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December 12, 2005


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Great tutorial, worked fine for me :)

Thanks for the nice help.

Hi there,

When I Insert my second style at the point where I want to change, I end up with a blank page ( which makes sense as I'm inserting a page break ). But then when I try to delete this page the formating reverts back. Can't seem to make it stick !

cheers, Dave

Hi Dave,

Yes, I think that's just the way it's supposed to work. The page break is like a dam in a river; remove the dam and the formatting just floods down into the rest of the document.

You might want to keep the page break and just change the page style (if you need to) by clicking in that second page and double-clicking the page style you want.


It works for Openoffice writer, but how do I apply this technique in Openoffice calc?

>> It works for Openoffice writer, but how do I apply this technique in Openoffice calc?

Good question. Choose Format > Page, click the sheet tab, and specify a number in First Page Number.

Why didn't you just use the "First Page" style, instead of creating a new page style? I just tried using "First Page", and "Default" and they seem to work well with my needs. The reason that I bring this up is because it helps the new users when they can just use what is already there. It lowers the learning curve. Would you be willing to change that in your tutorial, to reflect that they can use "First Page", and "Default", instead of "Cover Page", and "MainPage"?

Also, I just found out that when we use manual breaks, it seems that we can have our cover pages be at the end of our documents, and thus, the "First Page" style can also be applied to the last page of the document. This is very handy. Thanks! This manual break feature is what I've been looking for, for quite some time. I thought that Ctrl+Enter was the same as Manual Break, but I guess not. I've been wrestling with this page numbering problem for a while for an assignment. I wanted to make a first page, then an automatic table of contents, then the default pages, but there was no way to specify when to automatically switch from a table of contents without a page number in the header, to a default page with a page number in the header. Now that I know about manual breaks, it seems that I can do it easily.

Hi,when I new a cover page which has not footer and header,the doc has 1 page only.But when I insert another page with some specific style from Insert->manual break with "change page number" starting from a number =4 ,the doc has 2 pages.I can't be sure this is a bug.

Hi,when I new a cover page which has not footer and header,the doc has 1 page only.But when I insert another page with some specific style from Insert->manual break with "change page number" starting from a number less than 4 ,the doc has 3 pages,which can be seen from status bar.If string from a number greater than 3,the doc has 2 pages.I can't be sure that if this is a bug.

Hi Chipha,

>> Hi,when I new a cover page which has not footer and header,the doc has 1 page only.But when I insert another page with some specific style from Insert->manual break with "change page number" starting from a number less than 4 ,the doc has 3 pages,which can be seen from status bar.

Go to Format > Page, Page tab, and in Page Layout on the right see if it is set to Only Right or Only Left. Set it to "Right and Left" and see if that helps.

Also, create a new empty document and see if that document is how you want it. Then just go through all the settings in the Page window to compare.

If you're using styles that create a new page break (Format > Paragraph > Text Flow), that might affect it, too.

If you're using page styles that have another style specified as Next (Format > Page > Organizer, Next Style) that might also be a factor.

Good luck!

This is amazing, I've been fighting with OOo and page styles for since I use it. It's an elegant way of using them.

You solved my problems with the numeration too.


Hi Xavier,

Great! I'm glad it was useful.


It works -- until I try either printing, or a Print Preview. Then it is clear that OOW has added a blank page after the cover. In this document, the first page is page-style Didache Cover Page, with no footer, and subsequent pages are Didache Main Body, with footer. I have checked and rechecked all of the above. Is there a way to get rid of that invisible cover sheet?

Hi Jonathan,

Try checking the odd/even settings for each page style. Format > Page, and under the Header and the Footer tabs, see if the Same Content Left/Right options are checked. If they're not, check them and then see if that helps.


Hi! Thanks so much for your blog, it's been a life-saver!

I've got this manual break/new page style method to work well, and have used it repeatedly. However, I've got a draft document with a table of contents page, and then the actual text of the document. The page numbering starts with page 1 on the first page of text, but in the automated table of content, it's showing up as page 2.

