numerating formulas depending on page style (left or right)

Good morning everyone,

i already have set a custom AutoText for numerating maths formulas the way i want them, but i have a little problem:

i would like to have maths formulas number on left side for left pages (that have proper left page style) and formulas number on right side for right pages (that have proper right page style) without set two custom different autotext (because i’m still writing the “book” so a page that actually is on left side may be on right side tomorrow).

Thank you in advance,

Frankly spoken. A funny idea.
Are you sure you want that? Never saw it and never missed it.
Is there an example document showing the advantages?

Yeah, you right, it’s a funny idea.
It’s a funny idea if you didn’t studied enough to understand how to make a better book starting from
It’s a funny idea if you don’t have aesthetic sense.
Do you never see that? So what’s the point? No one had seen a light bulb before someone invented it.
There’s no need to see this “idea” over a book to understand the advantages.
Anyway, i found out a friendly semi-automatic solution that also solve the issue to not have the formula
centered on the page, check it out.


This can’t be done with AutoText entry because feature doesn’t know whether you’re on a left or right page. Page parity is determined when the page is allocated and for any textual element this parity is not fixed. If you edit your text before the element it may be flushed on previous or next page and its parity is changed.

Inserted AutoText is fixed by nature and is not the tool to use here.

I assume your question is related to others you recently posted about formulas inserted with f n F3. Give up with this because it inserts a 2-column table which is too rigid a schema. You must proceed manually.

Create you formula by yourself with Insert>Object>Formula. The formula is anchored As character in the current paragraph. This allows you format/position the equation the way you like with a dedicated paragraph style.

Numbering the equation is the most tricky and user-unfriendly part because position properties are not recorded in frame styles (see this question).

Start by modifying frame style Frame to set its Wrap properties (untick Allow overlap), Area (if you want a background colour for the number) and Borders (if you also want the number to be boxed).

  • Click in the paragraph where the formula is and Insert>Frame
  • Make sure Anchor is To paragraph
  • In Position section, tick Mirror on even pages, then (and only then because this adds new possibilities in the menus)
    set Horizontal Inside relative to Outer page border

This take care of frame position. Click inside the frame to add the number (this may require you click first outside the frame to deselect it and click inside to enter “typing mode”. Insert>Cross-reference, Variables tab, Number range Type.

I recommend you create a new counter Formula for you equations so that you avoid conflicts with other usages for the built-in ones (Drawing, Figure, Illustration, Table and Text). Just give it a Name to create it. Don’t bother for Value, it is automatically managed. Choose the Format and the Numbering by Chapter according to your requirements.

Once the counter is created, it is listed in Select and you only need to click on it for future numbering.

The answer given assume you are a minimum acquainted with styles. If not read the introduction to styles in the Writer Guide.

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Thanks for that answer ajlittoz, i really appreciated it.

Anyway i found a friendly semi-automatic way obtain that result with the good side effect to have formulas centered on the page.

Here’s that solution for anyone interested

  1. Type “fn” then press “F3” to have the standard autotext for numerating formulas
  2. Edit that table adding a Column on the left side; first and third column has to have the same width
  3. Edit the way formulas are numerated if needed
  4. Select that table with the cursor, then press “ctrl+F3”
  5. In the “autotext” window type the “name” and “the combo” to invoke it
  6. Select “New” on “automatic text” button on that window
  7. This way typing that new combo+F3 will print on screen the formula on the center column, a void column on the left and a column with formula number on the right
  8. When you end up the write up of the “book”, just cut and paste forumula number from right column in the left column just for left pages

Names of buttons and names of windows may be different because i use another language on my pc, so i’m just traslating that names.

This is the fastest way to do it without using macros (i suppose macros can automate this process, but i’m not sure about this; it would be good if anyone could confirm or debunk this supposition)

ajlittoz feel free to edit my message to make it better.


Your manual solution requires a lot of work. Imagine you add a paragraph causing a shift of one page. Most of the tables will have to be reviewed to check if the equation numbers are on the correct side.

Using a frame style with the Mirror option automates formula number positioning without macros. Styling is much more reliable. And you don’t forget to review or launch the macros!

With styles, you design your style only once, while your procedure requires a lot of steps for every formula (without the guarantee you are on the correct side).