list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

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list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby nsemple on Thu May 15, 2008 11:14 am

Is there a way that I can get the styles for lists (bulleted lists and numbered lists) to appear in the paragraph styles dropdown list so that writers do not need to open a separate style list when they want to apply the list styles to a paragraph of text?
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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby LTinker68 on Thu May 15, 2008 11:25 am

Not currently, although I don't know what you mean by "open a separate style list" -- unless you just mean you click on the list icon to get the style list to change.

Submit a feature request to http://www.madcapsoftware.com/bugs/submit.aspx.
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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby lacastle on Thu May 15, 2008 12:22 pm

if you click F12, the Style list will open in a window on the side of your screen (so you won't need to use the drop-down list). that way, your paragraph styles will be visible most of the time, and will automatically change to list styles when you're using lists.
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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby Dave Lee on Sat May 17, 2008 9:46 am

It sounds like you want to apply a li tag to a paragraph.
The reason the styles list doesn't show li tags is that you can't apply them to a paragraph, you can only have li tags within a list - an ol or ul tag.

It is pretty simple to change a paragraph to a list though, you just click the list icon.
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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby KevinDAmery on Tue May 20, 2008 5:59 am

In a related note, I think we should put a sticky in this forum entitled "IT'S SAFE TO USE THE TOOLBAR LIST ICONS--REALLY REALLY." This would be for the benefit of everyone who's used Word and knows that you never ever ever use the toolbar icon to make a list because, well, Word does strange things when you do that.
Until next time....
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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby siskamoens on Tue May 27, 2008 12:12 am

KevinDAmery wrote:In a related note, I think we should put a sticky in this forum entitled "IT'S SAFE TO USE THE TOOLBAR LIST ICONS--REALLY REALLY." This would be for the benefit of everyone who's used Word and knows that you never ever ever use the toolbar icon to make a list because, well, Word does strange things when you do that.


Sooo true ;-)

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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby nsemple on Wed May 28, 2008 7:30 am

I guess the question I posted deals with ease of use and what are writers are fmiliar with rather than that Flare has an alternative way of doing things.

We come from RoboHelp X5. With that authoring tool, you can see all the styles that have been defined in your company's style sheet with the single dropdown style list in the toolbar. The styles listed can include paragraph styles, list styles, and character styles -- it is whatever you have setup in your cascading style sheet (along with some some RoboHelp-supplied styles that we wish would never get displayed because we don't want our writers using them, but that is another story). This dropdown list is extremely easy to use and is accessible whenever you have a topic open. (It does not require that you be typing text in order to have access to the styles.)

In Flare, on the other hand, you can only see the paragraph styles from the style dropdown list. You cannot access your list styles from your company's cascading style sheet until you have a line of text that you convert to a list style by first clicking the list icon in the toolbar. If you no longer want that piece of text to be in a list format, you have to click the list icon again while on that piece of text in order to see the available paragraph styles.

Bottom line is that not being able to see all your styles in one list is a pain. Having to click the list icon all the time in the toolbar is a pain. I have heard the rationale that p tags are different than li tags and so they should be kept separate. I just don't think it needs to be that way. Having it set up in this manner requires an additional step in the process, something which our writers are balking at in Flare...
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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby siskamoens on Wed May 28, 2008 7:55 am

Try pressing F12 or choosing View > style Window from the menu. The complete list of available styles will appear in an easy-to-use list on the right.
Note however that the styles are still related to the tag they're associated with! If, for example, you have some specific list styles (like li.nomargins), you will only get to see them when you have clicked a "li"-tag

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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby KevinDAmery on Wed May 28, 2008 8:50 am

Also, on the "why can't I see all the styles at once?" front, my understanding is there were a lot of complaints to the RH support team about that. Specifically, if you have a really long CSS, then that list of styles is really long too, making it difficult to isolate the style you need. This is especially problematic for P styles, since they're likely to be fairly far down the list--having to scroll down past dozens of styles to find your p styles every time you need to modify a block was a real time killer. Filtering the styles means that odds are the styles you need will be on the first page, no scrolling required.
Until next time....
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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby nsemple on Wed May 28, 2008 9:42 am

Pressing F12 does not give you a complete list of all the styles in your style sheet. Just like the dropdown list, you only get styles that apply to the type of item on which you you have positioned the cursor. (Paragraph styles appear if you have a paragraph selected. List styles appear if you have a list selected.) To change the style of the text from a paragraph to a list or vice versa, you have to click the toolbar icon first in order to see the other style types listed.

