Insert Page Number: Starting at X

How do I insert page numbers which don’t start at 1?

This no longer seems to work: How do I insert page pages starting with page 2

This blew up the page: How to set page-numbering starting value? - #6 by keme

This suggested changing the offset: Inserting page number footer-starting pg 1 on the first page ,
… but the previous link had several contributors saying to never change the offset.

This is a frequent need for anyone working with large documents, particularly in an office (LibreOffice, after all… ). This function should be easy, and always obvious: When users insert page numbers at any point, there should be always be the option, 'Start with Page Number: [_]

These fancy page numbers generally occur after a page break.

Don’t use Ctrl+Enter which inserts an “ordinary” page break, just flushing text to next page, all other attributes being unchanged. You must Insert>More Breaks>Manual Break which pops up a dialog where your can configure various break attributes.

To be able to change page number sequencing, you must specify a page style, be it the same as the current one (usually Default Page Break if you have no user specific arrangement). Selecting a page style in the drop-down menu enables the *Change page number box and the entry firld. Tick the check bock and enter your desired page number.

Thanks, but that blew up the page, too. Paragraphs (including page headers) were broken apart into separate pages: my 9-page document is now 426 pages.

But even if that worked, it is terribly and needlessly complicated, more of a kludge than a solution.

As I noted, this is a common need for people trying to get work done. There should be a simple solution.

I don’t understand how a 9-page document turns into a 426-page one. You likely have a poor formatting scheme.

Since forcing a page number is rather exceptional in a book, I don’t find the procedure that complicated. It is a manual occurrence of a more general automated process. This process is part of the style approach to document formatting. There, it is integrated generally to the text flow property of some paragraph style. As such you just assign the paragraph style to a paragraph and everything happens magically without the need to manually interact.

This is simple but requires knowledge (and use) of styles. Styles are your friends, learn how to use them.

1 Like

I offer you the Bible for public software.

What is simple for the expert, is not simple for the vast majority of people. It’s not fair to blame end-users for needlessly complicated programming.

As much as it pains me to compliment Microsoft, I am pretty sure that when I used Word, this was a simple little box, where you entered a number, right there on the ‘Insert Page Number’ function.

IMHO that is no blaming but a (very good) advice. - Cheers and thank you @ajlittoz .

I fully agree, but think about tools first. Any new tool requires questioning oneself about his routine. If you think you can go with your old routine without considering the specificities of the new tool, you’re bound to fail absolutely. I saw this too many times in my professional life.

So, you’re leaving M$ Word for LO Writer. Have you tried to discover the differences between both applications since they aren’t drop-in replacement for each other (they can’t and will never be at least because of copyright, intellectual property or patent issues). Therefore you can’t press Word routine over Writer. You must accept differences and try to discover them.

The most fundamental one is the founding principle of styles in Writer. They are ubiquitous and provide a very sound, consistent and predictable foundation for structuring a document.

Some “adaptation layers” (~impedance matching in electronics) are there to “ease” transition but IMHO they hide the gap and delay the time when you realise you need the hidden features at a point when you already have formatted the document beyond the no-return point.

What is missing in the documentation (hoping the the “vast majority of people” would eventually look for documentation and read it, but I am not very optimistic about it) is a clear explanation of the formatting model in Writer. It is cleaner and less contorted than Word’s. But the price for that is the acceptation that Word model is not THE universal truth. Unfortunately, due to its dominant position, Word is considered as the ergonomic reference. And this is the flaw.

PS: you mention a "Bible for public software" but your link point to a book about Web usability (without any summary to see if it is relevant for this discussion). If you're complaining about this site, yes, it could be largely improved. But, at least, it exists.

Web usability is about software usability. The same rules apply.

If I understood software as well as you do…

…I wouldn’t need you.

I practice medicine. Most of what I do isn’t worth anything if patients don’t understand what they need to do, and it is imperative that I keep it simple. Should I tell a patient to go learn about renal function tests, or all of the interactions & side effects of the medicines I prescribe?

If I did, then you should find a different doctor.

Which could either be a completely different person; or, just the same person with a better attitude.

Last time I used MS Word (a long time ago), I still had to start a new section to start or end page numbering. Imagine a carpenter who always used hammer and nails and then turns to screws and a screwdriver. Hammering in the screws with the screwdriver, he finds it doesn’t work. He has to do things differently. Same for Word and LibreOffice.

We’re not in a person-to-person context. You want to use a (software) tool for your own usage. You are switching from tool to another one.

To assemble two parts you have the choice between nails and screws+bolts. Say you did it with nails. You used a hammer. Now you must switch to screws. Will you use your hammer because you’re used to it?

This is the same problem with software.

Not sure what “web usability” means, but it might mean “how to make your website accessible to visitors, so they buy more, and you get the most out of it”, and not, “how can you with the least effort and thought set up a working website”.

In the for-profit world, when coders start telling customers they should change to meet the coders’ expectations, they are counseled, reprimanded, or worse.

In the OpenSource world, it suggests that perhaps it is time to fork the software.

Isn’t that how LibreOffice started?

You are mistaken. The original OpenOffice was StarOffice, which was for profit, at some time bought by Sun. The whole bit about making life hard for users that you complain about, was there from the start.

Wait. You are proud of continuing to make life hard for users?

You are mistaken again. We are users, like you, not developers. We gained some deep understanding in using the suite and felt we should share our knowledge (expertise?) with other users.

Any usability constraint should be channelled through the Bugzilla site as “feature request”. To be considered, such a request must provide a rationale argumentation.

But, this is FOSS (free and open software) created by volunteers who are not that numerous. So, don’t expect a quick implementation. A discussion may start quickly, though.

Calm down

Passing grudge around is hardly productive. Most people do not find any pleasure in it either. Can we please take a breath here, and look at things which are actual, relevant, and within our abilities?


Actual situation

A document misbehaving badly?
In my experience there are two typical cases when “wild page flow” occurs in Writer:

  • When the document has visited “Microsoft context” (edited in MS Word, saved as a Word file, based on a Word template, or major content copied from a Word document).
  • When there is extensive use of formatting elements that restricts free flow (keep with next, no break, widow/orphan settings requiring several lines).

Page header/footer breaking across pages? This also has two common causes:

  • Headers/footers mistakenly entered as plain text, instead of into the page style structure of the document. This typically happens when we copy pages from a PDF file or similar, where the structure elements of a document are “flattened out”.
  • Page styles with conflicting settings. Again, the Microsoft context is the usual suspect, but it is known to happen in other cases also.

What can we do with what we have

We have a loose description of the problem. With that, we, the user, can suggest possible causes. Sometimes we can also suggest operations to perform, under the assumption of a specific cause. This is guesswork based on guesswork. We do not know the origin of your document, nor the content structure, nor the current state of formatting.

  • Contrary to common conception, a wordprocessing document is a fairly complex piece of work. We, the experienced user, can solve a lot of issues when we have the object at hand. We recognize that due to content confidentiality (e.g. intellectual property issues), this situation cannot always be achieved.
  • We, the experienced user, can offer advice on possible paths towards solving the issue. This advice will sometimes be of general nature, and describe procedures unfamiliar to the audience. Some effort will be required from both parts.
  • We, the experienced user, cannot change the behavior of the tool in any major way. This is for the developer to do. Such operation will take considerable time, and is not likely to solve any issue occurring in existing documents.