Broken fields in Writer

A while ago I noticed that that the page number field in my LibreOffice document headers didn’t work any longer. This turned out to be part of a larger problem in which inserted fields no longer resolve to any values but simply render as spelled-out strings (such as, for example, ‘Page number’ or ‘Docinformation:Created’) displayed on a grey background.

How do I get those field values back into my documents?

The issue occurs in LibreOffice on Linux 5.13 (Ubuntu 20.04).


The page numbers are there when you print the document. You see them in the print preview as well. Ctrl+F9 toggles field name and content.


Thanks, Villeroy! I obviously never got the memo regarding this change in display behaviour.

This is a well known feature of all versions of Writer and MS Word since the 90ies. May be you toggled it unwittingly in the view menu or via Ctrl+F9.

This feature wasn’t known to me, probably because I never used fields extensively, except for pagination.

Unticking View > Field names brought back the page numbers I’m familiar with.