I'm not sure what complaints RoboHelp got in the past regarding a long list of styles appearing in the dropdown list, but to me that is more of an issue dealing with the number of styles writers are using at a particular company getting out of control, not with the way the RoboHelp interface was working.

Our one major complaint (that was repeatedly told to RoboHelp staff over a number of product releases) was that we did not want any styles to appear in the dropdown list unless they were styles that were included in our company style sheet. They had a set of RoboHelp-suppled styles that got listed along with the ones in our company style sheet. We did not want our writers using their styles, and having them appear in the list was problematic.
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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby siskamoens on Thu May 29, 2008 12:52 am

If you want all your styles to appear in one list you should create tag-independent styles. Don't link them to the P or li or... tags, but just create styles like .bluebold or .bigmargin instead of p.bluebold and li.bigmargin. That way you can apply these styles to any of the tags you like.

To me it sounds logical that, if you create specific paragraph styles, you only get to pick these for a paragraph.

I never worked with Robohelp, so I can't say if their way of working is easier or not, but I really like the way Flare deals with styles and lists etc... It's really easy to change a paragraph to an unordered or ordered list item and back with the toggle menu buttons. But that's my personal opinion of course.
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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby nsemple on Thu May 29, 2008 7:34 am

A quick test of your suggestion looks like it works. You still have to toggle the Bullet List icon in the toolbar to see the various lists, but a style defined without a "p" or an "li" before the period will appear in both lists. Thanks for the tip.

I'm not sure if there are any gotchas going this route, however. For example, one thing I noticed is that although you can see the styles listed in the cascading style sheet when you view the css in Notepad, they do not get listed in Flare's internal Stylesheet Editor. (From the Content Explorer, click Resources > Stylesheets. Double-click the stylesheet containing the defined styles to open the Stylesheet Editor, and make sure you select Show All Styles. All styles but the ones you defined with a ".stylename" format are listed.)
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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby siskamoens on Thu May 29, 2008 7:39 am

They are listed, but hidden away in the category "(Generic Classes)" at the top of the list.
It took me a while too to figure that out :-)

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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby nsemple on Thu May 29, 2008 7:56 am

They don't appear for me in the stylesheet editor. There are some generic styles at the top of the styles listed in Flare's Stylesheet Editor(like BODY), but that is it. Did you select something other than "Show All Styles" in order to display them?

(I've saved the stylesheet with the new styles in them. Opened and closed the project multiple times. Made sure I was pointing to the same css file. Still get the same result. The styles appear in notepad, but not in Flare's stylesheet editor.)
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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby KevinDAmery on Thu May 29, 2008 8:15 am

At the top of the list you should see an item called (Generic Classes) - they're in there.

EDIT: This is assuming you're in Advanced View. If you're in Simplified View, they don't appear to get shown. (Which I consider a bug....)
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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby nsemple on Thu May 29, 2008 8:24 am

Ok -- Found them...

You have to make sure that you click the "Advanced View" toolbar icon in addition to "Show All Styles". Then you can expand the Generic Classes in the tree view.

These styles do not appear in the "Simplified View" that displays styles in a table format with properties in table columns, which is what I had been looking at.

Not sure why they would appear in the Advanced View and not the Simplified View though...
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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby siskamoens on Fri May 30, 2008 12:14 am

Kevin,

I assume you did, but did you log this as a bug with Madcap?
I think this is silly too, since simplified view is also very useful for advanced users, giving you a means of comparing the settings of different styles.

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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby nsemple on Fri May 30, 2008 5:42 am

Yes. Thanks. I logged a bug for this yesterday.
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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby LTinker68 on Fri May 30, 2008 8:51 am

I noticed yesterday, too, that if you right-click on a tag block in the show block area and select the Style Class menu, that you don't see generic classes in the list of styles that appear -- you only see the custom styles specific to that tag. For instance, instead of seeing .buttonText in the list, all I had was p.note, p.highlight, etc. So if you apply classes that way (which is the only way you can apply a class to a <ul> or <ol> tag) be aware that you won't have the option to select generic classes, only tag-specific classes.
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Re: list styles appearing in the paragraph style dropdown list

Postby nsemple on Fri May 30, 2008 10:33 am

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for the info. The bug I submitted yesterday (case #5419) resulted in Madcap's tech support department submitting the defect as a suggestive feature for future Flare versions. They were able to reproduce the bug and said:

"When you create a class that is not tied to any particular element(p,li, etc) and it only starts with a dot, it makes it a generic class. It is generic because there is no limitation to being used by just one type of element. It does not appear in the Simplified View because this view was designed to show the most common classes."

I'll follow up on the email I received from them and let them know you also uncovered.

Thanks,

Nancy
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