Re: Features V stability

Subject: Re: Features V stability
From: Randy Kramer (
Date: Mon May 07 2001 - 07:36:15 CDT

Piotr Sawuk wrote:
> Ron Ross wrote:
> > Sam TH <> writes:
> > > On Thu, May 03, 2001 at 10:37:28PM -0400, Ron Ross wrote:

> > > > On terminating a numbered paragraph, in all mentioned word processors,
> > > > another such paragraph with an incremented number is automatically
> > > > created. In AW and Word, if you hit return again, the listing is ended
> > > > and you're back to "normal" (or whatever). In WP, a second return adds a
> > > > newline previous to the new autogenerated numbered paragraph, pushing
> > > > the latter and the cursor position down one line, and you can add as
> > > > many such intermediate newlines as desired while preserving your
> > > > position in the ordered paragraphs. This makes it easy, as a Normal
> > > > User, to produce the desired spacing layout for listed items, in the
> > > > same sense that the normal user usually hits return twice between
> > > > paragraphs instead of defining inter-paragraph spacing in their default
> > > > paragraph style. Moral: don't do that. But this also calls for a robust,
> > > > logical, consistent and intuitive styles implementation and interface,
> > > > which no word processor now provides. More on that later.

A comment about Word97 in case anyone wants to use it for a comparison
-- in some respects I guess I'd have to say Word's behavior in this
respect is somewhat broken.

In all cases that I've tried, if you press return twice (and sometimes
just once) after an item in a bulleted or numbered list, the bullet or
number disappears from the two (or one) line(s) (paragraphs) created by
pressing return. However, depending on how the list was created, the
style of those lines might be normal (or whatever the original style of
the previous paragraph was) or might be a named list style (like List
Bullet, List Bullet 2, Numbered List, Numbered List 3, or whatever).
This is because a numbered list can be created by either using Format |
Bullets and Numbering to apply a Bullet and Numbering "attribute" on top
of an existing style (like Normal), or by applying a named list style
(List Bullet 2, etc.) to a paragraph or range of paragraphs. In the
first case, the paragraphs retain their original named style (default
Normal), in the second case the paragraphs get a new named style.
Pressing return twice (or once, sometimes) removes the bullet or number
but leaves the underlying named style. (Which is wierd -- in the one
case you have paragraphs with a named style like List Bullet, but with
no bullet and, AFAIK, no way to make the bullet reappear (short of
reapplying Format | Bullets and Numbers or applying a different named
list style).

And, just to confuse you further, this behavior is not related to the
behavior with the outline Level attribute, (which is automatically an
attribute of the predefined Heading 1 through 9 styles, can be applied
to other styles, is used for outlining (and, for example, creating
automatic Tables of Contents based on the outline), and which can also
be automatically numbered).

I realize that my second paragraph is probably confusing (too many
parenthesis), but my point is only to say that the behavior in Word is
confusing and seems inconsistent, and should be used only carefully as a
model during discussion. I don't know whether the behavior has been
improved in Word 2000.

Randy Kramer

> > >
> > > What do you think would be a good user interface to adding lines
> > > between list items?
> >
> > It really depends. If the point is to have that extra space between list
> > items, then, I realize now, that should be entirely done with styles. I
> > think this is a good example of inconsistency in word processor
> > treatment or interface to styles. In all of them, a list item is a
> > paragraph style, you'll find it in the pull-down list of styles.
> > However, in Word, if you place the cursor in the text of a list-item
> > paragraph, the little style box does not reflect the fact, it just shows
> > "Normal". On the other hand, you've got the Bullets and Numbers dialog

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b25 : Sat May 26 2001 - 03:51:25 CDT