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GarryP

Can't find a quick way to override all formatting when applying a paragraph style

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4 minutes ago, dominik said:

But what is the dependency if one applies a style that is not based on its original style?

I'm not sure whether I follow.

Would you mind giving an example of this.

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8 hours ago, Seneca said:

I'm not sure whether I follow.

Would you mind giving an example of this.

Hi @Seneca,

I am referring to this:

'So for example if you applied Bold character style to some text create another Character style based on Bold style and add Red as its colour.'

Your idea is to create a style 'Bold Red' that is based on 'Bold'.
My idea is to have a style 'Bold' (e.g. based on 'Body') and to have an independent style 'Red' (also based on 'Body').

I assume that if I apply 'Red' to some text with 'Bold' applied the text turns red and stays bold. At least as long as '[No change]' is visible in 'Font weight'.
Basically thiss is stacking character styles on each other.

But I may be wrong :) and the current concept of character styles is that only one character style is possible.

d.


Affinity Designer 1.6.5.123 (beta 1.7.0.209) - Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 (beta 1.7.0.209) - Affinity Designer for iPad 1.6.1.39 - Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.8.77    ...    Affinity Publisher beta 1.7.0.221

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9 hours ago, dominik said:

But what is the dependency if one applies a style that is not based on its original style?

I would assume that a '[No change]' does just that. Not change the underlying format.

Yes, for example you would have applied some character style (bold) to part of a sentence, and a GREP would apply superscript to part of the text without overriding the bold. "[No change]" doesn't refer to some other style(s), but to the current text and its formatting and the superscript option only.

This way I could easily have: "Jusqu’au 1er janvier 2019". (with "er" in superscript/color, etc. instead of underlined)

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17 hours ago, GarryP said:

I've often accidentally applied formatting by clicking on a style when I should have right-clicked - to, for example, edit the style - instead. When I don't realise that I shouldn't have clicked, the formatting can be applied and I don't notice until I see the text looking wrong. Obviously it's my own fault for doing the wrong thing but there should be a way for me to be able to quickly get back to where I was with the text without traversing the Undo stack (as I might have made other changes since which I want to keep).

Alt click paragraph style would be best. Until then I think you need to select some text which includes (but can be larger than) the text you want to revert, then give it a Character Style (any), and then give it a Character Style of [No Style]. That seems to do the job. Or you can select only the text with the applied Character Style and apply [No Style]. I know its a bit clunky but it seems to work.


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I thought alt-click was implemented but there was something else happening... not sure what.

Another problem here is that only some fonts work reliably: Myriad keeps nicely bolds and italics, while Avenir Next turns all condensed, unless setting trait to regular, which removes bold and italics.

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Just found a better way to remove Character Styles from within a Paragraph Style (Style1 in this example). Select the text to change, click the hamburger next to the selected paragraph style, choose 'Apply "Style1" to Characters' (ignore the tick mark). Or do the same by selecting the text frame(s).

image.thumb.png.9aabe9e042a93a3d5b0827e43398d58a.png


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I have a couple of points that I'd like to inject into the conversation at this point.

My first point is that I really don't like the idea of 'hiding' extra button functionality behind a keyboard modifier. It's probably true that once someone uses that functionality enough they will remember it, but that assumes that they know about it in the first place. In an ideal world, everyone will have both read and remembered all of the manual but not everyone lives in an ideal world. I read all of the Designer help pages when I first got the software but I still find myself having to look back at it to find out what my memory is missing.

Making functionality only available to those who have read and remembered all of the documentation and can remember every keyboard modifier and mystical incantation for every situation makes for a two-tier 'system': those who are in-the-know and those who aren't. This makes for the situation where one group of users is none-the-wiser about various parts of the software. A case-in-point is clicking the Opacity control in the Colour studio to make it change into the Noise control. If you don't know about that and didn't notice it in the manual, you're missing out on useful functionality.

I would much prefer additional button functionality to be provided by a drop-down-list or contextual menu. That way, the extra functionality is exposed to all users. Yes, people will have to learn what is in the drop-down/menu, but the drop down is there for everyone to see rather than people having to think: "I wonder what would happen if I tried using a keyboard modifier with this."

My second point is that the developers have given us some amazingly flexible text formatting tools but the documentation on how best to use them is scant. (I realise it's not finished yet.) There are one or two short pages in the Help on what the different style types are and - up-to-a-very-basic-point - what they're for, but there's no official guide to good/best practices. (Maybe a Publisher Workbook is on its way?)

We have paragraph styles that can be applied to both paragraphs and characters; we have character styles that can be applied to both characters and paragraphs; we have group styles that can 'hold' character styles and paragraph styles but cannot be applied to text; we have paragraph styles that can be based on either paragraph styles or character styles; we have character styles that can be based on either character or paragraph styles. The combinations look to be almost endless but there's not much in the way of guidance from the developers as to what works best.

