Ask Your Question

What's happening to my headers?

asked 2019-05-04 21:09:38 +0200

giffmacshane gravatar image

updated 2019-05-07 20:48:50 +0200

New info 3:

On Sample 3, as I explain below, the “corrected” header shows on the second page of the document. If you opened it with LO, you should be able to see what I see: Header styles “Converted1” instead of “Default”. No bold or underline on the page #, which is in default font, not the Times New Roman I originally chose. Just in case the problem is that there aren’t enough words on the page, I’m including this memo before the page break – see italicized portion of page 1.

If you don’t see what I see, there are evidently more problems than I’m aware of.

And yes, I do use it for word processing, like an old typewriter, if by that you mean IBM Selectric & not Scholes & Glidden. That’s all I need. Advanced features? Don’t really care. Simple and straightforward works for me. (Or has up to this point.)

While I appreciate the time and effort y’all have put into responding, I’m going to recap the responses as I understand them:

a.) I shouldn’t expect the software to act like it’s always acted just because I’m using it in exactly the same way I’ve always used it. (Four years and approximately 200 documents without a glitch.)

b.) Simply opening one of those 200 documents I created in the past (and one I haven’t touched in 3 years or more) makes these inexplicable changes occur, but that’s because I’m using the software in exactly the same way I’ve always used it.

c.) To avoid the changes, I’ll have to do something I never did before, when the documents were perfect. But that’s because I’m using the software in exactly the same way I’ve always used it.

d.) To figure out what’s going wrong when I haven’t changed anything, I’ll have to spend who knows how much time doing MORE research (I’ve already done hours’ worth) that MIGHT provide me with the reasoning behind the changes. But the changes have only occurred because I’m using the software in exactly the same way I’ve always used it.

My frustration level is now at max. It’s time for new software.

C:\fakepath\Header problems 3.docx

New info 2:

The pages below are all from the same manuscript. Header 1 shows the latest input (version5.19). Before, whenever I changed a header, these changes carried throughout the document. This header now comes up with the description "Converted 1", when the style I chose was "Default Style".

Header 2 shows the header after a page break. The new information does not show -- this is the header I used before I input the changes. Note that it has my name instead of "version5.19", but the page number is still bold & underlined and in Times New Roman. This header is in "default style" because I ... (more)

edit retag flag offensive close merge delete


Though you admit you aren't a techie, minimal technical information is needed. First, OS name and LO version. Second, describe how you proceed with your document: manual formatting with menus and toolbar buttons? formatting with "styles"? You allude to Default Style, paragraph style I assume? Where do you use it? Everywhere or only in header? Have you customised it?

To answer, don't use the answer feature, but edit your question (the link with a slanted pencil at the bottom of the question).

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-05-04 21:42:22 +0200 )edit

The described behavior means that you save your file to a foreign format such as Microsoft Word DOC. Don't. And it has nothing to do with updates.

gabix gravatar imagegabix ( 2019-05-05 01:24:01 +0200 )edit

Can you attach a 2-3 pages sample with the issue? In case you consider contents as private, replace it with dummy text. You can use AutoText for that.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-05-06 08:14:28 +0200 )edit

I'm really sorry but your samples are useless. You have extracted a portion of a page. Since it is part of a single page, there is no page break and therefore no transition from a chapter to the next. What is in "Header problems 3" does correspond to your description: there is no header at all.

Fundamentally, you seem to use Writer as an old mechanical typewriter: everything is styled Default style (no "Convertedxx" here) and typographical variations are applied with direct formatting. You don't benefit at all from the advanced features any document processor may offer.

When it comes to headers, they are a property of page styles. If you use a single page style throughout your document (likely Default style) which I can't verify since your samples are single-page without chapter span, you can have only one header text (unless you rely on dynamic insertion ...(more)

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-05-06 23:50:10 +0200 )edit

2 Answers

Sort by » oldest newest most voted

answered 2019-05-06 08:33:23 +0200

ebot gravatar image

updated 2019-05-06 08:35:43 +0200

Not sure what you mean by "Formatting with "styles".

