How do you re-start page numbering?

Libre office on Windows 7 SP 1 and latest patches.

I do not want to insert a page break before changing the numbering style and re-starting at page one after a title page and a contents page or pages.

METHOD: Create new document. Format first page as title page, create that as style, manual page break. Create second page as TOC page, create that as style, manual page break. Create third page as actual content page, create that as style . Type gibberish as first paragraph under first heading. Then follow instructions copied below.

Using Different Page Number Styles

You need some pages with the roman numbering style, followed by the remaining pages in another style.
In Writer, you will need different page styles. The first page style has a footer with a page number field formatted for roman numbers. The following page style has a footer with a page number field formatted in another look.

Both page styles must be separated by a page break. In Writer, you can have automatic page breaks and manually inserted page breaks.

  • An automatic page break appears at the end of a page when the page style has a different “next style”.
    For example, the “First Page” page style has “Default” as the next style. To see this, you may press F11 to open the Styles window, click the Page Styles icon, right-click the First Page entry. Choose Modify from the context menu. On the Organiser tab, you can see the “next style”.
  • A manually inserted page break can be applied without or with a change of page styles.
    If you just press Ctrl+Enter, you apply a page break without a change of styles.
    If you choose Insert - Manual break, you can insert a page break without or with a change of style or with a change of page number.

I do not want the page break this automatically inserts between my heading and the first paragraph. I just want to start numbering at 1 on the first page of actual document content in Arabic numerals after assigning Roman page numbers to the preceding title and contents pages.

The help instructions don’t make sense and don’t give me the desired result. Is there some other way to restart page numbering WITHOUT affecting the preceding pages? So, i-x for the title page and contents, and then 1-99 for the document content, but without page breaks after headings or the first paragraph of actual content.?

Peter S.

Oh. The edits make your confusion clear; but who told you to put breaks after headings? Your manual page break “after the ToC” (which is the property of your first actual content, most likely the first heading) is the place where you put that “1”; and the style that you have created for that content is the place where you define the roman or arabic numerals.

Specifically: in the style for ToC (which you had described as “Create second page as TOC page, create that as style”), use the page style dialog’s “Page” tab, and select “i, ii, iii, …” in “Page numbers” drop-down selector. Likewise, in the page style for actual content, you select “1, 2, 3, …” there. In the first actual content paragraph (first heading?) paragraph properties, go to “Text Flow” tab, and use “With page style”, and “Page number” → 1.

“I do not want that page break”. “The help instructions don’t make sense”.

Well, let me ignore the bold statements, and try to describe the logic and reasons behind the instructions.

The text processor doesn’t work with pages. It works with textual content, and it dynamically creates virtual pages as required to put the content. It uses some rules - what kind of pages to create and where.

What are those rules? The rules are very simple. If a paragraph (or a few of other types of objects - like tables and sections) has a mark that it needs to start on a new page, then stop filling the previous page (if there is one), and start the new one. If the paragraph specifically describes which properties to use for that new page, then use those properties. Otherwise, use the page settings that the previous page tells to use. If a paragraph doesn’t tell that it wants to start a new page, then simply continue filling the current page, until there’s free space left; after the free space is filled, then create a new page based on settings of the just-finished page, and put the rest of content there.

The author defines the rules for pages using page styles, which the author assigns to paragraphs or paragraph styles. The very first paragraph in a document has an implicit link to the default page style, unless the author links some style to it explicitly.

If you create some “parts” of the document, like the first part being the “Title” and “Table of Contents”, which has own numbers, and then goes the text with its own numbering, then how should the program tell the “actual document content” from the title and ToC? How could the program know when to start new rules of numbering? It’s the actual property of the text, that “this text is the first paragraph of the actual content”, and no more part of ToC. And the way to tell this to the program is to set the page break with a new page style to the first paragraph of the “actual document content”.

If you were doing that by hand, you would take some sheets of paper, and start numbering from 1, and put the actual content there. After you had finished that, you’d take some more sheets, and put the title, and ToC (with resulting normal numbers) there, with special numbering for these auxiliary pages. Do you see the different type of pages used in the process? The program also needs to use different processing for these different types of pages, and that is done by providing dedicated page styles, and an explicit mark (page break) dividing these different parts.

You might confuse the text processor (which focuses on text, and which only uses pages as means to layout the text) with desktop publishing software (like PageMaker, which is built around the PostScript page description language) that has its main purpose to define pages (and user puts some content on the pages, which are the primary units in those programs).

