Can't get pages to auto number for each new page with Libre office

Hi, I’ve being trying unsuccessfully to format pages to auto number consecutively like 1, then 2, then 3 etc., with Libre Office but it’s not working. I did exactly what the instructions I googled explained, but my below description is what happens. (I’m writing a novel.)

  1. I go to the footer and click in the footer area, and a small rectangular light blue box appears.

  2. I left click on the rectangular blue box.

  3. A window appears and in the top of the window I click the “page” header icon.

  4. On the right is a page number dropdown and I click I want the format for pages “1, 2, 3, …”

  5. In that above dropdown I got the option to click numbers, or letters, or roman numerals etc., that kind of thing. So I clicked regular numbers.

  6. This action gives me the “impression” that Libre Office will now number my pages. But it will not.

  7. Libra Office will number page 1, page 2, page 3 and then start over and start write page 1 in the fourth page.

  8. So when I follow the instructions to number pages manually, and type page 4 on page 4, Libre Office, switches the second page to page 4 as well. So then my pages are numbered 1, 4, 3, 4.

  9. I switch page 2 back to 2, and Libra Office numbers my pages, 1, 2, 3, 2.

A) The system refuses to allow me to manually input a proper sequence of numbers.

B)The system refuses to auto number a proper sequence of numbers.

Can anyone please help me with this?


It should be as simple as described in Inserting Page Numbers in Footers. It is possible that you have more than one page style with different page number settings.

If this is the case, perhaps you could upload a sample document that demonstrates the problem; edit your question to add the sample and also give details of your operating system and LibreOffice version


Hi, first, I want to say THANKYOU so much for coming along and offering assistance. I find this incredibly frustrating as I truly can’t seem to figure out what I am doing wrong.

  1. Okay, in answer to your second comment, I don’t have more than one page style with different page settings. So that is not the problem but thankyou for mentioning it, as I realize you’re being comprehensive and systematically trying to help me troubleshoot.

  2. In answer to your last question in your second paragraph, I use windows 10 and my LibreOffice version writes it’s 6.

  3. When I try to delete the footers to start over, or even reset them, my Libra office accepts the actions as far as allowing me to click delete, but once out of the page pop up window, the footer remains the same. Nothing has changed. Footer is even still there when I’ve clicked to delete it.

HANG ON … I just got back as I just followed your link AGAIN, and reread it.

  1. This time, I followed that instruction you linked me and I did the action, “insert a page number,” from the actual task bar, instead of configuring the actual footer on the page from the pop up blue window. And oddly, using the above task bar, instead of the page footer prompts, the system is now, allowing me to manually add page numbers for each page. I made it to number four as well. 1,2,3,4, how bout that? :slight_smile:

(Yes, I just started my book hence only up to page 4. lol)

  1. Strangely, the numbers the task bar is now adding to each page from my prompts, are hightlighted in grey, so I had to re-highlight them in white to match the page colour. But that’s no biggie.

  2. Plus, I can center the numbers, or place them left or right.

So, as long as I can manually add a page number in the proper order, I’m good.

Well, YOU FIXED IT. I can manually add page numbers. THANKYOU THANKYOU THANKYOU.

You have NO idea how much I sincerely appreciate it. I’ve been trying to figure it out for a few weeks when I’ve had time to get to it, and now I can just write, and not worry about it.

I SINCERELY, sincerely appreciate your taking the time to come by and offer suggestions. One of your work arounds works, and I’ll take it and fill the page numbers in manually.

I am SO, SO relieved.

All the best to you and yours in 2023, and please stay safe.

Most kindly,

The expected result from following the instructions I linked to is that a field would be inserted in the footer of your document which would automatically show the current page number. If you have to manually insert a page number on each page, there is a further issue somewhere.

If you need more help, please upload a sample document that demonstrates the problem.

1 Like

@Vancouvergirl The symptoms you describe suggest you save your document .docx. There are huge differences between M$ DOCX format and native ODF format. Using an alien format implies conversion when opening and another conversion when saving. These conversions have cumulative effects leading sooner or later to document damage. Avoid this. Work native. If you are constrained to send the document as DOCX, do this only when everything has been tuned in your *.odt. document but always keep the .odt as source and reference.

Also, “my LibreOffice version writes it’s 6” is not informative enough. Always cite version with at least 3 components x.y.z because there are differences within a release series (usually y=0 or 1 is considered as non-mature or "experimental), e.g. my version is

1 Like

Hi robleyd, thanks for the rest of the information you added on this thread. As I typed more pages over the last few days, it actually does automatically correctly add page numbers consecutively, and the page numbers are no longer highlighted in grey. So it’s in fact 100% resolved because of your initial post answering my first post in this thread.

Good thing as I know you guys are trying to be helpful but both yours and ajlittoz technical terms are way above my comprehension. lol That’s why I put in my profile (that doesn’t seem to show up) that I am not tech savvy. :slight_smile:

Thanks to you as well ajlittoz as well. I appreciate what you added but as said above, it’s actually all resolved now and pages are in fact auto numbering each page.

I sincerely appreciate the insight and assistance that both of you forum members so promptly provided!

Thankyou both so much,