Note: Upon further testing, this works fine as described but the table of contents does not reflect the offset correctly. Sorry!
I was answering comments on this blog about starting page numbering on page 2, when I mentioned the page number offset, and how it doesn't work.
And I thought, well, I haven't tested this in OpenOffice.org 2.1 yet.
And then I grinned broadly as it worked exactly the way it used to. BUT that's OK because how it functions is perfect for when you don't want a page number on page 1, and you want the second page to be page 1. (Or the third page to be page 1, etc.)
This means that if you want, and if it suits your document, you can totally skip the whole big thing with page styles simply by inserting the page number field in your footer as usual, then double-clicking the page field and typing a negative page offset.
Here's the poop.
What the Page Offset Is
When you insert a page number in a header or footer (or in your page content), you get a page number, of course. This is a FIELD, which means it's not just text, it's got intelligence built into it. The gray shading indicates it's a field.
You can double-click the page number and you get this window.
The Offset fields at the bottom right is what we're interested in here. Type in 4 and your first page number will be 5; type in -2 and your first page number will be -3.
Seems like this could be useful, yes? Well, kind of. Read on.
The Way It Works That Doesn't Do You Any Good, and the Reason I Hadn't Talked About the Offset Before
If you type 4 in the Offset field, then the first page number to appear will be 5. (It would normally be 1, so an offset of 4, 1+4, is 5.)
Here's what that looks like in the window.
But here's the effect on one of the last four pages (4 is the offset) in the document. No freakin' page number at all. There's gray but nothing will actually print.
So: when you type in a positive offset, where x = your offset number, the last x pages of the document don't have a page number.
The Way It Works That Is Useful For You, and Exactly How You Can Use This for Documents With Pages You Don't Want Numbered
Positive offset isn't that usefull, but negative offset is verra nice
Let's say you have a cover page, and your content is the second page. You want no page number on the cover page and you want "1" to appear in the footer of the second page.
So you want 1 of your pages to have no page number in the footer. Your offset is therefore -1.
Here's what you do.
Insert the page field number as usual. (To add the footer, choose Insert > Footer > Default. Click in the footer text box that appears and choose Insert > Fields > Page Number.)
Double-click the inserted page number.
In the fields window, type -1 in the Offset field.
And here's the result on your first page. Look at that! It's gray, so that means nothing will print! Which is exactly what you want!
And here's what the first page of content looks like, i.e. the second page of your document. Again, this is exactly what you want -- the number 1.
And since the numbers disappeared at the beginning of the document, not at the end, you get the correct page numbers all the way to the end of your document.
This is great. Much easier than page styles; my apologies for not bringing it to everyone's attention earlier.
If you want the page number 1 to appear on your second page, use the offset -1.
If you want the page number 1 to appear on your third page, use the offset -2.
And so on.