Suggestions for getting chapter headings and images in the same place throughout a book

I think I may end up making a separate file for each chapter, then linking them in a master document. However, this is not how I began and I have a long document with a flourish at the start of each chapter. Before I do this I would like to know this is the answer to my problem and if there is another way without splitting the document and reformatting every bit of it seeing as cut and paste removes the formatting.

I would like it in the same place as the previous chapter. I want the heading to appear in the same place in relation to the image every time I use it and the second heading to have the same spacing below the image and above the heading in every chapter.

This is not happening. There is spacing in some chapters that does not appear in others, even with the same formatting.

I always work with styles.

What is the best way to work so I do not spend the rest of my life formatting the same book? I have a Chromebook so this is not the ideal hardware to use. It will only work with LibreOffice 5.2 if that is relevant.

I have attached chapter 1 to give an idea of what I am wrestling with. Any ideas or tips would be helpful. I am sure there will be other people who self-publish who might like the information too.

1. Single Thoughts 1.odt

(Please do not suggest someone else’s template. I want to be able to do this for the future and make my own.)

First, a few remarks about your workflow

I always work with styles.

Inaccurate! You only work with paragraph styles. All your other formatting effects, such as underlining or colour change, are brought in with direct formatting, toolbar button or menu equivalent, instead of character styles. This is responsible for formatting burden when reviewing you document.

  • Your chapter title uses two Heading 1 paragraphs: one for the number, one for the title.

    If you generate a TOC, you’ll have 2 entries for the chapter. This is certainly not what you intend. Moreover, it means you cannot set Spacing Below paracraph to a value taking into account the height of your picture. You do that with empty Text Body paragraphs, which is similar to dreaded direct formatting.

  • The picture wrapping parameters are not correctly set, leading you to space text with empty paragraphs (already cited).

Now the recommendations.

  • Heading 1 on several lines

    Use Shift+Return after your chapter number instead of Return. This inserts a manualline break, not a paragraph break, so that you have a single paragraph instead of 2. In the TOC, the line break is replaced by a space, so it does not harm.

    Now you can set the Below paragraph spacing to a value caring for the picture height.

    Side remark: instead of manually numbering your chapter , use Tools>Chapter numbering. As you intend to split your document and merge the files with a master document, this will allow to reorganise your s chapters and have the chapter number automatically updated to the correct sequential value.

  • Picture settings

    Pictures are inserted in a frame styled Graphics. If you only insert pictures as a flourish for your chapter titles, use this style; otherwise create a new one. It can be linked to Graphics if you want to share properties or be completely independent. Here are my recommended settings:

    • Type, vertical position Top relative to Paragraph text area to align with top border of Heading 1 paragraph (unless you want white space above the title and not on the picture (in which case keep Margin and add spacing as Above paragraph to “center” your title viz. picture, but beware! you linked Heading 2 to Heading 1 so the former will inherit the latter spacings; it is better to unlink them).

    • Wrap, instead of Optimal, use After; in Options, check First paragraph and remove your empty paragraphs used only to provide vertical spacing between your Heading 1 and your Heading 2; eventually add some Bottom spacing

    If you keep your settings in a custom frame style, don’t forget to style the picture with a double-click on style name after you’ve selected the picture.

  • Paragraph styles

    Learn how to use efficiently paragraph styles. Your lists are manually made (you either used a toolbar button or you numbered them yourself). Use paragraph styles intended for lists (though they need an initial configuration step to attach them to a counter, so called list style).

    Don’t hesitate to “mark up” your text with paragraph styles to indicate the “semantics” of the paragraph. You only use Text Body and Quotations. Good start. But similar paragraphs like “NOTEBOOK TASK 1” and “NOTEBOOK TASK 2” are inconsistently styled as Text Body and Heading 2 (the latter with underline direct formatting). If they have a dedicated identical role in your book structure, they should be styled with the same dedicated paragraph style.

    For instance, I question your use of Heading 3. Is "Think positive* really a heading intended to find its place in a TOC? If answer is no, give it another style such as Important , Advice , Behaviour or Improvement.

  • Character styles

    I selected all your text with Ctrl+A and applied Formet>Clear direct formatting (Ctrl+M) all your stylistic variations (bold, unserline, colour, …) vanished.

    Learn to use character styles. They also participate in “semantic mark up”. The interest is the possibility to alter the visual appearance from a single spot and it guarantees formatting consistency across the whole text.

If you write similar documents, or separate chapters in several files, save your settings in a template. Changes to the template styles will be automatically transferred to the documents next time you open them.

To show the community your question has been answered, click the ✓ next to the correct answer, and “upvote” by clicking on the ^ arrow of any helpful answers. These are the mechanisms for communicating the quality of the Q&A on this site. Thanks!

(edited to correct typos and misspellings)

Note that in later LO versions, Chapter Numbering includes an option to follow numbers with new lines, allowing you to not insert Shift+Enter, having that automatically.

I think I may end up making a separate file for each chapter, then linking them in a master document.

I would definitely recommend that for a big document.

I always work with styles.

This is commendable and should be respected in every case.

What is the best way to work

You should create a document template for the individual chapters. In it, the 1st page should have a different page format. 1st page with a large header for the picture and chapter headings one and two. From the second page again a separate page format.
If you have everything set up, save this formatted document as a template. I hope it helps you.