It’s unwise to refuse to use the tooling a program offers to you, without trying to get the logic behind. So, it would be better not to tell “I don’t want… It doesn’t make sense…”, but to ask “why is it so”.

My job is to evaluate Libre Office as a replacement for Microsoft Office. That is, as a replacement for ordinary users who really don’t care about programming logic or document standards.

Some are writers in the creative sense, but most are administrative staff writing reports or memos. Neither of these user classes care too much about why something works the way it does. They just want to know what to do to get the same results they have come to expect from MS Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

I’m sorry you think my question includes ‘bold words’. Nevertheless, neither the help file nor your answer make any sense from a user perspective. Particularly not when you save a document as .docx and all the formatting worked at disappears. It is not a question of ‘should’ or ‘ought to’; MS Word is still a standard document type in business globally. If Libre Office cannot emulate and maintain MS styles, I cannot recommend it in all good faith.

The only ‘bold’ idea in my thinking was that Libre Office might have been a cheaper and workable alternative to MS Office. I would like it to be. I would love to see Microsoft knocked off its perch as the premier office software suite. Particularly since it has been bastardized in recent versions to accommodate users who are not writers or administrative staff. But if what you say is true, Libre Office requires a major shift in thinking, away from creating documents and towards some arcane ideal about programming and xml standards.

Ordinary users couldn’t care less about standards or programming logic. They just want to write with a minimum of fuss about formatting, and with confidence that formatting is not some secret knowledge they must acquire lest they be embarrassed when someone else opens the document and it comes out as a garbled mess.

Think of the humble manual typewriter. What you see is what you get. If you must be a purist about standards, at least hide those behind simple keys and commands that are indifferent to those standards, but make sense to ordinary people.

Until you can do that, Libre Office remains the domain of ‘nerds’ who are hostile to actual writing for the sake of their own notions about how things ‘should’ work rather than what ordinary people expect. Like Linux/Unix, which is unarguably a better, more stable platform than MS Windows or OSX, but has never been packaged in a way that ordinary people can make sense of, or use easily.

So far I have not been able to create and save even simple documents that maintain fidelity between Libre Writer and MS Word. I might as well have been using a text editor. And I am an IT professional. If I recommended this product without having the answers I would never work again. And your answers to my questions are plainly ridiculous.
Sorry to have taken your time.

Peter S. (BA, MBA, MInfTech)

Wow. I see that you didn’t read. I never wrote anything about “standards”, “XML”, etc. I tried to explain all this in plain words - so that an ordinary user could understand the logic. What is so “nerdy” to understand that it’s required to put a mark that would differentiate “this is one part” from “this is another part”? but you are free to use whatever fits you best; I just find the description of the problem unclear at best.

get the same results they have come to expect from MS Word…

Just about your particular case: is there any way to make MS Word (re)start page numbering with a different number style without introducing a break? I do not know any. The logic is quite similar between the two office programs. The difference is that page styles in OpenOffice are more versatile as compared to so called sections in MS Word.

P. S. And do not answer your own question unless it is a real answer.

If Libre Writer won’t maintain an MS compatible format I can’t recommend it. And it doesn’t. But MS Word does have a feature to allow renumbering of pages, and not just with paragraph or page styles. It can be applied ad hoc.

Once again, I thank you for your help. It just isn’t help; it’s a demand that my users adhere to your standards. That’s not my remit.

Word limit in this forum? OK. You guys aren’t serious, are you?

…a feature to allow renumbering of pages … be applied ad hoc.

As far as I know, no, it can’t be applied without introducing a new section with a break. If I am wrong, provide the exact procedure (I would appreciate it, seriously).

  1. This is not a forum, but a Q&A site, thus, the character limit is reasonable.

This is not a forum - it’s an Ask site - and it’s not expected to host lengthy discussion (unfortunately). You might join #libreoffice on FreeNode if you’d like to discuss something…

You still didn’t explain the ad hoc method that Word uses.

Mike Kaganski: You want to argue and be ‘right’? MS Word: insert section break. Open footer (or header). Insert ‘Quick Parts’ page number (macro). Right-click page number and restart numbering. Anywhere in document. Without displacing text.