I can't seem to find a way to either:

Change the table of contents settings so it uses the page numbering as the document itself is showing, or;

Change the page number on the actual text pages back so that the TOC page is counted and the text starts on page 2, thus making the TOC numbering match what is on the pages.

Is there a way to change the starting page number *after* the text is already written?

Hi Gayze,

Thanks for writing, I appreciate it.

The first thing I can think of is just updating the TOC. Select part of it, right-click and choose Update.

Whew! Complicated! But exactly what I wanted to know. Thanks.

Yeah, it's a little complex. ;> Oh well. You can use existing styles (and modify them if necessary) or create your own.

Sorry this does not work.
How do you get rid of this inserted blank page. Page 1 is always a RH Page seems to be the issue.

"Hi Jonathan,

Try checking the odd/even settings for each page style. Format > Page, and under the Header and the Footer tabs, see if the Same Content Left/Right options are checked. If they're not, check them and then see if that helps.


Hi Solveig,

I have a little different problem. My doc has a cover page without page number, 7 introductory pages (table of contents, table of figures, preface, acknowledgements, etc...)that are numbered with roman symbols (i,ii,iii,iv,v,...), and follows the chapters, that must be numbered with arabic symbols beginning with 1 (1,2,3,4,5...). I have tried a lot of style compositions with no success. Can you help me?

Thank you so much for posting this; it was extremely helpful to me.

Yeah, real helpful, thanks guys! :) dont forget those page breaks tho!


I am having the same problem as Chiphi, Jonathan E. Brickman and Andre.

If you have the first page in the "First Page" style, and insert a manual break to change to the "Default" style with a page number of 1, then OOo inserts a blank page.

You do not see this in the document. You see it if you go File|Page Preview -- it has a big "blank page" shown in the middle of it.

This would make sense if you (a) want the Default section to start on a new sheet AND (b) are printing to a printer that has an automatic duplexing unit. It does not make sense otherwise. In particular, when you export to a pdf (which I have to for submitting college assignments), there is no reason for a blank page. But I cannot get rid of it! My First Page style definitely has "Right and left" turned on, although I have tried "Only right" and "Only left" as well, to see if that changed anything. I could get the blank page to be the first, rather than second page, but I could not get it to go away. Incidentally, putting "only right" (or left) settings on the Default style gave me a spurious blank page in between every page of the document!

I'd be glad if anyone could post a way around this!

I think Carlos E. F. Roland's problem is solvable in this way: create 3 page styles, one for first page, one for the pages with Roman numbering, and one for Arabic numbering. In the "Page" tab of the page style for the section with Roman numbering, change "Format" to "i, ii, iii...". Change from one style to the next using "Insert|Manual Break|Page Break" as described, and change the page number to 1 each time. Use the "Insert|Indexes and Tables|Indexes and Tables..." to insert a contents. If necessary, turn off the "Create from Outline" and use "Insert|Indexes and Tables|Entry" at each chapter, to create an entry in the Table of Contents only for those pages that you want in the contents -- "Create from Outline" automatically creates the right table for what I right but it might not be right for you.



To Frank, Chiphi, Jonathan E. Brickman and Andre:

I was having the exact same problem. I wanted to convert an Open Office document into a PDF file to hand in an essay digitally. The solution that worked for me is very simple: do not use "export directly as PDF", but rather "File > Export as PDF > ...[fill in file name & push 'export']...

Now you have options to choose from. In the "Pages" section of the PDF option dialog box that appeared, choose "range" and exclude the blank page(s), e.g. "1-3,4-25" to exclude the blank page being page 4 in the document. You can check which page numbers are blank pages in File > Page Preview.

Good luck!

Thanks Barabas

Good idea, I didn't think of that - but I've found a solution too :) so I came back to post it...

Upgrade to v2.0.4 -- it was a bug, and they fixed it.

