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My Headings are 'gone' [closed]

asked 2015-10-16 12:58:16 +0100

Anlo gravatar image

updated 2015-10-16 15:53:09 +0100

Alex Kemp gravatar image

I am currently working with a large document which has chapter-headings. Until yesterday they seemed to work normally: I could see them in Navigator for the document, and I could insert a complete table of contents. But now, the document/system does not recognize them anymore. I cant navigate the headings, and the table of contents is empty. They are still formated as headings. I also tried to formate them again, as well as to copy-paste the text into a new document, but this didn't help. Illustrations and tables are still indexed properly, and in this case the table of illustrations is complete and correct. In older versions of the document, the headings are also shown properly. What I should also mention is that yesterday Libre crashed at some point, when the document was open (though the trigger for this was a different document). I am using Libre Writer (Version: on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS).

Does anyone know, how I could fix this problem? Also, I am wondering if this means that the document is broken, in which case I am not sure if it save to use it at all? There are still some changes to be made (its my phd), and I don't want it to get worse, so that I maybe not able to open the document anymore. So, my second question would be, how I can check if the document is indeed damaged, and how bad the damage is?

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Closed for the following reason the question is answered, right answer was accepted by Alex Kemp
close date 2016-03-16 22:03:39.808400


Did you already (carefully) look for the backup copy in your user profile?

Someone trying to help you might want to know if you saved the document in native .odt format.

Lupp gravatar imageLupp ( 2015-10-16 16:25:36 +0100 )edit

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answered 2015-10-17 01:12:14 +0100

Regina gravatar image

Goto Tools > Outline Numbering. Make sure, that each level has the correct paragraph style attached. Do yo see empty lines on the right side? Then click on the level on the left side and then choose the paragraph style and the kind of numbering in the middle part. It sometimes happens, that a document looses the assignment between level and style.

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answered 2015-10-17 17:05:37 +0100

Anlo gravatar image

Ok, an Update: In the paragraph settings, the 'outline level' and the 'numbering style' were both wrong. After changing both of them, it worked - even after re-opening the document.

Thanks a lot for the help!

Thank you both for your responses! I re-set the user profile, but this didn't seem to make a difference. The paragraph settings seem to be a problem. The headings were marked as 'body text' - so I changed that to 'level 1' etc. I saved it, but when opening the file again, the changes were gone, and the paragraphs were set to 'body text' again (changes in the text, however, are still there). I also tried to combine both - meaning re-set the profile and then change the paragraph settings - but this, too, didn't make a difference. At least I took care of the back-up settings now!

Someone asked, I think, in what formate the file is saved: its in .doc. I used that formate from the start, since none of the proof-readers can open odt. Would it make a difference, if I changed that?

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answered 2015-10-16 16:56:40 +0100

Alex Kemp gravatar image

updated 2015-10-19 18:22:30 +0100

Hi Anlo

The first thing to try is resetting your Profile (Q59016) (fully reversible). That will reset LO to full defaults. However, you may have to resign yourself to loss of the current version of that document. There are methods to (sometimes) be able to recover the text within the document, but one thing at a time, huh?

It is probably a good moment to point out one life-saving setup aspect of Writer:

  • (menu):ToolsOptions...Load/SaveGeneral
    (particularly Autorecovery & Backup)
    image description
  • (menu):ToolsOptions...LibreOfficePaths
    (location for Autorecovery & Backup files)


I do not know of any method to give a damage rating for the document.

You can save in a variety of formats:-

  • (menu):FileSave As...(Ctrl+Shift+S)
    (click on All Formats to see the Export Filter options)
    (RTF (Rich Text Format) is a baseline that every modern text editor should be able to open)
    image description

Export then re-import should be a method to see how much you can recover, plus how much (if any) work will be needed to repair.


15 years ago I was providing Internet support via a Premium paid-for line on the evening shift.

A phone-call came in from a University student. He was writing his PH.D on his computer. He was being very careful & had saved many, many backups to floppy disc. He had lost his main file due to a computer crash, but was now having problems accessing the backups. Could I help?

Ignoring the obvious question ("What exactly has this got to do with the Internet?") I did my best amidst a sense of doom & asked all the necessary questions. Indeed, his multi-hundred-page thesis had been saved to 4kB files on the floppy. I had to point out to him that he had saved shortcuts to his floppy disc rather than the original file. As the HDD on the original computer was now toast, so were his so-called backups.

@Anlo: if you are making a comment, do not post an Answer (this is not a Forum). If you make an Answer, then actually make an answer to your Question.

If this helps then please tick the answer (✔)
...and/or show you like it with an uptick ()

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Asked: 2015-10-16 12:58:16 +0100

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Last updated: Oct 19 '15