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Trouble adding page numbers in Writter

asked 2019-01-21 16:32:21 +0200

Dawud gravatar image

Not my first (nor last) rookie mistake, I completed a 200 page document without adding page numbers. I have everything spaced and formatted the way I want. But, when I add a header with page numbers, it of course requires a bit of space and adds about a lines worth of space for each page and disrupts my entire document's spacing. This either splits things I didn't want to be split or it pushes things to new pages leaving gigantic spaces that I didn't want to have.

Is there a way to add page numbers without using additional space? If there is a relatively easy way it would save me a lot of time figuring out my spacing issue.

Thank you

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answered 2019-01-21 17:33:32 +0200

ajlittoz gravatar image

updated 2019-01-21 17:35:49 +0200

One thing to understand is what a page style is. A page style defines the printable area on a sheet of paper. The main parameters are margins. Margins are "no-print zones" where LO is forbidden to place any text.

Contrary to M$ Word, LO Writer takes header and footer space out of the print area, decreasing available space for text. As a consequence, if you add your header at the end of your writing task, after having "lovingly" laid out everything, composition will be different, lines being pushed to next page, increasingly more when you advance in your document.

If you want to keep your lay-out (which sounds to me you did it manually with empty paragraphs instead of relying on higher features such as "don't split paragraph" or automatic page breaks before particular "events" like start of chapter), you must modify your top margin to account for the header line.

As you acknowledge yourself as a "rookie", you are likely to have only a single page style Default Style.

  • Display the style side-pane with F11 and click on the fourth small icon from the left in its toolbar
  • Default Style should be highlighted, meaning it is the currently applied page style (if another one is highlighted, it is the used one which must be modified)
  • Right-click on the name and Modify
  • Go to the Header tab
  • Note the value of Spacing and Height (you'll be better off if Autofit Height is unchecked) and add them
  • Go to the Page tab
  • Decrease the Top margin by the sum of the noted value
  • Push OK

This should give a good approximation for the fix. Check the pages before a forced page break (where cumulative effect is at its maximum) to make sure your text is positioned like you want. If this is not satisfactory, adjust the top margin until you get desired result.

Note: in principle, text should be independent of individual position in page and only higher level structuring should be used to compose pages. Remind yourself that LO Writer is not page-oriented (like Scribus or Quark XPress) but text flow-oriented. You must not think in page terms but in paragraphs which can eventually be sync'ed to pages with breaks.

To show the community your question has been answered, click the ✓ next to the correct answer, and "upvote" by clicking on the ^ arrow of any helpful answers. These are the mechanisms for communicating the quality of the Q&A on this site. Thanks!

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I would add the comment that you must always save the document in the International Standard .odt format, which is the default for Writer. It is also a huge time saver to invest a little time in learning about LibO styles.

petermau gravatar imagepetermau ( 2019-01-21 17:44:35 +0200 )edit

Thank you very much. The answer was exactly what I had in mind. I followed the directions and my document now has a page numbers and the spacing is perfect.

For the beginner, it is easy to become discouraged to learn all of this as the terms and layout can be extremely difficult. For this reason, I am ever so grateful to people who take the time out to simplify it.

I plan to learn much more about styles and the rest of the features as I go along.

Dawud gravatar imageDawud ( 2019-01-22 14:59:44 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2019-01-21 16:32:21 +0200

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Last updated: Jan 21