Page numbering and page orientation confusion

I have a document which states on the first physical page “page2 of 327 (page0)” what does this mean and why are the margins reversed on this and the next few pages but revert to the correct orientation on the fifth physical page: labelled “page 7 of 327 (page1)”. The pages are for a book which will be bound hence the margin orientation is IMPORTANT and I do not want spurious blank pages appearing. I have spent several frustrating days trying to sort this out with custom styles etc. but the phantom page(s) keep throwing the orientation out of alignment.

I have tried disabling the options for printing as per the previous posts on blank pages

Your manuscript probably contains more than one Page Style, and in the one used for the first pages the margins settings are wrong. You can find the name of the active page style in the status bar (at the bottom of the Writer window). Press F11 to open the Styles list overview and select the fourth tab from the left. Now navigate to a page where the margins are all wrong and check what page style is used there. Right click on that page style in the styles list and select Modify. Inspect all tabs - it’s good practice to know what your software can do before you need it. You will find the Page tab most important at this moment though. Correct the wrong margins settings and save the changes (OK). Repeat for all page styles with those problems.

… states on the first physical page “page2 of 327 (page0)”

Where do you read that? In the bottom toolbar or in the footer area of your document?

In the bottom toolbar, at left, you may have something like Page 10 2/5, meaning the cursor is presently in a page numbered 10, which is the 2nd physical page out of 5. As you may know, pages may be arbitrarily numbered through manual page breaks before paragraph, forcing a switch to a specific page style and eventually requesting to number pages from there on starting at a chosen number.

In the footer area, these indications are created with field insertion. The numbers may come from any field (variable) and the text is entered by document author. Unless you know the field name is really Page Number and Page Count, you may use anything and confuse the reader ;-).

Orientation of a page is a property of page style. It will not change until LO Writer meets a break (either manual or caused by paragraph style) instructing it to switch to another page style. If you find a mess in your document, the mess is caused by a witless use of page/paragraph styles. The best advice is to review the set of styles. In case there is no methodical usage of paragraph/pages/… styles, i.e. only direct formatting, you’re in the wild and reorganising the document is daunting task.

Finally, blank pages are inserted when there is a break to a page whose page style is constrained to be a left or right page and you are currently on a page of the same parity, hence the blank page to skip the unexpected parity number. Once again, if the blank page is not what you expect, review the document styles, especially the breaks (either manual breaks or paragraph style induced ones).

Typography is a complex and difficult art. If your source matter is not strictly organised, you won’t get a nice look. In particular, if the original author used direct formatting to achieve layout, you’ll never be able to edit the document other than at the cost of checking everything manually; said otherwise, this is equivalent to writing the book again from scratch.

For your comfort and ease of maintenance, learn how to use styles. I know there is an initial investment cost but it really pays back. Start with the user manual. Next, there is the excellent Bruce Byfield’s book Designing with Libre Office, Styles and Templates which can be downloaded from here among other sites.

If you want more personal help, provide more details on the document structure and your configuration (LO version and OS name).

Not sure how this forum works as there doesn’t appear to be a reply option on the answers However;
In answer to ajlittoz the paging information is in the bottom toolbar not the document. I think that I may have sorted the problem by defining six new page styles for the title, book information etc. etc. finishing with a custom mirrored style for the body of the book. The interface is awkward though as writer doesn’t allow you to change the page style name in the organiser tab ; it keeps saying that name is already in use rather than just applying it as a style. I think the way around this is to open the styles sidebar and, with the cursor in the first line of the first paragraph double click on the style you want… this seems to work and which margin appears on which page is at least controllable now. You also have to remember that the current page style also defines the style for the next page as well which can be a problem if text styles include automatic page breaks, i.e. chapter headings always begin on a new page.
However none of these fixes have changed the notification in the toolbar from page 2 of 327 (page 0) on the first page and Page 7 of 327( page 1) on the fifth physical page.
Thankfully book printers usually work with PDF’s and if I export the document to pdf the first page becomes page 1/324 and the fifth page is 5/324 and the actual page numbering for the content starts at 1 on the fifth page. The margins also seem to be OK.

Thanks for the help to all who have replied. I would agree that it is probably a good thing to learn how to do stuff before you have to do stuff but not all of us have that luxury… probably the reason most commercial organisations use MS: the boss doesn’t want you to spend time learning, he pays you for doing.
P.S. The original document was written on several different versions of word from 97 to 2017 and alien applications on tablets PDAs and mobiles and importted to LO for collation. The various styles, which I assume caused the blank pages and messed up numbering were ‘automatically’ generated by the import process.

This import into LO Writer from M$ Word and others is likely to be the cause of the problem: concepts in LO are a step further in abstraction and organisation than in other doc processors. E.g. character styles have no equivalent in Word where you only direct format.

the boss doesn’t want you to spend time learning, he pays you for doing

You learnt once how to use MS, didn’t you? If you haven’t, you’ll do otherwise you can’t be paid :wink:

There are always glitches with import. All the more if the document is saved .docx, to a lesser extent .doc, instead of native .odt.