Styles and Formatting are a mess - back to MS Word (and I so wish I didn't have to)

Been trying to work out a way to format a lot of reports needed from LibreOffice Base

Templates generated from the Wizard default to First Page styling, with no way to remove the use of First Page.

So generating a report from the Base wizard involves:

Re-doing the template for each report (because there is no way to save changes to re-use for other reports.
Re-doing the formatting for the Default and First Page, because there is no way to say ‘don’t use First Page’

I would love to be wrong. But searches on these points lead me back to my own questions. I’m guessing most people are not trying what I am trying… using this as a replacement for MS Word in my job.

Time is all used up. Shame. Would love to get to know this software, but silly omissions like this just make that so much harder.

My loss, not yours.

I gave you an upvote so in future you should be able to leave comments below Answers to your Questions.

Hi @MikeAja,

Thanks for letting us know about the problems you had with LibreOffice. It sounds like you’ve taken the time to do some research about the wizards for LO Base, and that you’ve found some shortcomings. I’m sorry that LO doesn’t implement the features you find critical right now, but I hope that we’ll be able to add support for them in the future.

Just so I’m clear with what you need, here’s what I understand are the features you’re requesting:

  • In Base, you need a way to style/subclass/templatize the stock templates used by the wizard so that you can factor-out common changes once (before running the wizard) rather than every time (after the wizard).
  • Specifically, you want to be able to remove the First Page and/or re-do the formatting for the Default and First Pages.

Does that sound correct?

This is not an answer, sorry. This system is not allowing me to comment on answers in my own questions.

@qubit1… For the first bullet point, yes, I think this is essential to the package as otherwise no serious Base user could make it work (unless they only need a few reports).

For the second bullet point, the problem is that Base report design editor is just the layout… 1 page. It is not a view of the whole report (naturally). But by defaulting to ‘First Page’ and not allowing the deletion of ‘First Page’ so only ‘Default’ style is used, there is no way to change the Default style.

This in itself is a bug, as when the report is generated over more than 1 page, the 2nd + pages have a style that can’t be edited.

More generally, LibreOffice is misunderstanding why MSO put First Page and Default styles. MSO did this to allow custom formatting of sections. But it is imperative to have the option to only have one style…to be able to remove ‘Frist Page’ and have one ‘Default’ document style. Otherwise it puts LO at a massive disadvantage to MSO.

I’m more relaxed now having removed LO and gone back to Office, and got done what I needed to get done. I’m just so disappointed LO is missing these vital ingredients, yet had included so much. If I had time I would get involved, but unfortunately I don’t. That’s my problem of course.

Anyway, good luck LO. Don’t forget WHY MSO does some of the things it does…


  1. You don’t have enough karma to comment on your own answers yet. (working to change that rule)
  2. Comments have a very short char limit, so we all (ab)use the Answer field for longer/better-formatted comments.

I don’t use Base myself, so I’m not too familiar with the interface and the Report Design Editor, but your longer explanation seems to make some sense to me. I’ll try to point some of the other Base users to this question so that they can take your suggestions up to the Design Team and devs.

You are better off visiting with your issue. This place – Ask LibreOffice – is very hit and miss and that’s putting it charitably. You have a small number of enthusiasts like qubit who are battling valiantly but [cont.]

… there is simply insufficient expertise. Out of spite and rivalry, the LibO folks don’t list the OO support forum as a resource on their Help page. They expect people to join the mailing lists, this place is simply a sop to pretend they also cater to people who prefer the forum format.