What's happening to my headers?

New info 3:

On Sample 3, as I explain below, the “corrected” header shows on the second page of the document. If you opened it with LO, you should be able to see what I see: Header styles “Converted1” instead of “Default”. No bold or underline on the page #, which is in default font, not the Times New Roman I originally chose. Just in case the problem is that there aren’t enough words on the page, I’m including this memo before the page break – see italicized portion of page 1.

If you don’t see what I see, there are evidently more problems than I’m aware of.

And yes, I do use it for word processing, like an old typewriter, if by that you mean IBM Selectric & not Scholes & Glidden. That’s all I need. Advanced features? Don’t really care. Simple and straightforward works for me. (Or has up to this point.)

While I appreciate the time and effort y’all have put into responding, I’m going to recap the responses as I understand them:

a.) I shouldn’t expect the software to act like it’s always acted just because I’m using it in exactly the same way I’ve always used it. (Four years and approximately 200 documents without a glitch.)

b.) Simply opening one of those 200 documents I created in the past (and one I haven’t touched in 3 years or more) makes these inexplicable changes occur, but that’s because I’m using the software in exactly the same way I’ve always used it.

c.) To avoid the changes, I’ll have to do something I never did before, when the documents were perfect. But that’s because I’m using the software in exactly the same way I’ve always used it.

d.) To figure out what’s going wrong when I haven’t changed anything, I’ll have to spend who knows how much time doing MORE research (I’ve already done hours’ worth) that MIGHT provide me with the reasoning behind the changes. But the changes have only occurred because I’m using the software in exactly the same way I’ve always used it.

My frustration level is now at max. It’s time for new software.

Header problems 3.docx

New info 2:

The pages below are all from the same manuscript. Header 1 shows the latest input (version5.19). Before, whenever I changed a header, these changes carried throughout the document. This header now comes up with the description “Converted 1”, when the style I chose was “Default Style”.

Header 2 shows the header after a page break. The new information does not show – this is the header I used before I input the changes. Note that it has my name instead of “version5.19”, but the page number is still bold & underlined and in Times New Roman. This header is in “default style” because I copied & pasted from the original. Always before, a change to the header on Page 1 changed all the headers that came after it. Now I have to change the header at the beginning of each chapter manually. I’ve tried eliminating all the page breaks and reestablishing them, but the problem doesn’t go away.

Header 3 shows the page from Header 2 above, and the beginning of a new chapter after a page break. I didn’t manually input any headers, so the first page has none, but after the page break, the header comes up with the old information and is labeled “Converted16”. Note the page number at the top right: it is not bold or underlined and is in the default font of Liberation Serif instead of Times New Roman.

I really hope you can help me. I’ve got 3 requests for the full or partial manuscripts that I need to respond to by Thursday. If I can’t fix this, I’ll have to find new software that works. I’m really not looking forward to that at all.

Sample 1 Header problems 1.docx

Sample 2 Header problems 2.docx

Sample 3 Header problems 3.docx

Not at all sure why the descriptions say “fakepath” – I’ve never seen that before.

New info:
OS = Windows 10, LO version 6.1

“Default style” is the header style I select (the same one I’ve always used). I input the Manuscript name, date, my name & page # into the header, but I don’t customize the header style.

Not sure what you mean by "Formatting with “styles”. I set up my paragraph style and start to type. The header style/sequential numbering has always before carried through the entire document, up to 480 pages with no changes.

98%+ of agents will only accept a manuscript in .doc/.docx. Those who don’t want PDF. Not saving to .doc is not an option and I have ALWAYS before saved to .doc or .docx and never encountered this problem.

Note: Last night I opened a doc I saved to a thumbdrive in 2016. I created it on whatever version of LO was available then and there was no problem with the headers then. However, after opening it yesterday, the same problems I’ve described occurred, so it’s not something that’s pertinent to only one doc.

After the last update, changes have been made to my headers that make no sense. Starting on Page 1, I have always used “Default style”; entered the name of my manuscript on the left; and put a page number on the right. The result was a consistent header on every page with a sequential page number, regardless of how many page breaks were needed.

However, I recently opened a document to find that after each page break, the header had been changed from “default style” to “converted1”, “converted2”, etc. The page numbers on some pages have lost their bold and underline and are in the default font (Liberation Sans) rather than my chosen font (Times New Roman).

Additionally, there are some chapters with the same page number (the first #) on every page, rather than a sequential number.

I spent hours a few days ago correcting every header, yet when I opened the same doc today, ALL THE ERRORS ARE THERE AGAIN.

I don’t understand why the software is changing things when it never did before. I don’t understand why a format I saved comes up different from what I saved. And I cannot find a way to get around this.

I’ve loved Libre Office since I first used it about 4 years ago, but I have to say the “upgrades” are driving me crazy. If I can’t fix this, then LO is useless to me, as these manuscripts have to go out to agents and editors & I don’t have hours to spend every day fixing something I already fixed.

I need step-by-step instructions in order to fix my headers so that everything comes up the same way even with page breaks & numbering is sequential. Consider me in kindergarten with regards to tech and be very specific (ie: don’t start on step 3).

Your help is urgently needed. Thank you.

PS: the “save” icon used to change color after I saved and become lighter whenever I edited a document. I can no longer tell at a glance if a document is saved & that’s also annoying me.

Edited from top by ebot:

New info:

OS = Windows 10, LO version 6.1

Though you admit you aren’t a techie, minimal technical information is needed. First, OS name and LO version. Second, describe how you proceed with your document: manual formatting with menus and toolbar buttons? formatting with “styles”? You allude to Default Style, paragraph style I assume? Where do you use it? Everywhere or only in header? Have you customised it?