@giffmacshane, my dear, that's the most important thing you should understand. All formatting that does not happen with a style template is called "hard formatting". Style template Styling is located in the sidebar on the right (Ctrl + F5). Every style has a name. You can also change most or create a new style. In each style all important formatting is summarized.

You want a step by step guide:

How formatting works with style templates, you can watch in a video here.

Or you can also read the documentation.

Formatting Styles are an important foundation for working with Writer. You will not be able to deal with it. You should understand how it works.

edit flag offensive delete link more


With me Windows 10 Home; Version 1809; 64-Bit | LibreOffice, Version: (x64).

ebot gravatar imageebot ( 2019-05-06 08:34:02 +0200 )edit

answered 2019-05-08 09:20:39 +0200

ajlittoz gravatar image

updated 2019-05-08 11:22:46 +0200

Thanks to your latest 2-page sample, I think I found the cause of your problem. Not sure however about the fix.

There are two factors:

  • your way of using the software as you've always done

    Though I have no complete picture on your process, your direct formatting to get visually what you expect violates several design primitives (for instance vertical spacing which should be defined by a paragraph style, use of a single paragraph style Default Style for semantically different things -- body text, chapter heading, page header, etc. -- and many others).

    This direct formatting overloads Default Style with ad-hoc attributes in every instance to make them unique (in M$ Word thus creates tons of "anonymous" styles). The same goes for in-line formatting (bold, italics, etc.) leading to anonymous character styles.

    Regarding your manual page breaks, I don't know how you succeeded in getting several independent page styles based on Default Style with different headers but I reproduced the "vanishing header" syndrome here. Headers are a property of pages styles. There can be only one header per page style. Consequently, if all your pages are styled Default Style, you can have only one header throughout the book, no matter how you tweak your manual page breaks.

    It is possible that the LO version at the time of your first writing was not strictly conformant with ODF standard and allowed deviating things that have been since "fixed".

  • document saved as .docx

    M$ Word and LO Writer are based on different theoretical document models and primitives. Saving a document in a non-native format implies translation. M$ internals are closed-source and are guessed through reverse-engineering. This is an imperfect work. Consider also that M$ Word stylesheets define only paragraph styles while LO Writer style system knows of paragraph, character, page and lists. Unknown items are translated into anonymous object approximations, which leads to your Converted99 styles when read back again.

    Traduttore, traditore (Italian saying): you can never obtain identity with a translation. The doc(x) filter is an ever-in-progress work which improves (?) year after year. I would not be surprised if your problem was caused by a different version of the filter.

    A golden rule is "always save documents in native format, whatever the application" and export to foreign formats only at delivery time.

That said, it does not solve the issue.

Though you are reluctant to change (that's human nature!), you'd encounter less difficulty if, at least, you'd use paragraph styles: Body Text for bulk content, Heading 1 for chapter titles and Header for headers. Vertical spacing should be included in style definition instead of achieving it with empty paragraph.

One advantage is you can change the appearance of the book simply by updating the style definition instead of tracking every paragraph instance.

If you need a different title per chapter, create one page style per chapter. In some cases, the header or part of it can be derived from the chapter heading. Then, a field in the ... (more)

edit flag offensive delete link more


@ajlittoz my respect for the deep knowledge, just top. Great explained.

ebot gravatar imageebot ( 2019-05-08 10:48:40 +0200 )edit

@ebot: Bitte schön!

Note: last edit only to fix typos and misspellings.

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2019-05-08 11:23:39 +0200 )edit

OK. So I had to read that a few times, but I think I've got it.

And as I was researching for new software, I kept coming up with LO getting the most positive reviews. So if I want the best product, I have to learn to use it the best way. I just have to find a way to fudge things to meet my deadlines today.

Thanks so much for both your patience and your expertise. I really appreciate it!

giffmacshane gravatar imagegiffmacshane ( 2019-05-09 20:46:31 +0200 )edit
Login/Signup to Answer

Question Tools

1 follower


Asked: 2019-05-04 21:09:38 +0200

Seen: 124 times

Last updated: May 08