How do I make "sideways" headers and footers?

I want to make a Portrait layout Writer document with the occasional Landscape page, but when the document is printed and bound I want all the pages in Portrait, such that the Landscape pages are sideways in the binding. I want the headers and footers of all pages to be at the top and bottom of the bound document, so on the Landscape pages I want the header on the right and the footer on the left. I hope I’m being clear about this. I found a way to do it in MS Word but it wasn’t easy. I don’t see any way to do this in Writer. I’m thinking I may have to somehow keep the pages Portrait and rotate their content 90 degrees, but that would make editing difficult.

Has anyone done this? Should I submit this as a feature request?

Edit: The OS is Windows 10 and I’m using LO 6.4. The content of the landscape pages is tables that are too wide to comfortably fit in portrait.

You can only do that by putting your header/footer content into floating frames attached to header/footer paragraphs. Using tables in the frames, you may use rotated text to have it vertical.

What is the content of the lanscape pages? Images (or tables) or formatted text flowing from standard portrait pages and continuing into portait pages?

Give additional information editing your question (not using your answer). Don’t format OS and LO version though this is not really relevant in this case.

Mike Kaganski - Thank you for the suggestion. I can’t seem to insert a floating frame, and LO Help says those are for HTML. I can insert a text box, and rotating the text is simple, but it won’t let me insert fields. I want to include the usual header/footer fields such as page numbers, etc. If the landscape page is page 6 and later pages 1-5 expand to 1-7 I don’t want to have to re-number the landscape page manually.

I would suggest to alter the solution by ajlittoz (which I have just upvoted), so that you won’t be need to insert rotated frames on each landscape page manually; they will be inserted automatically.

  1. Set your measurement unit to inches
  2. Create a new document
  3. Set up your landscape page:
    • format: Letter (that is, 11x8.50 in)
    • right margin: 1 in
    • other margins: 0.5 in
  4. Insert a single space character in the header.
  5. When you are still in the header: in the menu bar, click Insert, and then click Frame > Frame
  6. Set up your frame:
    • Type tab:
      • width: 0.25 in
      • height: 5 in
      • horizontal position: From left, 10 in
      • vertical position: From top, 0.5 in
    • Options tab:
      • text direction: left-to-right (vertical)

That’s it. Type “Hello world” in your frame. Works!

Create a table. I don’t mean some table in the header. Just a regular table in the main area of the page. Works! It doesn’t overlap your side-header.

Create a second landscape page. You will see that “Hello world” side-header is created automatically. Works.


You can’t rotate text at will: a page contains a text flow with direction defined by the content language (left to right, right to left or top to bottom.

Fortunately, in your case the rotated text is not part of the main text flow but is some form of “decoration”.

The landscape page style needs to be adjusted in a special way:

  • no header nor footer (because they won’t be located where you want them
  • margins set so that they delimit the content area of the portrait pages, implying that left and right margins are wider than portrait top and bottom to leave room for inserting objects.

The fake header and footer are frames you will anchor to the caption paragraph of the table.

This means there is no automatic insertion in every page. You must repeat the procedure for every landscape page. I hope the are not too numerous.

When you create the frame, go to its Options tab and set Properties - Text direction to Right-to-left (vertical). Positioning, sizing, wrapping, etc. are tuned as usual.

Header/footer text is a bit queer because words are reversed. You must typed the text “backwards” (from the end to the beginning so that our Western text reads “normal”). Insert the fields for page number. Don’t use fields for document title or chapter names because they would read reversed.

To show the community your question has been answered, click the ✓ next to the correct answer, and “upvote” by clicking on the ^ arrow of any helpful answers. These are the mechanisms for communicating the quality of the Q&A on this site. Thanks!

That did it, thanks! It took a bit of work with position, spacing, and sizes to get the frame to match the Portrait footers, but I managed. Best of all, when I inserted another Landscape page break I was able to copy the frame and paste it into the new page, so additional pages are a snap. And I had no problem with “backwards” text; inserting the document title field worked just as expected. Thanks again!
Edit: I’d upvote your answer but I don’t have enough karma yet.

FWIW, I found a detailed solution for Word on the website of University of Aberdeen: SW15-13: My document contains portrait and landscape pages, how do I fix the headers and footers? ( This might provide some ideas of how the same issue might be solved for Writer. (In other words, despite I respect your help to people here on the forum, including myself, I cannot say that I really like the current solution… There might be a better one.)

I had a look at the M$ Word procedure. There no such first step (breaking header/footer link between sections) in Writer because page styles are independent from each other. The second step is similar to frame insertions except it seems part of the header/footer engine. But positioning and tuning is strictly identical to what you do in Writer.