Peter, this discussion reminds me of a favorite saying …
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig.
You are fighting a losing battle (been there, done that).
You are dealing with:

  • blind loyalty
  • ignorance of the competition
  • no clue about real users vs. geeks
    Unfortunately the arrogant LO “usability guru” is also a part of the problem.
    Your analysis of the situation is dead on.

@PeterStrempel: I wanted to know how Word does that. You know, if one wants to improve, one needs to know how to improve. I’m sad to see someone thinking that my question is “wanting to argue and be right”. But you are free to think whatever you like.

If I understand correctly the case, it is a matter of using a tool in an organisation without having to think over the nature of the tool.

The relevant questions are: what is the “production”? how is it produced (workflow, people, …)?

From my experience, trying to change for a new tool without taking human factors and tool specificities into consideration is doomed to failure. The startegy “new tool, no change in habits” is wrong, if not suicidal.

Your main argument is about people: they would use the tool routinely and must not need to understand the arcanes of it while using it. This calls for a reasonable amount of automation in the process of producing letters, specifications, reports, proposals, … Add to that, you probably have a “graphic chart” as part of corporate communication. In MS Word, it likely translates into various style sheets, one for each type of document unless all are merged into a giant one.

Your people are accustomed to giving styles Date for the first line, then Addressee, then Subject, then Text Body when they come to the core of the letter. The style sheet may have some Heading n paragraph to emphasise structure of content. At the end, you may have Salutation for a formal good-bye and Signee.

With this scheme, your people already know that they have to click somewhere when they make a topic or structure transition. Jumping to a new page is one of these transition, which is cleverly achieved through a style in the sheet. It is even the only way to guarantee that all documents adhere to the rules defined in the chart, so that all look alike.

You can do the same with LO Writer and even better.

LO Writer has no style sheet per se, because styles are integrated into a document. But, it has a very powerful feature: templates. Templates contain not only styles but also text, such as company logo, legal information in the first page footer, pre-typed data like subject:, refers:, attachments:, reply address, … It is easier for the average Joe to delete unneeded paragraph than add a wanted one consisted with the graphic chart.

Your job is to design those templates and a short notice explaining what is not self-explanatory. Make experiments with administrative clerks to get their feed-back.

You may object that templates imply maintenance work. Yes and this an advantage. Put the templates on a server shared by everybody. Then, every update is immediately available and automatically used by all. When the comm guys fancy to change the corporate logo or the “official” font face, how do you presently make sure that everybody switches to the new rules at once and simultaneously without some black sheep using stale stylesheets?

As you see, it not only a matter of comparable or equivalent features, but before all, a matter of work organisation. Maybe the clerks do not need to understand what happens behind the stage, but you, as an IT learned skilled professional, must objectively evaluate the differences between both tools, make your benefit from them and design the required templates which will make people forget which tool they use and be happy in their work. You must anticipate the consequences of your choices. This is not easy and can’t be done pusillanimously in one day. It has a deep impact on company productivity since written communication is one of the chore works.

You did not tell what your deadline is.

OK. I agree that if I can make things easier for people, I ought to. But I still don’t know how to change page numbering between sections of a document. All the philosophy aside, how do I change from Roman to Arabic and then to something else–if I want to?

All the philosophy aside, how do I change from Roman to Arabic and then to something else–if I want to?

I thought that my second comment to your question (right below the question) tells you just that… And if my comment was unclear - I wanted to know what was unclear (again: I want it to be able to improve; of course, you might take me wanting to know as you like).

@mikekaganski It might be a good idea to post that comment as an answer.

The closest equivalent to MSW sections is LOW pages. You must trigger a page break. Do it either with Insert>Manual Break to switch to a new page style or with a paragraph style containing the before break. In both cases you must play with styles (at least page styles).

In the style for ToC (which you had described as “Create second page as TOC page, create that as style”), use the page style dialog’s “Page” tab, and select “i, ii, iii, …” in “Page numbers” drop-down selector. Likewise, in the page style for actual content, you select “1, 2, 3, …” there.

In the first actual content paragraph (usually this is the first heading) paragraph properties, go to “Text Flow” tab, and use “With page style”, and “Page number” > 1. Another way to do this is to hover over the blue dotted page break line between the ToC and Content pages, click and select “Edit Page Break…”, and then use “With page style” and “Page number” > 1, like with the previous method.

@ahiijny: please don’t post as wiki, it helps no one and prevents you from collecting karma points