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In the OpenOffice.org API, a text document is a document model which is able to handle text contents. A document in our context is a product of work that can be stored and printed to make the result of the work a permanent resource. By model we mean data that forms the basis of a document and is organized in a manner that allows working with the data independently from their visual representation in a graphical user interface.
It is important to understand that developers have to work with the model directly, when they want to change it through the OpenOffice.org API. The model has a controller object which enables developers to manipulate the visual presentation of the document in the user interface. But the controller is not used to change a document. The controller serves two purposes.
- The controller interacts with the user interface for movement, such as moving the visible text cursor, flipping through screen pages or changing the zoom factor.
- The second purpose is getting information about the current view status, such as the current selection, the current page, the total page count or the line count. Automatic page or line breaks are not really part of the document data, but rather something that is needed in a certain presentation of the document.
Keeping the difference between model and controller in mind, we will now discuss the parts of a text document model in the OpenOffice.org API.
The text document model in the OpenOffice.org API has five major architectural areas, cf. Illustration 1 below. The five areas are:
- service manager (document internal)
- draw page
- text content suppliers
- objects for styling and numbering
The core of the text document model is the text. It consists of character strings organized in paragraphs and other text contents. The usage of text will be discussed in Working with Text Documents.
The service manager of the document model creates all text contents for the model, except for the paragraphs. Note that the document service manager is different from the main service manager that is used when connecting to the office. Each document model has its own service manager, so that the services can be adapted to the document when required. Examples for text contents created by the text document service manager are text tables, text fields, drawing shapes, text frames or graphic objects. The service manager is asked for a text content, then you insert it into the text.
Afterwards, the majority of these text contents in a text can be retrieved from the model using text content suppliers. The exception are drawing shapes. They can be found on the
DrawPage, which is discussed below.
Above the text lies the
DrawPage. It is used for drawing contents. Imagine it as a transparent layer with contents that can affect the text under the layer, for instance by forcing it to wrap around contents on the
DrawPage. However, text can also wrap through
DrawPage contents, so the similarity is limited.
Finally, there are services that allow for document wide styling and structuring of the text. Among them are style family suppliers for paragraphs, characters, pages and numbering patterns, and suppliers for line and outline numbering.
Besides these five architectural areas, there are a number of aspects covering the document character of our model: It is printable, storable, modifiable, it can be refreshed, its contents are able to be searched and replaced and it supplies general information about itself. These aspects are shown at the lower right of the illustration.
Finally, the controller provides access to the graphical user interface for the model and has knowledge about the current view status in the user interface, cf. the upper left of the diagram above.
The usage of text is discussed in the section Working with Text Documents.
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