I have page numbers in a header, with no numbers on first page of chapter. Sometimes the right and left numbers get switched when the file is saved. What can I do?

It’s a book with several chapters. All the chapter first pages hide the header and page numbers properly. Sometimes the second page - and only the second page - has the right page number, but on the wrong side of the page. I.e., the odd number is on the left side, even number on the right. This does not always happen, though. I mean, sometimes the numbers appear as they are supposed to. I can manually correct the number positions, but when I save the file again, they are wrong again. I want to print this as a PDF file for publication, but I need to know the page numbers are going to be correct. What do I need to do? I’m using Version: for Ubuntu Linux.

Do you save as odt or docx? It might be a conversion problem.

You didn’t mention how you achieve your first/left/right page formatting. There are two ways to do that.

  • the poor man’s method

    LO Writer offers a quick “one size fits all” feature to do it but fine tuning is not available.

    You select Left and right in the Page tab Layout settings dropdown menu and uncheck the Same content on xxx boxes in the Header and Footer tabs. Once the page style has been configured, you click in the header and footer area to set their content.

    As a result, every time you insert a page break forcing this page style, you get the sequence first, then either a repetition of left/right or right/left depending on the parity of the first page number. This method does not offer an easy way to control which sequence will occur.

  • the “professional” method

    Here you define three linked page styles: one for the first page (without header not footer), one for the left page as Left page in the Page tab Layout settings dropdown menu, with header and footer, and one for the right pages as Right page with header and footer.

    In the Organizer tab, you link the styles setting the Next style dropdown menu to the left one for the first, right for the left and left for the right one so that you get the sequence first, left, right, left, right.

    However, as described, you can still layout odd page numbers on left pages just like in the first method. To correct that, you force Right page in the Layout settings/ for the first page style.

    With that trick, your chapter will always begin on a right page (in principal odd page number), inserting a blank page if needed.

    To start a new chapter, all you need to do is insert a page break to switch to the first page style. This can be set in the paragraph style for the first paragraph in the chapter (usually Heading 1). Field insertion can be used to vary header and footer so that you need only one set of page styles for all chapters.

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Also, read these tutorials:



Thanks for your help, especially the two tutorials. I finally figured out how the styles work. I was changing the style for the current page, and I didn’t realize that changed all the earlier pages with that style, too. I wound up doing a mirrored layout, with First Page followed by Left Page followed by Right Page. If the first page of a chapter was NOT going to be on a right hand page, I forced it by putting in a Manual Page Break followed by a Default Style page which had no headers or anything else. I’d rather let the chapters start on the very page after the last chapter ended, left or right, but this works.

Mirrored doesn’t pertain to left/right page headers. It requests margin symmetry: the name changes from left/right to outer and inner (=the side for binding). It is relevant only when you duplex print.