Re: Thoughts on text styles, Show Paragraphs, and internal representation

Subject: Re: Thoughts on text styles, Show Paragraphs, and internal representation
From: Randy Kramer (
Date: Sun Jun 25 2000 - 13:55:47 CDT


Sorry! Collapsible outlining is nifty. ;-)

Here is a sample outline:

I. Introduction
II. First Chapter
          This is the beginning of the text of the first chapter...
    II.A. First Subheading
          Text ...
          Text ...
    II.B. Second Subheading
          Text ...
        II.B.1. Sub-Subheading
          Text ...
        II.B.2. Second Sub-Subheading
          Text ...
III. Second Chapter

<There are many possible indentation and numbering styles.>

With collapsible outlining (ala Microsoft Word), you can "collapse" the
outline to various degrees and then manipulate the document in that
collapsed form. In general, it makes the structure of your document
easier to visualize while you are planning, writing, or revising.

For example, if the sample outline above were collapsed to the "1"
level, it would look like this:

I. Introduction
II. First Chapter
III. Second Chapter

Collapsed to the "2" level, it would look like this:

I. Introduction
II. First Chapter
    II.A. First Subheading
    II.B. Second Subheading
III. Second Chapter

There are features to do things like:
- move heading with or without the associated text
- promote or demote headers
- expand or collapse portions of the outline instead of the entire

Word allows collapsible outlining in a view they call outline view. In
outline view, certain predefined styles are applied to each level of the
outline so that the outline structure is more visible. (Generally, each
level of the outline is indented by a different amount.)

In normal view (which is what I usually use if I am not in outline
view), the "normal" styles are visible (by normal styles, I mean the
paragraph styles defined by the template (stylesheet) or by the writer,
which might or might not be indented.

(AbiWord currently uses what Word would call page view, which shows the
layout as if on a sheet of paper. Normal view is almost like a
continuous sheet of paper with no left margin. (Aside: Another nice
Word feature is the "wrap to window" option which wraps text (except
tables) so it fits within the width of the current "window" -- you don't
have to scroll left and right to see an entire line of text.))

There are related features, like the ability to make a Table of Contents
automatically by using the headings at selected levels.

Hope this helps!

PS: I don't think you have to understand this thoroughly, my only point
is that I think we need a little bit more information in a paragraph
"style" to support this, and I would like to try to incorporate changes
to major data structures to support collapsible outlining with any other
changes which might occur in the near future.

Randy Kramer

Jesper Skov wrote:
> >>>>> "Randy" == Randy Kramer <> writes:
> Randy> I am looking forward to the day when AbiWord supports
> Randy> collapsible outlining. In fact, I seem to have volunteered to
> Randy> do it ;-), (but I forecast a five year schedule, which is
> Randy> beginning to seem realistic as I beat my head against C and
> Randy> C++).
> Randy> I think that collapsible outlining will require at least one
> Randy> more thing (attribute?) in the description of a paragraph
> Randy> style. (I think this would be something that specifies the
> Randy> outline level of the paragraph, perhaps any of Heading 1
> Randy> through Heading 9, and "Body". (I have some thoughts of trying
> Randy> to support body levels 1 through 9 in addition to heading
> Randy> levels.))
> Sorry, I don't grok WP lingo :) What is 'collapsible outlining'?
> >> I hope that AbiWord will support a show nonprinting characters
> >> option (like word) which does not show the styles for runs within a
> >> paragraph.
> I can think of no reason for not having separate options for enabling
> these things. Even options for each type of formatting if necessary.
> Jesper

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