Cannot edit text in footer. Writer. LibreOffice

There’s text I need to change in the footer, specifically name of the topic instead of ???. I’m on Arch Linux x86_64

Shablon.docx (172.1 KB)

A screenshot is worth nearly nothing here. You didn’t even enable View>Formatting Marks. We can’t tell if this “data” is effectively in the footer or if it is a frame/image anchored somewhere else as could be suggested by the partial green selection handle.

Edit your question to mention OS name and attach your file (or a relevant portion of it with a maximum of 2-3 pages).

Okay, done!

It is even worse than I thought.

  1. Your document is saved .docx, i.e. non Writer native. This means there is one conversion when you open the document (introducing approximations) and another one when you save it (with other approximations).

    The more you edit your document, the less reliable it becomes.

    If you really want to benefit from any application, save native. In case you really need to send as .docx, export only when you’re finished with the document and keep the .odt for future edits.

  2. All the fancy “decorations” in your pages are graphical objects inserted individually separately on every page. They don’t belong in any header or footer, thus they can’t repeat and must be inserted manually. How will you handle “comfortably” a 100-page document?

  3. To make things worse, the decorations are OLE objects. In other words they were created in another application which is needed to edit them. Also the original file is needed.

  4. In addition, document structure has already been seriously damaged by the aforementioned conversions: nearly every page has its own page style (because Word knows nothing about it and Writer must guess how to translate Word layout directives). This means that your edits which add more text than available space in a page will not flow into the next existing page but will create a new partially filled page! All your pages are separated by hard page breaks.

  5. The whole document is direct formatted. No style is used. You’ll have a hard time to maintain it. You are also extremely vulnerable to page boundaries because vertical spacing is done with empty paragraphs (and to add to the mess, these empty paragraph have different font sizes).

How to fix it?

My best advice is to forgot about the existing document. Restart from scratch using styles:

  • paragraph styles to make a difference between paragraphs in different semantic domains
    E.g., Title for the document title, Subtitle for other indications above or below the title, Heading n for chapters and subchapters, Text Body for the main narrative (this is different from Word where you’d use Default Style) and many others
  • character styles inside paragraph to highlight such and such word with Emphasis, Strong Emphasis et al.
  • page styles to differentiate the various parts
    First Page for the cover page, Default Page Style for the main topic, and you’ll have to create custom styles for your table of contents

For your own comfort and ease of tuning layout and formatting, avoid direct formatting. It leads to an unmanageable situation where formatting becomes a nightmare.

For the structured footer you show on the screenshot, use a table in the footer. It will automatically repeat on every page, provided you escape from the structure wreck created by successive edits of DOCX.

If you start from a blank document, you copy your existing text and paste unformatted (to avoid imported Word mess). Then you apply styles to paragraphs.

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This document is a sample sent by my college, I see I have to replicate it. Thank you very much!

Just an addition: the “decorations” like rectangles around text can be done with borders in page styles. No need of any graphics app for such simple things. But from an aesthetic point of view, don’t do it. It is ugly.

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