Why do you guys make it so hard to do headers?

I can’t make heads or tails of these headers. It is obvious that writers want no header on the title first page, book titles on the left pages and chapter titles on the right pages. Yet I can’t seem to get this done. It is very arcane. These little blue boxes appear on each page below the header, yet you can’t apply anything in them. What’s the deal here?

It’s amazing how libre office headers do not respond to any command you give it. No matter what you do, no matter how carefully you read the instructions, nothing happens. I wanted some extra space underneath the header; no dice. I found the place where you are supposed to increase the bottom underneath the header, and click ok after raising the number, and nothing happens at all.

So far no-one seems to know anything.

I downloaded a new version of libre office, and now it won’t open a new document and all I get now under insert header and footer is this ridiculous “covert” crap again. The right page left page etc. choices are gone again. Boy this is a crazy program. Can’t even insert headers!

This is indeed the craziest thing I have ever seen, and I’ve seen some really crazy things on libreoffice. I can’t even delete my header! It converted each header to converter, and I would have to spend all day deleting each of the 500 plus headers! And it probably doesn’t work anyway!

LibO is indeed a complex program allowing to do amazing things in document composition. Yet, it is based on simple concepts: styles, ubiquitous styles (whereas Word knows only of paragraph styles). Mastering LO to be able to go beyond a mechanical typewriter requires to learn a few principles. The “access” document is the user guide (link in my answer). It is free. It contains a lot of starting information. Unfortunately, you can’t skim over it in 10 minutes.

To delete headers, just disable headers in the page style.

If you don’t succeed, attach a sample file (~10 pages) to your question.

Why ask people to look at a user guide when in all likelihood they wouldn’t be coming here except when the user guide does not provide the answers or they did not work, as in my case.

I’m certainly not going to buy the book

Then you didn’t read it (though it’s free).

The built-in help is just a very concise reminder for details. The general picture is outlined in the user guide, looking more like a tutorial than the integrated help.

You learned to drive a car, didn’t you? You didn’t start rallying on high-power vehicles, competing for first rank. It’s the same with Writer. Things get complicated by your requirement to issue a sophisticated document from the beginning. There are tricks-of-the-trade which you really appreciate as real comfort only in the long run, among these styles. You wont tame Writer if you don’t practice styles. With styles, writing and authoring is really light and user-friendly, despite what you may think presently. Be patient.

You guys are as frustrating as the program itself. Why don’t you just answer the questions instead of telling me to read user guides that don’t answer questions? This is a horrible program, and you certainly should be up on what happens when it converts to Word. And you guys keep mentioning “styles.” Those dialogue boxes don’t offer anything!

How do you want us to give a valid solution? Since the advent of ubiquitous computers, we have stored our crystal balls in the junk yard and we can no longer observe over your shoulder what you’re doing. I’ve completely left Word for decades and I don’t give a damn for Word conversion as far as my personal needs are concerned (occasionally I have to forward Word-compatible files, but that’s another story).

I fully understand ther is a gap between doing something and explaining it in domain-specific words (here we’re at the crossing between typography, authoring, document processing, desktop publishing and general computer usage). What seems obvious and intuitive to you is the result of your own history and life. Others have different background and therefore a different sense of “evidence” and “intuition”.

I you can’t explain and describe (no offence intended), attach a sample file to your question so that we can see where you hurt the Writer-induced workflow.

Haven’t you anything better to do than argue? If you don’t have any answers, then just stop commenting.

If you don’t want to help yourself with providing detailed account of your actions or giving technical evidences of program misbehaviour, you’d better leave this site and turn to black magic to get your work done.

This is my last attempt to help you. If you go on ranting, I have enough privileges to lock out all your questions.

Editing headers is quite simple once you have understood the underlying principle.

A header (or a footer) is an attribute of a page style. A page style may have no header (e.g. a private letter to a relative) or headers (the same on every page or as you require: one on first page, one for left page and another one for right page.

You configure the page style to tell which context you request.

Once this is done, editable areas appear in the header(s). You just click inside to enter your text.

If text is not static, i.e. it echoes data from the document structure (book title, chapter name or other “computed” inserts), you do that with fields. Writer has a very rich collection of fields covering, in principle, all user needs.

Tip: it is much easier to control page layout with View>Text Boundaries and View>Formatting Marks. With these enabled, you have an immediate feed back on the existence of header/footer which helps to detect a miss on page style configuration.

LO Writer is not M$ Word. There are many differences, notably in the concept of styles which is much more developed in Writer than in Word. You are encouraged to read the user guide to discover the possibilities.

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!

There is nothing simple about this. It is the most mysterious, frustrating and complicated thing I have ever seen.

ajlittoz referred to a “user guide.” There certainly is nothing useful online about this. Where do you find a user guide?

I understand it is about page styles. But folks like me need step by step instructions about where to go and what to click on. I’ll try what you said but on the surface it doesn’t seem to apply.

I have been to the “page style” dialogue box many times, and it offers no solutions at all. Anything that I try has no effect.

Do not answer your question unless it is a real answer. Comment or modify the original question.

I’ve added a link to LibO downloadable documentation in my answer. I didn’t include it at first because answers here quote this link over and over. Is it too much to have a look at the official site in order to get basic information, such as documentation availability?

Nothing in the user guide online seems to be of any help. Given that, I’m certainly not going to buy the book.

By the way, nothing in libreoffice is useful unless it is converted to word. That is what publishers require. So unless these instructions work in the converted document, they are of no use.

@ErictheGreen So better use Microsoft Word and there won’t be any conversion irritations.

I saved back as odt, and still nothing works. And why did it add huge numbers of “converts?” I didn’t ask for that! I had it as left and right and it changed them all to “converts” when I opened the document again!

The purpose of using libreoffice is so you don’t have to use microsoft word.

The purpose of using libreoffice is so you don’t have to use microsoft word.

It’s your purpose of using it. You shouldn’t generalize your reasons to be universal. For others, it could be just a matter of making work done, without any relation to other office suites.