As a little experiment, I've just created:
* a paragraph style "A";
* then created a character style "B" that is based on paragraph style "A";
* then another character style "C" that is based on character style "B";
* then a paragraph style "D" that is based on character style "C";
* and finally another character style "E" that is based on paragraph style "D".
Obviously that was a crazy thing to do but the fact that it was possible makes it easy to see how people can get in a tangle, and I didn't even touch group styles.

Because of this we are each coming up with different ways of doing the same thing and that can make discussions difficult when two or more people are each trying to convince the other(s) to do something one way when the other ways also do the same thing but are slightly different and have their own consequences later on.

Don't get me wrong, it's great to have options but, for a beginner at least, there are too many ways of doing things. If the documentation could give a few basic/intermediate and well-thought-out examples of what the user should be doing in certain cases then that might be all that is needed, but the current situation is very confusing.

All-in-all, I just think that certain things could be made easier for beginners, and everyone is a beginner at the start.

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The alt+click thing.

These other applications (ID/QXP) also have functional right-click and make a choice options. Alt+click should just be looked at as an alternative method of absolutely resetting a paragraph to its base configuration no matter where the cursor is in the paragraph without the clutter of all the other choices of the right-click and make a choice method (for which the same option is available in a list of 10 or so different options in the context flyout menu).

Making it easier for beginners is to have functional methods of accomplishing the need to reset a paragraph to its base style. That and having functional, intuitive methods for, well, anything.


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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@MikeW I'm absolutely not against giving people the option of alt+clicking on a button, just as long as there is a way for people to use that functionality without having to already know, somehow, that you need to alt+click.
In other words:
* click the button, get the default functionality;
* alt+click the button, get the extended functionality;
* select the drop-down and click the default function, get the default functionality;
* select the drop-down and click the extended function, get the extended functionality.
Beginners can see all the options via the slower method while experts can use the quicker method.

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Here's the issue to me. APub just doesn't operate logically.

Here's a screen shot showing the right-click options. Note the bold+italic text showing.

capture-002450.png.0e162293751b580244eb48c1f6101854.png

Now, what do I choose from the above context menu options if I want the paragraph to revert to its base style?

Well, I would opt to choose the first entry. So what happens if I do so?

capture-002451.png.ec9ee812211ea39787621c22653f8ed3.png

Bold is removed, italic is retained. But that's not want I wanted. Where's the option to just reset the paragraph back? Oh, I know, its that little proxy button at the top right of the styles window. Why isn't it a context option?

It's mess having these options separated. That's not going to fare well with beginners. It's no more difficult to point them to a little proxy than to tell them to alt+click on the style name.

Mike


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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Yeah, I agree. It's a bit confusing to me as to which 'thing' I need to use to do what I want at any time in this area.
As with your example, I too would have - and actually have in my own documents - chosen the option you chose as that seems the right thing to do. (It doesn't say anything about preserving stuff, like the other options, so why is it prerserving stuff?)

We have lots of really great options that give us loads of control but they're a wee bit 'disjointed' at the moment, or that's how it looks to me.
Maybe I just don't know why it was done this way and, once I'm told, it might all fall into place. Maybe there's a really good reason why things are as they are and I'm just not seeing it.

I'm sure I can get used to it over time but that doesn't help people who are trying to use the software in the early days of use, not just beginners to DTP but DTP experts wanting to come over from other software.
It's got to feel right or people aren't going to like it, and maybe they'll just give up, which would be a shame as Publisher has so much potential (even before it is first released, which is testament to the work the team have put into it).

At the moment I'm pretty much resigned to just accepting that this is how things are and I've just got to get used to them, but I've a feeling that a few little tweaks here and there would make things much easier to use in the long run and help to bring people in from competing products.

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2 minutes ago, GarryP said:

...

I'm sure I can get used to it over time but that doesn't help people who are trying to use the software in the early days of use, not just beginners to DTP but DTP experts wanting to come over from other software.
It's got to feel right or people aren't going to like it, and maybe they'll just give up, which would be a shame as Publisher has so much potential (even before it is first released, which is testament to the work the team have put into it).

I think all this rigmarole is helpful--as long as the parties at Serif are listening. Well, listening and not thinking we are trying to mold APub in our own image. There are good reasons the competitors evolved the way they did. Being different for difference sake is perilous to long-term adoption.

2 minutes ago, GarryP said:

...

At the moment I'm pretty much resigned to just accepting that this is how things are and I've just got to get used to them, but I've a feeling that a few little tweaks here and there would make things much easier to use in the long run and help to bring people in from competing products.

I'm not resigned. Which is why I am critical. Some of this stuff would be better (insert more intuitive, easier or whatever word/phrase ya want) during this beta if Serif wasn't trying to mold APub into its own image, its thinking of how to "improve" work-flows and functionality that have a basis in the real-world. Especially if that molding is being done by people who have not spent years using those competing applications so they truly understand how they work, what they do and why they do it in the manner they do.

