Relatively fancy page numbering

I am currently curating an early 1960’s document:

and I would like to reproduce their pagination exactly as they did:

  1. intro + TOC with no footer

  2. starting the count on the left as ii (second page) on ABSTRACT + ACKNOWLEDGMENT as mirrored (left on left, right on right) roman numerals

  3. then continuing the (left right) mirroring Arabic numerals starting with “1” on chapter 1

I have unsuccessfully tried different things using Libreoffice Writer: Version:

How can you do that kind of pagination?


Page numbering/header/footer is controlled by page styles. Consequently, you need different pages styles in you document.

A first page style you could name Intro for the introduction and footer without header nor footer.

A second pair of page styles Abstract Left and Abstract Right with footer enabled and roman numbering.

A third pair of page styles Body Left and Body Right with footer enabled and arabic numbering.

In every page style definition, set the margins in the Page tab. In case left/right margins are not symmetrical and you duplex print, choose Mirrored page layout so that the margins are in fact inner/outer leaving a consistent space for binding. Format sets the page numbering style (none, arabic, …).

Important: Mirrored plays only with the margins, not with header/footer. This is why I suggest to create pairs of page styles.

For the paired styles, go to the Organizer tab and set Next Style to the other element of the pair (this can only be done once the styles have been created) so that page style will automatically alternate.


You need customise Footer Left and Footer Right paragraph styles. You can do it after typing part of the document or from scratch on pages you will erase afterwards (style modifications are remembered).

In a xxx Left page, click in the footer area and style it as Footer Left. Modify style Footer Left for left alignment. In the footer, InsertFieldsPage Number. Do similar for xxxRight page.


You need to force page style to Body Right when starting a new chapter. You can handle that with a modification of Heading 1 paragraph style.

In the Text Flow tab, Breaks area, click on Insert and With page style check boxes and choose Body Right from the drop-down menu. Click OK.

You’ll start writing the document with the Intro page style.

To switch to the abstract, you’ll need to insert a manual page break InsertManual Break... with type Page to style Abstract and Change page number 1.

Do the same when you transition from abstract to body. The manual page break is merge with the one in the Heading 1 style and you end up with a single break, not two.


I leave to you settings for Heading 2 and higher and also table of contents formatting.

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There is no need for using two page style for left/right “body” pages: just check the “display different content on header/footer” (or something like this, I do not have an English version at hand now) and you’ll be able to set different heading/footer content for left and right pages using the same page style.

Btw, if first page is known to be only one, then Same content on first page could also help reduce number of styles.

Thanks for the reminder, I was rather thinking in first/other pages format terms. It is much better maintenance-wise to minimise total number of styles.