Feature Proposal: Contextually available styles by book division
The Editoria Book Builder breaks a book into 3 divisions: frontmatter, body, and backmatter. There are some front- and backmatter-specific styles that are used in one or two of the book divisions but not in all of them. Furthermore, some styles may be used only in part components in the body division, whereas others are only ever used in chapter components of the body division.
This proposal is to display styles in the left-hand style pane of the editor only when editing components that sometimes contain that style, and to hide some styles when editing components in which those styles are never used. For example, users would see a different list of styles when editing a frontmatter component than they would if they were to edit a backmatter component, and a different list of styles when editing a book chapter and a book part. The goal is to keep the list of styles in the editor’s left-hand styling pane manageable and uncluttered.
All Editoria users and roles would see the same list of styles available when editing the same components.
As more styles are added into Editoria, it’s worth considering how to keep the list of styles that the user sees in the style pane on the left-hand side of the editor from growing to a cumbersome, unmanageable length. If the list of styles gets too long, the process of applying styling to a book will become slower and slower.
This proposal suggests limiting the list of styles in the editors style panel based on what kind of a component it is:
- Frontmatter component
- Body Part component
- Body Chapter component
- Backmatter component
Each of these 4 types of components would have a specific list of styles associated with them. When a user opens a component for editing, the editor determines which of the above components is being loaded, then loads the associated list of styles into the style pane.
Styles wouldn’t appear in the list of styles at all when a user edits a component in which that style should never be used:
- Styles that are only ever used in the frontmatter should only appear in the style panel of the editor when a user edits a frontmatter component. These styles would not appear in the styles list when a user edits a component in the body division or the backmatter.
- Styles that are only used in body Part or body Chapter components should only be visible when the user edits those components.
- A style that is only ever used in front- and backmatter, but never in a body Chapter or body Part component, would only appear in the styles list when a user edits front- and backmatter components.
For example, the “Dedication” style is only ever used in frontmatter components, and never in the book’s body or backmatter components. As a result, a user would see the “Dedication” style in the styling pane and could apply this style to text when editing components in the frontmatter. However, when a user opens a component for editing in the body or backmatter, the same “Dedication” style would not appear in the style pane, and the user couldn’t apply that style in the component.
It makes more sense to display styles based on the kind of component - frontmatter, body part, body chapter, and backmatter - than it does to try to set which styles should be available on a more granular per-component basis - for example, having a list of styles available in a "Dedication" component.
Specific list of styles available per book division
This proposal is related to a previous one describing a need for additional styles to be used in front- and backmatter components. We propose initially implementing this feature with a subset of styles that covers the majority of these styles, using them as a basis to determine what styles should initially be available where.
When the book is exported for pagination, the same styles can be reused in different parts of the book, but still paginated and displayed differently according to which kind of component or book division they're used in.For example, a prior styling system might previously had separate styles for
- Frontmatter heading level 1 (FMH1)
- Body heading level 1 (BH1)
- Backmatter heading (BMH) with different display rules for how each would look when the book was paginated. Editoria, on the other hand, can achieve the same level of control over the final display by reusing the single style “Heading 1” across frontmatter, body, and backmatter headings, and determine which display rules should apply to that heading based on the type of component and book division it’s in. Thus, a relatively small palette of basic styles could be used to implement fairly complex paginated display rules.
There seems to be a consensus that in addition to FM/BM-specific styles (e.g. "Series Title), there should be at least a basic set of styles available in all the components, e.g. Heading 1, General Text, etc.
The initial implementation would favor the styles most needed by organizations that are currently using Editoria in production. However, different individuals, publishers, and organizations will inevitably have different sets of styles they want to be available in frontmatter, backmatter, and body parts and chapters. Ultimately, one can imagine different organizations setting the different lists of styles to be displayed in frontmatter, backmatter, body, and chapter components via a config file or eventually using an interface within Editoria.