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Subject: Headings and Outlines

Dear TC members,

because we will discuss outline (or chapter numbering) styles either 
today or in one of our next meetings, I would like to make a proposal 
for a small enhancement regarding this topic.

The prososal is to add a "style:default-outline-level" attribute to the 
<style:style> element of paragraph styles. It takes a number like the 
"text:level" attribute of headings. If the attribute is existing for a 
paragraph style, and if the paragraph style is assigned to a paragraph 
by an user interface action, then office applications should convert the 
paragraph into a heading of the given level. However, the attribute has 
no effect to the differentation of headings and paragraphs in the file 
format itself. The differentation between headings and paragraphs still 
takes place by using either a <text:h> ot a <text:p> element. If a 
<text:p> element references a paragraph style that has a 
"style:default-outline-level" attribute, the paragraph remains a 
paragraph and will not become a heading.

The background for this proposal is as follows.

Most office applications differ between headings and paragraphs by 
styles. That is, it is specified for a certain style that all paragraphs 
that have the style assigned should be headings. This style based 
differentation btween heading and paragarphs seems not to be reasonable 
for a file format. Whether a paragraph is a haeding or not is content 
information. A paragraph either is a heading or it isn't a heading, but 
it doen't become a heading only because a certain (formatting) style is 
assigned. For this reason, the file format differs between the <text:h> 
and <text:p> elements, and both can reference a paragraph style that 
only specifies the heading's or paragraph's formatting properties.
Neither the paragraph styles nor the outline numbering specification can 
somehow turn a paragarph into a heading. This means that the assignment 
of outline levels to styles is stored indirectly by storing headings, 
and that it cannot be saved at all if a document doesn't contain 
headings. While this is not a problem for normal documents, it is in 
fact a problmen for document templates that serve as a basis for new 
documents. In these templates, outline levels are very often assigned to 
paragraph styles, so that every new paragraph that gets the paragraph 
style assigned becomes a heading, but the template itself does not 
contain any content. The consequence is that it currently isn't possible 
to save the assignment of outline levels to paragraph styles in such 
templates. The above proposals solves this issue.

Best regards


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