Restart Footnotes on Sub-Chapter

I have Footnotes set to Start at “Per Chapter” but Writer understands that to mean to restart at every Heading 1. I want, however, to restart at Heading 2. I don’t know how to do that. Perhaps I need to create a Section for each Heading 2 section?


is my Heading 1 Paragraph popup but even if I choose “Text Body” in the first dropdown, my Header 2 here still shows the first dropdown grayed out. I thought maybe via that I could achieve what I want.

Anyhow, what I want is to restart footnotes at every Header 2.

(edit: activated screenshots)

A chapter is hard-coded as being level 1. It is pointless to modify the outline levels for Heading n, because footnote numbering restart is connected to level 1 change.

You can try to use one section per sub-chapter but this is not perfect:

  • if your section is multicolumn, it will extend to the end of page, eventually leaving the last column(s) empty where the sub-chapter ends. Evenly spreading section content across columns does not work as soon as you have a footnote.

  • with single-column sections, if your sub-chapters are smaller than one page, you may have several notes with the same number at the bottom of the page (say two notes 1) and this will cause confusion to the reader.

If you really want to restart footnote numbering, I suggest you number them per page (Tools>Footnote/Endnote Numbering). Of course, this leaves an ambiguity if you cross-reference the notes. In this case, prefer per document numbering.

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Restarting footnotes per page is not an option because due to large footnotes, sometimes some of page 2’s footnotes appear on page 3. I made Sections but I don’t actually see a way to tell Writer to restart numbering by section.

I only have six Header 2’s so perhaps I will just change those to 1’s and then it will work…

I experimented a bit with the various numbering restarts.

With “per page”, when notes are moved from one page to the next, you can tell where the notes for the page begin because note no. 1 is not the first one. Also you can use the Continuation notice in Tools>Footnote/Endnote, Footnotes with something like Continued on page and Continued from page to make explicit that the first unnumbered note paragraph come from a preceding note.

Changing from Heading 2 to Heading 1 will impact your TOC if you have one.

The continuation notice seems fairly unprofessional, in my opinion. As it is, I am disheartened that Writer can’t allow zero lines of text (meaning 100% footnotes) to avoid this per page problem.

I don’t use a TOC (I made mine by hand as the built in ones are not professional either, in my opinion) so that’s not an issue for me. Thank you for your help.

TOC unprofessional? Do you know you can customise TOC appearance and formatting? Open another question about TOC, show a sample of your manual TOC and I’ll tell you if this can be automatically generated by Writer.

Can you contact me offline here Contact Us – Gallery Robinson ? I would be very happy to discuss this further, but I don’t think this is the place.

As noted by ajlittoz, for footnotes “a chapter is hard-coded as being level 1” and thus the answer to the question is that it is not possible to restart footnotes on a Section nor on a Header 2.

The solution I’d like to see is for LO Writer to allow restarting footnote numbering on Heading 2 or any other Heading level, not hard-coding Level 1 as a chapter.

Several of my books have Sections, which I wish to format as Heading 1, so that they’ll automatically generate a Level 1 ToC entry. But I have numerous footnotes in each Section, and the numbering becomes unwieldy once it reaches a thousand. Ergo, restarting footnote numbering with Heading 2 (each Chapter, not each Section) would be the ideal solution for my books, which I’d really like, because that would convince my editor-colleagues that is the best tool to use for this purpose. And I’d still be able to automatically generate a properly-formatted ToC with Sections at Level 1 and Chapters at Level 2.

Is this improvement in the pipeline for development, or shall I find a more powerful word processor to try to persuade my editor-colleagues to migrate toward?

Many thanks!

This is not a solution to the initial question but a question (wish) of its own. Thus it does not fit in the Question & Answer paradigm of this site. I can’t answer it because I (like any other user) am limited to one answer.

So repost as one independent question and add a link to this one. Links are inserted with the “Earth + green arrow” tool.

I have a twisted workaround for it.