There is a new option in Tools|Options, OpenOffice.org Writer section, Print dialogue, under the "Other". The option is called "Print automatically inserted blank pages" and it does what it says. In particular, it only affects printing, not PDF generation.

For outputting to PDF, there is a similar option on the "PDF Options" dialogue which pops up before the PDF is generated -- except that it's called "Export automatically inserted blank pages" instead of "Print...". It's right at the bottom of the dialogue and it does not get cleared if you clear the "Print..." checkbox I mentioned earlier.

I was using whatever version came with Mandriva 2006 (OOo 2.0.1, I think), because an upgrade would take too long to come through the modem. But OOo 2.0.4 was on the DVD that came with the latest Linux Format magazine, so I upgraded and now all is well.



Hi all,

Sorry for missing the big discussion -- my email notification re comments is broken and I'm not sure when it's going to be fixed.

Re Carlos's question about numbering, choose Insert > Fields > Page Number and put it in the header or footer. Then for the page style for that header or footer, go Format > Page, Page tag, and in the Format list select the type of numbering you want.

Frank, great tip on the Tools > Options window! That's great, hadn't really noticed it.

I usually don't use the pre-created page styles so haven't encountered this as much. I just did a bunch of tests and for me, with Mirrored instead of Right/Left, the blank thing didn't happen.




I have exactly the same problem as Carlos E. F. Roland. I have two different page styles, one numbered with Roman numbers, one with Arabic.
In the TOC I also want it distinguished in Roman and Arabic numbers.
I.e. like that:


I don't know what to try else anymore.

Thanks in advance,


Hi Thomas,

To control the page number type for a page style, modify the page style and in the Page tab, select the numbering type using the Format dropdown list. Also be sure that when you inserted the page number in the footer, that you just did it as Insert > Fields > Page Number so that it will reflect the current page style. Double-click the page number field in the footer to check. If in the window that appears, in the far right column, As Page Style is highlighted, that's correct. (You could change the page number style here but it's better to control it through the page style definition.)

This should correctly show up in the TOC.


Thanks a lot for your immediate and detailed answer.
Now even me could do it the right way ;-)



Hi, for those getting the blank pages, I finally figured out, how to properly get rid of the blank pages

When you create a new page style, put the next type of style on the 'Next Style' column. ie:
create a TOC page style with the next style pointing to your 'Body' style. Then create a Cover Page page style then point next style to the TOC page style. Instead of inserting a page break after the Cover Page, just insert the necessary row spaces to go to the next page. The next page will be the TOC style, insert spaces until the next page and you are now in your 'Body' page style.

Now if I can just reset the total page count.

Thanks for the tips.


Thanks very much! Great tip! After struggling with the help docs for a while I couldn't find an answer to this that worked. But your tut has worked great!

I found it to be very helpful, thanks a lot.
But I have a strange problem: I can not (with OO 2.1.06) to set arbitrary page numbers starting from the very first page.
It used to (with previous versions of OO) worked, and it was very simple.
If I wanted to start my document form the page 47, I simply clicked on the first paragraph of the document, chose "Edit Paragraph Style", went to "Text Flow",
in the sectuion "Breaks", I activated "Insert" and "With Page Style" and set page number to 47. I didn't even change the page style (it remained to be Default).
After that, I pressed Ok, and only had to turn on Footer (Menu: Insert), and then insert page numbers Menu: Insert-Fields-Page Numbers).
(it is in fact exactly the same procedure described in OpenOffice help section "Starting with a defined page number" )
This procedure worked with the latest OO (state: Dec.2006), but diesn't work now.

Now, if I do that, every single patagraph is displayed on the separate page.
Does anyone know what happened?

The solution described here is great, but it doesn't allow to see the page number on the first page of the document *too*!
many thanks in advance.