To answer, don’t use the answer feature, but edit your question (the link with a slanted pencil at the bottom of the question).

The described behavior means that you save your file to a foreign format such as Microsoft Word DOC. Don’t. And it has nothing to do with updates.

Can you attach a 2-3 pages sample with the issue? In case you consider contents as private, replace it with dummy text. You can use AutoText for that.

I’m really sorry but your samples are useless. You have extracted a portion of a page. Since it is part of a single page, there is no page break and therefore no transition from a chapter to the next. What is in “Header problems 3” does correspond to your description: there is no header at all.

Fundamentally, you seem to use Writer as an old mechanical typewriter: everything is styled Default style (no “Convertedxx” here) and typographical variations are applied with direct formatting. You don’t benefit at all from the advanced features any document processor may offer.

When it comes to headers, they are a property of page styles. If you use a single page style throughout your document (likely Default style) which I can’t verify since your samples are single-page without chapter span, you can have only one header text (unless you rely on dynamic insertion with fields, but this seems beyond your present skills).

Start by learning what Writer or even Word may offer.

Not sure what you mean by "Formatting
with “styles”.

@giffmacshane, my dear, that’s the most important thing you should understand. All formatting that does not happen with a style template is called “hard formatting”. Style template Styling is located in the sidebar on the right (Ctrl + F5).
Every style has a name. You can also change most or create a new style. In each style all important formatting is summarized.

You want a step by step guide:

How formatting works with style templates, you can watch in a video here.

Or you can also read the documentation.

Formatting Styles are an important foundation for working with Writer. You will not be able to deal with it.
You should understand how it works.

With me Windows 10 Home; Version 1809; 64-Bit | LibreOffice, Version: (x64).

Thanks to your latest 2-page sample, I think I found the cause of your problem. Not sure however about the fix.

There are two factors:

  • your way of using the software as you’ve always done

    Though I have no complete picture on your process, your direct formatting to get visually what you expect violates several design primitives (for instance vertical spacing which should be defined by a paragraph style, use of a single paragraph style Default Style for semantically different things – body text, chapter heading, page header, etc. – and many others).

    This direct formatting overloads Default Style with ad-hoc attributes in every instance to make them unique (in M$ Word thus creates tons of “anonymous” styles). The same goes for in-line formatting (bold, italics, etc.) leading to anonymous character styles.

    Regarding your manual page breaks, I don’t know how you succeeded in getting several independent page styles based on Default Style with different headers but I reproduced the “vanishing header” syndrome here. Headers are a property of pages styles. There can be only one header per page style. Consequently, if all your pages are styled Default Style, you can have only one header throughout the book, no matter how you tweak your manual page breaks.

    It is possible that the LO version at the time of your first writing was not strictly conformant with ODF standard and allowed deviating things that have been since “fixed”.

  • document saved as .docx

    M$ Word and LO Writer are based on different theoretical document models and primitives. Saving a document in a non-native format implies translation. M$ internals are closed-source and are guessed through reverse-engineering. This is an imperfect work. Consider also that M$ Word stylesheets define only paragraph styles while LO Writer style system knows of paragraph, character, page and lists. Unknown items are translated into anonymous object approximations, which leads to your Converted99 styles when read back again.

    Traduttore, traditore (Italian saying): you can never obtain identity with a translation. The doc(x) filter is an ever-in-progress work which improves (?) year after year. I would not be surprised if your problem was caused by a different version of the filter.

    A golden rule is “always save documents in native format, whatever the application” and export to foreign formats only at delivery time.

That said, it does not solve the issue.

Though you are reluctant to change (that’s human nature!), you’d encounter less difficulty if, at least, you’d use paragraph styles: Body Text for bulk content, Heading 1 for chapter titles and Header for headers. Vertical spacing should be included in style definition instead of achieving it with empty paragraph.

One advantage is you can change the appearance of the book simply by updating the style definition instead of tracking every paragraph instance.

If you need a different title per chapter, create one page style per chapter. In some cases, the header or part of it can be derived from the chapter heading. Then, a field in the header can extract this variable part and a single page style can be shared by all chapters.

Note a difference between Word and Writer: in Writer margins are absolutely no-print areas and headers/footers are taken from the print area while in Word margins define the area for the discourse and headers/footers are allocated in the margins.

A judicious use of styles puts less burden on the translation filter and yields a more accurate result.

My own experience with Word document exchange shows that direct formatting is the guaranteed way to head into problems such as yours (notwithstanding this is also a major issue in homogeneous Word environment because it spawns anonymous Word styles).

Styles allow you to automate the formatting part of writing. Thus you may fully concentrate on the contents which is where an author brings its full added value.

I may sound dumb, but remember that every new tool requires a change of routine otherwise you’re wasting resources. The change has a cost, the time needed to learn. This cost is largely paid off by the savings afterwards. Adhering to the implied work model suggested by the tool makes you immune to the various bug fixes or internal optimisations on the tool. A tool is allowed to change, it is even required to. So anticipate for that or be prepared for growing and growing frustration.

Do you ride a car like a horse?

PS: I’m no developer, just an enlightened (?) user convinced by the competitive advantages of LO against M$.

@ajlittoz my respect for the deep knowledge, just top. Great explained.

@Hrbrgr: Bitte schön!

Note: last edit only to fix typos and misspellings.

OK. So I had to read that a few times, but I think I’ve got it.

And as I was researching for new software, I kept coming up with LO getting the most positive reviews. So if I want the best product, I have to learn to use it the best way. I just have to find a way to fudge things to meet my deadlines today.

Thanks so much for both your patience and your expertise. I really appreciate it!