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OpenOffice.org Writer: Every Other Page Headers and Footers

Have you ever needed your headers or footers to be different on odd and even pages?

Maybe you’ve created a document that will eventually be put together like a book so the pages that will end up on the right of the finished document need the page number on the right side of the page with the same scenario for the left side pages.


If this is something that you’ve ever needed, you know the frustration that can be involved in trying to figure it out.

By default, the headers and footers for all pages are the same… but of course that can be changed, if you know where to look.

We begin in the Format menu, Page choice.


When the Page Style: Default dialog box opens, you need to navigate to the Header or Footer tab depending upon your needs.


Once there, the first thing you’ll have to do is to activate the header/footer in the very first checkbox.

At that point, the options for the header or footer area become available for changes.

Just below the option to use these areas, you’ll find the “Same content left/right” choice. It’s already checked, which is what will cause you the problems if your goal is to create different left and right page information.

With that choice deselected, you’ll need to click OK.

You’re now back in your document, and ready to go.

(To access the header or footer area, try clicking into the very top or bottom of a page. You’ll see on the vertical ruler that you’re now in a space with a different ruler than the main body of the document.)

When you create a header or footer on the first page, it will not appear on the second page, but it will on the third.

To create information for the second and all other even numbered pages, simply click into the correct space and create what you need.

There’s a few important notes to this one…

#1   The top of that dialog box we used said Page Style: Default. Meaning that the changes you made here will affect all future documents as well.

*I personally think that the changes we made were simple enough that changing things back and forth as necessary via this method isn’t really a problem. You may disagree, but that’s my opinion, for what it’s worth.

#2   Because the headers and footers have different tabs within the dialog box, you can set a header for all pages and a footer that changes every other page and vice versa. That one could definitely be a useful thought…

~ April