm confused. Before that I thought we are on the same side:

"Default formatting" nowadays does not reset the language attribute - that's good.
Because of this recent change we now need a new functionality "reset language
attribute". This is what this issue is about.

"Default formatting" nowadays clears the hyperlink attribute - you consider this
to be wrong and I tend to agree (though I'm asking fl for his opinion). And here
we already have the necessary extra functionality that would be needed in case
we don't clear "hyperlink formatting" when the user selects "default formatting".
Of course this would be another issue, but as you brought it up, I didn't see a
reason not to answer it.
Comment 27 alvarezp2000 2010-05-21 16:30:51 UTC
> Before that I thought we are on the same side:

We are. I just exepected a push to "fix" instead of a simple "consideration'.

> "Default formatting" nowadays clears the hyperlink attribute - you consider 
this to be wrong and I tend to agree (though I'm asking fl for his opinion).

fl doesn't see this issue as a bug. That's why I don't agree on fl "considering" 
it. With a "consideration" I foresee 5 more years with the bug open.
Comment 28 Mathias_Bauer 2010-05-21 20:06:15 UTC
I assume that you are talking about the hyperlink (that should be another issue
as this one is about keeping character styles when using "format-default" and
AFAIK fl is not against that).

Well, in a good team (and I hope that we have a good one) it's usual to pay
attention to the experts. fl is one of our "UX" experts and so I value his
input. And waiting for another 5 years is nothing that should happen: either
it's a "let's do it" or a "won't fix".
Comment 29 huw 2010-05-22 07:52:59 UTC
Hyperlinks are a style (albeit non-obvious) & should NOT be removed by applying
default formatting - that should ONLY remove direct (hard) formatting. Styles
can easily be removed by applying default character style. At the moment, due to
this bug, there is NO way of removing direct formatting without also losing styles.
Comment 30 Mathias_Bauer 2010-05-22 12:50:42 UTC
In case we don't receive a serious complaint ;-) from your side, I opt for
following the suggestion in this issue and keep styles and hyperlink formatting
when "format default" is used in Writer.

I also would like to change the target at least to 3.x.
Comment 31 eric.savary 2010-06-30 11:06:57 UTC
*** Issue 112802 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 32 Mathias_Bauer 2010-06-30 11:31:28 UTC
It seems that there is no contradiction.
The only question that remains is: should we keep the name "default formatting"?
IMHO we can keep it, as "default" never was an exact or strict definition for
what was happening. And we all seemed to agree that the old behavior was just
wrong, the new one would be what is *expected* as a default behavior.