Mike


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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Yup... Fingers crossed that the developers are taking the software down roads where people want to walk.
The official line seems to be, from what I've read in the forums, that they are trying - as you say - to improve work-flows (and I'm all for improvement if it's a good thing) but not every 'improvement' is a good one.
There are so many sayings about 'unbroken wheels' and the like that I'm not going to quote one (unless I already have).

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1 hour ago, MikeW said:

Bold is removed, italic is retained. But that's not want I wanted. Where's the option to just reset the paragraph back? Oh, I know, its that little proxy button at the top right of the styles window. Why isn't it a context option?

Select text, then Right click - apply "Body French" to characters.


Windows 7 Pro, I5 3.3G PC 16G RAM

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25 minutes ago, MickRose said:

 

Select text, then Right click - apply "Body French" to characters.

Yes, I know. Intuitive, isn't it? I should not need to select the paragraph. The cursor should be able to be anywhere within a paragraph and there should be an option to clear all local and character formatting. 


My computer is a nothing-special Toshiba laptop with unremarkable specs running Windows 10 64-bit.

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The Apply XXX to Characters from the right click is worth having, but I agree there should be an option to click the cursor in a paragraph and remove Character & local formatting. It would save 3 clicks! Alt click directly from the paragraph styles panel would be better of course.


Windows 7 Pro, I5 3.3G PC 16G RAM

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6 hours ago, GarryP said:

I have a couple of points that I'd like to inject into the conversation at this point.

 

...

(I realise it's not finished yet.)

I think you make some valid points in this post. I do not think that a software should per se exclude beginners or less experienced users. But there will be a learning curve for everyone. And for some steeper than for others.

I know, you are aware of the not finished documentation. But that's the point. APub is a huge project with a lot of ambitios goals. They have to accomplish this step by step. To me it is obvious that documentation can only be made once functionality is finished.

For myself I like to think about it this way: I am invited to some part of the developing process. I can try to find bugs. I can point out 'rough edges'. I can submit suggestions.
At the same time I am on my own to find my way around because all the official help is not finished yet. And there is this forum with a lot of information, help and questions. For the time being we have to work with what is available. And in doubt we can ask other forumsters.

With this in mind your post may be a valuable source of 'user feedback' to the developers. I am confident that someone at Serif takes note and eventually this powerfull but a little complicated concept of paragraph and character styles will work smoother :)

Cheers,
d.

 

 


Affinity Designer 1.6.5.123 (beta 1.7.0.209) - Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 (beta 1.7.0.209) - Affinity Designer for iPad 1.6.1.39 - Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.8.77    ...    Affinity Publisher beta 1.7.0.221

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10 hours ago, GarryP said:

I wonder if that's going to be part of the official marketing strategy: Beginners keep out. Nothing for you here.

That's my opinion. You don't have to agree with me on this.

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@dominik I totally understand that the Help isn't complete and cannot be until the software has been made ready for release.

My point is that, unless the beta testers have a good idea of how functions are supposed to work - and, just as importantly, what they're not supposed to do - then they can't know whether something is working correctly or not. We can assume that a function should do X and Y but if we don't know that it's also supposed to do Z, or that it's specifically not supposed to do Z, then how can we say that it's doing what it is supposed to be doing and no more than that?
 
If someone is developing a function then they will almost certainly be working from a design specification - rather than just doing whatever they like - so at least one person should know what that function is supposed to do. And if one person knows that information then it can't be too much trouble to copy/paste some of that information - at least in some kind of basic/raw state - into the Help for beta testing. Once the beta testing is complete, the Help can then be tidied up for a more general user audience.
 
I'm absolutely not saying that the beta testers should be given access to confidential corporate design/coding secrets or anything like that, but the more information we're given the more we can test and, therefore, the better the release product can be.
 
Every member of the public that's part of the beta testing has their own reasons for putting the time and effort into this for free, but I would like to think that we're all doing what we're doing in order to make the release a success. Publisher is a fantastic bit of software and the team putting it together deserve every success with it, so it would be nice if we could get the information we need so as to help to send it out onto the catwalk on its début without some toilet paper sticking out of its pants (so to speak).

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1 hour ago, GarryP said:

My point is that, unless the beta testers have a good idea of how functions are supposed to work - and, just as importantly, what they're not supposed to do - then they can't know whether something is working correctly or not.

Hi @GarryP,

I agree with you very much. It's just that it all takes time. This is why I think this forum is a very helpful place to figure things out.

d.


Affinity Designer 1.6.5.123 (beta 1.7.0.209) - Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 (beta 1.7.0.209) - Affinity Designer for iPad 1.6.1.39 - Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.8.77    ...    Affinity Publisher beta 1.7.0.221

Windows 10 (1803) 64-bit - Core i7 - 16GB - Intel HD Graphics 4600 & NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M
iPad pro 9.7" + Apple Pencil

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