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How to create a page style without any flowing text?

asked 2018-12-28 11:11:41 +0200

despens gravatar image

I am trying to create a document that has pages without text on them for every even page number (all left pages). These pages should always hold illustrations.

My thought was I would need to create a page style that doesn't contain any column or default text box. However, that doesn't seem to be possible.

Is there a way to create a page style that is disconnected from the document's overall text flow?

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answered 2018-12-28 14:02:19 +0200

ajlittoz gravatar image

I'm afraid you can't: pages in Writer are not primary objects as they are in Quark XPress® or Scribus but are internally allocated according to the need of text flow. Page styles describe the characteristics of the usable area over the paper sheet but we can't associate objects in the style to sit in this area.

Your document seems to consist only of left pages with text which, I assume, is flowing from left page to left page. You didn't tell if all right pages will contain pictures or only some of them. You didn't tell also how your illustrations are inserted: A) are they hand-added once the document is printed? B) are they included in the electronic document itself?

Case A is easy to handle unless you also have a header/footer with page number: print the document single-sided and do your manual post editing.

All other cases are difficult to handle.

I tried some cheating on style pair Left Page and Right Page (since they alternate automatically).

In Right Page, I reduced the margins so that the printable area is so tiny that it would be skipped by Writer and text flushed to next page (which happens to be Left Page). Unfortunately, Writer does not let you shrink the printable area below 0.5×0.5 cm. Even with this size, some words are torn and characters are set in the square and clipped, making them unreadable.

I then tried to reduce even more the "main text area" by trying to defined a forced-sized header but Writer "protects" itself by enlarging the page paper size to accommodate the added header.

You may try a workaround but it interferes with your illustrations:

  • tweak Right Page margins definition to leave a reduced printable space
  • enable the header; don't bother for size or any other property
  • in the header, insert a frame anchored to paragraph with Wrap None and in Type tab adjust dimensions so that it covers the "main text" area (uncheck Autosize). Default Position attributes (horizontal center and vertical top to paragraph area) should fit.

I haven't tested illustration insertion because you didn't tell if they were in sync with text (i.e. anchored to some paragraph (), though we can't position them outside the current page -- on the corresponding right page from the left page where the paragraph is set). You're likely to anchor your illustration *To Page to override the header frame, though users are warned against this anchor mode because it usually causes weird effects after editing. However, your case is very specific and could justify an exception.

(*) Anchoring to paragraph allows the illustration to "remain" close to its paragraph when text is edited and paragraph happens to be set in another page.

If you feel like providing more details on your case, please don't use an answer but either edit your question or use a comment.

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Thank you @ajlittoz!

To elaborate on your questions: The document would be fully digitally produced, with images and their captions managed in LibreOffice.

I did try to create a left-page-only page style with margins, headers, and footers increased as much as possible, but wasn't able to create a page with zero place for any text. However, I was able to insert an empty frame into the left page's header as you suggested, which makes all text "avoid" that page. That would be good enough for my use-case.

However, I wasn't able to make that empty frame become a part of the page style, meaning I'd need to insert in manually into all pages. Is there a way to use something like master pages pre-populated with certain elements?

despens gravatar imagedespens ( 2018-12-29 16:18:13 +0200 )edit

The header content, in which you anchor the frame which is then offset to cover the main flow-text area, cannot part of the page style. However, once you've created it in one of so styled pages, the header is the same for all pages because there is only one header per page style. Take care to anchor the frame in the header, not in the flow area. It worked for me.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2018-12-29 18:07:52 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2018-12-28 11:11:41 +0200

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Last updated: Dec 28 '18