Trouble with Style for Following Paragraph

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Trouble with Style for Following Paragraph

Unread postby Tim Frost » Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:17 pm

Suddenly, I found that 'enter' in a Body style paragraph was setting the style of the next paragraph to my (indented) List4 style, although it was shown in the ribbon as 'Body+'. In the Style properties for Body, the Following Paragraph property was set to Body.

My attempt to fix this was to change the Following Paragraph property in my Body style to something else (I chose BodySingle), and then change it back to Body. This had the same effect as I describe above except with BodySingle instead of List4. In other words, Enter still switched Body to Body Single after I had restored its following paragraph to Body. However closing H&M and re-opening it appeared to restore sanity and Enter in a Body paragraph still retained Body for the next one.

However. I then discovered that ALL of my styles based on Body EXCEPT List4 had been set to use Body Single as the style for following paragraph. There seems to be no "(none)" in the pulldown for Style for Following Paragraph, and probably no way to propagate it even it was present.

I can see how I may have caused this, but I did not expect changing the follower for Body to BodySingle also to change the followers for every subsidiary style, whether or not the subsidiaries were set to follow with the same or a different style. I don't much like the fact that there was no warning and no way to reverse it. And I have no idea how the original problem came about: I have not touched the styles dialog for many months.

I have now fixed all the dozens of styles that were broken, and the changes seem to have stuck. But I noticed while doing this that changing a subsidiary style's follower did NOT change the follower of its own subsidiaries. This only happened when Body was set to something other than Body.
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Re: Trouble with Style for Following Paragraph

Unread postby Tim Green » Thu Nov 01, 2018 10:45 am

Hi Tim,

The logic of inheritance is simple and sometimes brutal: Everything that is not explicitly defined in a descendant gets inherited from the ancestor. This really applies to everything that you can define in a style, without exceptions. So if you define a parent style with an explicit style for the next paragraph, that will be applied to all its descendants unless they have their own definitions for that. The same applies to all other attributes. Theoretically it would be possible to exclude some attributes from inheritance, but then it gets very gnarly because users have to be aware of the exceptions and know how to work with them. At the moment, Help+Manual uses the Keep-It-Simple approach: Inheritance is universal, period, no exceptions.

Sometimes working with this requires a little more planning. For example, it's generally a good idea not to use the grandfather Normal style anywhere directly. That needs to be your original ancestor that only defines very basic things that will be pretty much universal. In most cases that means the font face and nothing else -- and definitely NOT anything like next paragraph, space before and after and so on. Below that you then define groups of style trees for individual purposes. The two main groups would usually be Body Text and Headings, using Heading1 as the ancestor. Body Text would normally only have itself as the next paragraph, except for exceptional purposes. Headings would normally have the main Body Text style set as next paragraph, with some exceptions there too for special purposes. And so on... :?
Regards,
Tim (EC Software Documentation & User Support)

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