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Can I force a page to automatically be odd?

asked 2020-08-27 10:36:00 +0100

Luke Kendall gravatar image

updated 2020-08-27 10:44:56 +0100

For my novels, I produce a mass market sized paperback (A-format), a B-format sized paperback, and two ebook editions: one for Kindle, and one as epub.

I'm currently experimenting with using master documents in the hope of having a single document that contains the body, with varying front and end matter tailored for each format.

Is there some way to set up a header style that will force itself to be on an odd page (i.e. have Writer insert a blank page if it would otherwise be an even page, i.e. a left page)?

Could I do it by using manual page breaks for chapters, and for the special headings that must be on an odd page, defining a header style that forces a page break - an extra page break - when that paragraph style is used on an even page?

For the two paperback versions, I sometimes have the novel structured as a few "Parts". The 'title page' for these parts needs to be on an odd page.

I tried defining such a heading style, but the first page of a chapter typically has no header or footer (and no page number), in fiction novels. This means I must use a page style I've defined that omits the header and footer. There seems to be no way to set an automatic page break that forces a page to appear on an odd page (or even), only a way to select a Left Page style or Right page style. Unfortunately that's no help as I must use my custom no-header-or-footer page style, and whether a page is odd or not will depend on the text layout. A page could certainly be odd in one sized paperback and even in the other. (I'm optimistic that in the master document for the ebook editions I can define the heading style to force no extra page break, so the ebook editions won't get blank pages inserted.)

I want to keep the main body of the book as a single file, not split it into pieces, so that I can perform global searches and/or replaces or just inspection, and having to repeat them across multiple files would likely lead to me making an errors. If not for that, I could just manually insert a blank page file into the appropriate master document at necessary points.

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answered 2020-08-27 10:54:37 +0100

Yes you can. Just make your chapter heading style use a dedicated "first chapter page" page style, which will be "Only right" in its Layout Settings (see page style's Page tab). The page style needs to make a usual ("Right and left") page style as its Next style (on Organizer tab), so that only the first page of chapter is forced odd, not all following.

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Thanks Mike. That was exactly what I needed to know. The only confusing thing is that you have to check the following page number carefully to know that a blank page has been inserted. Once I worked out that you can't select a page style and choose New to make a new page style based on that page style, but that you have to create the new page style via the New Style from Selection control (and then adjust those page settings not inherited from the parent style: the header and footer settings), it does what I want, exactly as you said.

Luke Kendall gravatar imageLuke Kendall ( 2020-08-27 19:04:31 +0100 )edit
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answered 2020-08-27 12:44:50 +0100

ajlittoz gravatar image

To fully address your various questions, you must use consistently styles. Not only paragraph styles, the most common and known ones, but also page styles which will bring you control over your page constraints.

You also want a single source for the content of your book and be able to change the stationery without modifying the content, while preserving various constraints.

Your requirement appears to be similar to the one in this question. See my detailed answer on how to handle this situation based on templates (yet another Writer feature).

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In regard to ajlitttoz's note, I do use a set of consistent page styles.

Unfortunately, I've discovered that I have used Writer without a rigorous use of character styles (only a rigorous use of page and paragraph styles). That means my books are formatted with Direct Formatting for stretches of text I wouldn't have expected (and even as the author I can't imagine why the DF text I see is in fact DF. It's so common it makes me think that cutting and pasting or moving text may lead to the moved text being marked as DF.

Luke Kendall gravatar imageLuke Kendall ( 2020-08-27 19:07:03 +0100 )edit

Sadly, this feature of Writer undermines the use of master documents for my use case (different font size documents). Master documents work brilliantly, even for this use case not anticipated in the Writers Guide. (I'll separately provide feedback for the twenty or so problems I noticed in the documentation.)

So once again, Writer's design of direct formatting (in which it assumes that every time you set text as italic or bold it's for a new semantic purpose, and does not provide an option to nominate that every time you set a character style it should re-use an existing style that looks the same), has caused me a big problem.

Sadly, I think it means I need to find a word processor for Linux that doesn't suffer from that design assumption, for my future books. (It's sad because I've used Writer for about 15,000 hours.)

Luke Kendall gravatar imageLuke Kendall ( 2020-08-27 19:08:22 +0100 )edit

Regarding your wish to use Ctrl+I for a "universally common" italics, you can do that with Tools>Customize. Go to the Keyboard tab. Reassign character style Emphasis (or any other of your liking) to Ctrl+I. You're done!

ajlittoz gravatar imageajlittoz ( 2020-08-27 19:23:02 +0100 )edit
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Asked: 2020-08-27 10:36:00 +0100

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Last updated: Aug 27