Omnioutliner Flakey Styles?

Trying to revisit this as OO5 is just round the corner.

I paste in some text that covers multiple rows. I select all rows and change the font and font size. Result, nothing changes. I actually have to go in to every row and select all the text to change the font and font-size. This is absolutely ludicrous. If I select text and tell it to change the style I expect it to do so. I do not expect to to have to select every single word to change the style.

If OO5 follows this same behaviour it’s the end of the road for OO for me.

This is why I’m currently using Scrivener.

With OO5, any pasted content that comes from an outside source will have its styles removed. Links and attachments will remain. A separate command to paste with all styles has been added for the cases it is needed.

So if I import styles and I then want to change them and I select a number of rows and change the style, will the style change to my selection or will I have to individually select all the text in each row to change the style as I currently need to do in OO3?

If end up in that situation, no, nothing has changed. We have made a change to help prevent accidentally getting into that situation and have laid some groundwork for implementing bigger style changes later once they can be fully fleshed out. I don’t know what your needs are from the app but I would suggest checking back closer to release once everything has been revealed.

So essentially all OO5 does is remove all styles by default? Apart from that nothing has changed? This is ludicrous! Surely the 2K views of this thread should have highlighted to you that people are not happy with the way styles work in OO?

Why can you not implement the functionality of OO changing the style at row level when someone selects it and changes the style? After all, I’m trying to change the style because I want to! OO is in this absurd position that I may have rows that tell me they are Helvetica 18pt, but the actual text in the row is Arial 12pt? How is that logical or helpful?

You’ve had a number of years to sort this out and now all you’ve managed is to remove all styling by default, but if I import text with style, nothing has changed!

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Yes, that is correct. That is all we have done in this area. It is now an explicit action to bring along styles from another application.

As alluded to in my previous post, we have not yet revealed everything about version 5. I can tell you what we’ve release in the public builds so far and comment on somethings that we are fairly certain we are not doing at this point for the 5.0 release. For some of the people frustrated with styles, we may have something to help them. However directly addressing the issue of overriding text styles is one thing we are not doing for 5.0. There has been much talk about it though and the new file format will allow us to make changes in an update without creating files that are completely incompatible with earlier versions of v5.^

I have explained in previous posts of this thread why it works like it does but if you would like more examples or details I would be happy to give them. OmniOutliner styles are a very polarizing issue so we need to do our best to not just swap one camp for another. So as a first step we are trying to help people avoid putting themselves into the situation in the first place of having text styles they didn’t want.

^ The last time we made major changes to the style system was with the 1.0 iOS release and it just created a massive cross-platform issue as we were hitting limitation of working with the same file format. Ultimately, overall the changes were a failure on its own anyways so they were never released on OS X.

I don’t understand your logic in how you’ve set styles. Why is it possible to change the style of a row, without it changing any of the style on the text? Surely that should not be possible as it is incongruent with your styling ethos? Why allow people to change the style of a row, when the application has no intention of applying that style to the text? I can have a row that is styled Helvetica 18pt, but the actual text style is arial 12pt. This is completely illogical?

Further, how unhelpful is it to not be able to restyle currently styled text? You ask why I would import styled text. This is quite simple. I may have a lesson I taught that has styling that emphasis the lesson in a certain direction. I may want to change that emphasis as I work through the document. Importing the text by removing all styling would not allow me to see what the current emphasis is.

Let me make a further point. Most applications I have used differentiate between character styling and paragraph styling. Perhaps OO could learn from this. Allow rows to change paragraph styles whilst retaining character styles. This means that bold, italic, underline would not be changed unless those words that have character styles specifically applied are specifically highlighted and formatted, but rows change things for the whole paragraph. MS Word has been doing this for years and it works well.

Productive use of OO as an outlining tool, esp for manuscripts and technical documents, is not possible with the current approach to “styles” if you need the rudimentary styling techniques like those found in Word’s outline view or Word’s style panel. Granted, many Word users cannot understand Styling either, but those who do use Styles have clear expectations that OO is not going to be able to meet.

Only use I have found for OO is to rapidly generate tasks for later import to OmniPlan.

Also, no matter how pretty it looks in OO, the export (rtf, html, opml, etc) options fail to impress.

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