Hi AK,

The feature works the same way. It's just that I think before you choose Format > Paragraph, and now you are modifying the paragraph style itself, Format > Styles and Formatting, selecting the paragraph style and choosing Edit. Alternately you might be somehow applying the changes you're making to every paragraph rather than just one paragraph.

I just did it in 2.1 and it worked correctly.

Just click to the left of the first paragraph on the page, choose Format > Paragraph, and make the changes in the Text Flow tab. That should work.


First, I don't know what a URL is.
Background and problem: I have a multi page document, cover page, intro pages,TOC, body, and appendix. The intro and TOC pages are numbered i, ii etc. The pages in the body are marked 1,2,... . I want the pages in the appendix to read A-1, A-2 etc.. Question 1: Using Word's customized method of changing styles, I have been able to make the first page of the appendix A-1 but the second page will not go to A-2. Why not??
Question 2: When I try to force A-2 into the second page footer in the appendix the page numbers in the rest of the document change correspondingly and in sequenceA-3,A-4... . I do I get the second and subsequent pages to change numbers in the footer in the appendix without changing numbers in the body of the document?

Hi Bill,

For the appendix, you should be able to just create a new page style, Appendix or whatever. Turn on the footer when you define the style, in the Footer tab of the page style window, or by choosing Insert > Footer > pagestylename.

Add the page number to the appendix footer by choosing Insert > Fields > Page Number and then to the left of the page number, type A-

After you've done that, be sure to save the document so that the content of the page footer will be saved with the page style.

To switch from your normal content page style to the appendix page style, just use the standard approach. Click to the left of the heading for your appendix and choose Insert > Manual Break, select the Appendix page style in the dropdown list of the window that appears, and reset the page number to 1.

You could also use other approaches described in this post to switch page styles and change the page number.

Dear Solveig
I have page numbers in arabic starting from 1 for each new chapter. But the page numbers are english in TOC. Is there any way to change them into arabic numerals (whith chapter numbers)?

Best Regards

Hmmm...the TOC should be correctly reflecting the numbers in the footers. Refresh the TOC (right-click on the TOC and choose Update) to see if that helps.


AH !!!

To the guy that said he gets a BLANK PAGE after his title page. I had this problem too, what a pain. The fix follows, not the one that was suggested by someone else.

Suppressing printout of empty pages
If two even or two odd pages directly follow each other in your document, Writer will insert an empty page by default. You can suppress those automatically generated empty pages from printing and from exporting to PDF.
1.Choose Tools - Options - OpenOffice.org Writer - Print.
2.Remove the check mark from Print automatically inserted blank pages.

Changing page numbers and offsets worked will for me... but when I use PageCount I still get all the pages not just the count for this Page Style.
I have a title page i and 9 normal page but the page count on the normal pages shows Page 3 of 10

Thanks. Your instructions worked great!!!!

Hi Tim,

Glad it worked! That is definitely one procedure that needs an Easy Button, though.


Bless you for posting this.

Hi Ian,

With every release I keep hoping that there'll be a nice simple "suppress first page header and footer" checkbox, but nt so far. :(


Rather than manually inserting a page break, click the cursor at the beginning of the text of the section you want to start a new page number and go to Format|Paragraph|Text Flow|Breaks, select Insert and With Page Style, and select what page number to start with. This gets rid of blank page and gives you the page number you want.

Just wanted to also thank you for this advice, it helped me a lot! Even though it's a year and a half later, Google still pulled it up first for me. Now my book will be much more professional looking (now that I've figured out how to alternate where the page numbers appear on left and right pages too).


I used this procedure and I ended up with a field "Page numbers" in the footer on all pages except the first one.

I am unable to find a numbering style in the format box.


I used this procedure and I ended up with a field "Page numbers" in the footer on all pages except the first one.

I am unable to find a numbering style in the format box.


Thanks, exactly what I needed. It shouldn't be this difficult though.

Exactly. I'm really hoping that in the next major rev (or minor) that there will be a "no page number on first page" checkbox, at the very least.


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