# How to have Same Content on First Page for footer but not header?

In Writer I have a document with several different page styles. The footer remains constant, with the page number on the left for the left footer and the right for the right footer. The headers are also different depending on whether it's on the right page or left. But for the headers I don't want a header on the first page of the style. Modifying the style so that Same content on first page is unchecked is easy enough, but it's lead to a bizarre issue.

When I uncheck Same content on first page for the header and close it out it also applies that change to the footer. I don't want the footer to have different data on the first page because it means that sometimes I'll have the page number on the wrong side of the page. When I turn it back on for the footer it turns it back on for the header.

Thinking it must just be a bug I updated to the latest stable version, 6.1.6.3, but the issue persists. I'm running windows 8.1.

Why on earth are those two locked to each other? Is there any way to disassociate them so I can have footers that have the same content on the first page but different content for the headers?

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Just copy contents from main footer to first page footer.

@regina: do you know if that's a format limitation, or is it possible to actually have different settings for "same content on first page" separately for footer and header?

( 2019-06-13 05:25:59 +0200 )edit

Main footer varies by left/right page. Every time I change something enough to make a new page I need to check dozens of page styles to make sure that the first page footer is the right one.

( 2019-06-13 06:10:15 +0200 )edit

IMHO this is no bug. The various Same content on ... boxes are in fact quick'n'dirty shortcuts to create anonymous page styles associated with your custom one. If you uncheck Same content on first page, a new "blank" page style which switches to the "left" style at end-of-page. Being blank, the footer is empty and you must copy the "right" footer in it. If you want full control, create yourself the first, left and right page styles and don't forget to link them.

( 2019-06-13 17:26:03 +0200 )edit

Are you saving the file as a normal LibreOffice .odt. If you save as a doc or docx you may have dozens of styles to update.

( 2019-06-13 17:26:21 +0200 )edit

It is being saved as an .odt file. @ajlittoz IMHO this is a bug. If it was the expected outcome that unchecking Same content on first page on either the header or footer would change the other as well then the checkbox that I hadn't unchecked would also uncheck before hitting okay. As it is, it appears that they are separate and the user has the choice to only have one unchecked.

( 2019-06-13 17:47:06 +0200 )edit

@Califer: please do file a bug: as you rightfully mention, at least one of the two things must be true: either the checkboxes be (un)checked synchronously, or they actually control independent stuff. Please don't forget to mention the bug number here. Thanks!

( 2019-06-13 23:18:03 +0200 )edit

Since unchecking the box(es) creates new associated page styles, you can't have "partial" behaviour: header and footer are only data stuffed into the page style. Maybe the boxes are not offered in the tab corresponding to the present algorithm. We could think of a kind of copy operation when creating the page styles, according to the known contents of the header/footer at that time (which would allow for "independent" initialisation) but this wouldn't simplify later update (you'd have to make them in the 3 contexts manually). I'd like to know if there exists a formal specification document about Writer features (I don't mean ODF description but processing features around it to bridge the gap between typography and ODF).

( 2019-06-14 07:38:15 +0200 )edit

The various Same content on ... boxes are in fact quick'n'dirty shortcuts to create anonymous page styles

Since unchecking the box(es) creates new associated page styles

Well - from the standard's point of view, the different headers/footers don't create "anonymous page styles"; they are defined by dedicated subelements of the style element, <style:master-page>. There are several such subelements, each defining content of corresponding header/footer: <style:footer>, <style:footer-first>, <style:footer-left>, <style:header>, <style:header-first> and <style:header-left> (note that <style:footer-first> and <style:header-first> are only since ODF 1.3). It isn't specified in the standard that having any of the subelements requires presence of another paired subelement. Moreover, each of them has style:display attribute, which allows remove any of them independently... so no reason to not have what OP wants from the format perspective.

( 2019-06-14 09:06:07 +0200 )edit

@Mike Kaganski: thanks for the information. I thought Writer had more freedom in its features (I mean a processing layer above ODF to provide handy features translating into complex intertwined set of elementary ODF "primitives", resulting in a "standard" ODF file readable by conforming apps, even if they can't synthesise easily the feature).

( 2019-06-14 16:40:26 +0200 )edit