Manual Updates to Date Fields

I have the document date in several places in my document. It’s in the middle of the Title page. It’s in the header of each page after that. It seems that, because I use sections (I think) to allow the page size to change several times in the document, the header dates are separate “things” in each section.

So when it’s time to update them, I have to first change each date to a “Date”, which puts the current date on it. Then change it to a “Date (fixed)” so it won’t update when I open or save the document. If all these fields referred to the same thing, such as a field that I can control from one place, that would be so much easier.

Or do I have it wrong, and the “Date” would not be updated simply because I open, edit and save the document? So I could just leave all the fields as “Date” and update them manually somehow?

Version: (x64) / LibreOffice Community
Build ID: 382eef1f22670f7f4118c8c2dd222ec7ad009daf
CPU threads: 16; OS: Windows 10.0 Build 19044; UI render: Skia/Raster; VCL: win
Locale: en-US (en_US); UI: en-US
Calc: CL

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Date fields will update when you seem to not want that, so indeed you need to use Date (fixed).

I suppose that this is what you should focus at.
Date (fixed) is designed to not update, except at creation time - and that means that it updates when you use templates.
Maybe you better create a template (OTT) with fixed dates, and use it every time when now you do that Date (fixed)DateDate (fixed) dance?

I don’t follow about using the template. How would that work???

As said, you would create a template with the required fields (including fixed dates) in required places (first page, headers of other pages…), and then you would use the template to create new documents - and each time you create a new document from that template, the dates would set to the creation date.

Ok, but that’s not the goal. The goal is to update the date each time the document is released with updates, not a new document.

In between updates, there would be edits as the document is worked on. No update to the dates would be desired until the document is released.

Sections are not meant to change page size nor headers. Sections are only sub-parts in a sequence of pages controlled by a page style. Page styles define layout of the page and its header and footer.

I created this document around 12 years ago. I don’t remember any details. As I found it, the document had several section, each with a different page format, even though that is not important. I reduced the number of formats a bit, which makes the headers work together better. If I change a header in one section, every section with the same format style changes as well.

So, if sections are not used to allow page sizes to change, what is used? Do page styles set the page size? Can I change the page style for any page independent of others?

Is by chance your document saved as .doc(x)? M$ Word uses term “section” when page layout, header, footer, … are concerned. The corresponding notion is approximately a page style in LO Writer. A page style owns the header and footer. Consequently when you change it somewhere, the change is forwarded to all pages formatted with this page style.

LO Writer has an additional feature called section which allows to temporarily change the layout of the usable area of the page (excluding header and footer which remain the same). The main use is to temporarily change the number of columns. This is handy to insert a narrow table so that it is spread over the columns (you enter your table as if it was not “folded” and you let Writer split across the columns; thus when you update your table, you don’t care for the column limits, you don’t do that manually).

Page styles control all the “geometric” aspects of the page: margins, columns, gutter, header and footer areas. A page style is applied between two explicit “boundaries”. These boundaries are special page breaks created with Insert>More Breaks>Manual Break where you can specify the page style to activate after the break. All pages between these boundaries have the same look because they depend on the same page style.

So, you can change the page style from the UI once you have set your boundaries, but the page style is applied to the whole sequence between the boundaries. If you want to set one page style per page, you can do it but you break the concept of automatic text flow upon which Writer is based (because you’ll manually create the special page breaks to “isolate” your pages). If your work requires a page approach (the page is your important primary object), then look for DTP (desktop publishing) applications like Scribus (free) which work with pages but make text flow more difficult.

A Tip:

Just create and use a User Defined Property, and then use it as an inserted Field in the document. Then you need modify the value of them in one place only.

If you need two or more different date then you can create more than one User Defined Property.

User Defined Properies.odt (12.7 KB)

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Thanks. I had to dig a bit to find User Defined Properties. I had forgotten it was under Files/Properties. Seems like an odd place to put it, but I guess it’s document wide, so not a page property.

That will do the job and is much easier to update… I think. I set it as a date and it took today’s date. I need to see if that updates automatically or not. I may have to make it a text field to prevent the update.

Ah, I see I edit it in the same dialog box I created it in. Thanks!

This works the charm!