Home > Desktop User > Insert Page Numbers in Openoffice Writer

Insert Page Numbers in Openoffice Writer

Nothing is more frustrating than needing to change something very simple only to find yourself waste precious time figuring out where to find it or how to do it. If you want to insert page numbers into your OpenOffice Writer document you came to the right place. I’ll be using OpenOffice 3.0 RC1 to explain page numbering in a few quick steps.

Step #1
First turn footers on by clicking Format — Page and select the footer tab.

Step #2
Click on the “footer on” check box.

Step #3
Now that the footer has been inserted at the bottom of the page click inside the footer.

Step #4
Click on Insert — Fields — Page Number

Finished! Page numbers will be added to every page you create now.

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  1. chris
    March 9, 2009 at 2:37 am

    thanks! saved me time and effort with my essay!

  2. Bryan
    March 16, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    Smooth and perfect explanation. Many thanks!

    (Might want to mention that you can do the same thing with headers though for completeness; and note that the step #3 image appears to be broken.)

  3. Ada
    May 6, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    Thank you very much. although I don’t understand why it is so freakin’ complicated!!!! I spent like 20 minutes trying to figure it out before I found this. Now I’m almost too tired and frustrated to finish my seminar paper. Grrrr!

  4. saurabh
    June 26, 2009 at 2:05 am

    Thanks a lot

  5. need help
    June 28, 2009 at 2:50 am

    that’s great, but, I want to have page numbering to all the pages, but not at the last two pages! how can i do that?!?

  6. July 5, 2009 at 10:05 pm

    Thanks for this tip. I agree with the comment above. I deeply appreciate the openoffice suite, but somethings do seem a little complicated.

  7. Tim
    July 16, 2009 at 5:53 pm

    Quick and easy – thank for the help! OpenOffice is an excellent application, but like MS Word, finding little things can be difficult at times.

  8. rmariaj
    July 21, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Thank u so much :o)

  9. Michael
    August 27, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    If you want to start the page numbering to show page 1 on the third page:
    After you do the add page number stuff, Click EDIT > FIELDS
    A window will open allowing you to define an OFFSET which has a default value of zero. Change the offset to -2 to start page numbering on the third page.

    My Sympathy! Putting page numbers on my document has been extremely frustrating. Writer will try to play games with you, and it wins!

  10. Joy
    October 9, 2009 at 8:33 pm


    Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!!! I have spent at least one hour trying to figure out how to make my page numbers start at 1 on the second page. I could not find a simple explanation ANYWHERE! Writer sometimes seems so complicated that I feel like giving up and going to my university’s library to use a computer with MS Office on it (which would not be much more enjoyable).

  11. bart
    October 16, 2009 at 4:40 am

    Thanks for the excellently simple (or simply excellent) explanation. Has saved me a lot of bother and time 🙂

  12. wow
    October 18, 2009 at 5:55 am

    Thank you my friend. I was about to uninstall openoffice just because of this numbering issue.

  13. October 22, 2009 at 9:43 am

    It supplies raw material only. ,

  14. Amy
    October 26, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    Thanks, I spend hours trying to find ways of puting pages in my assignment, I finaly give up and thought I will try google, here we are I have done it in seconds, a million thanks to you.

  15. October 26, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    glad to help.

  16. Pit Ling
    November 3, 2009 at 2:57 am

    I’m so so happy to be able to fix the page no. following the instruction. However, what about not wanting the last page have page no.?

  17. November 25, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Anybody got a clue how to begin numbering on a specific page with that page’s number? I need to start the document on page 13 with number 13. Thanks for any help.


  18. Geir
    December 16, 2009 at 5:46 am

    It doesn´t work for me…………..! I have spend 2 hours trying to fix this now, but it just won´t happen……….! Why doesn´t it work???????

  19. December 17, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    If you want pages without a number and then numbering in the following pages, this is what you do:

    FORMAT – STYLES – FORMATTING. But it is much quicker to click the F11 key on the keyboard.

    In the window that opens choose the fourth icon along the top (Page Styles). In a blank area right-click and choose ‘new’.

    In the new window that appears click the organizer tab. Now you have to give your page style a name. Make something up that reflects it. I called my page style ‘Intro’. Type your chosen name in the first bar. In the bar beneath click the down arrow and highlight the name of your style. So ‘Intro’ and ‘Intro’. Click OK.

    Now right-click a blank area of the Styles and Formatting window and click the word ‘new’. Now you are creating a page style for the pages of your document with footers and numbers.

    Click the organizer tab and name the style. I named my style ‘Body’. As previously, type the name in the bar and use the arrow in the bar beneath and highlight the name. ‘Body’

    Now click the Footer tab, click the check box and click OK.

    Go to a page in your document that you want without a number. Click the F11 key. Find the name you’ve given the style and double-click it. The style (Intro) without a number will be applied to the entire document.

    Put the cursor at the very end of the page before the page you want a number in. INSERT – MANUAL BREAK. In Style find the name of your page style with footers and numbers in. Mine was ‘Body’.

    Tick the ‘Change Page Number’ box. Put the page number you want to start with. OK. A page break will be inserted where the cursor was and the new style applied from that page on.

    Put the cursor in the footer. INSERT – FIELDS – PAGE NUMBER.

  20. shin
    February 25, 2010 at 2:25 am

    how we can insert page number but start with 45 for example

  21. Sotiris
    February 25, 2010 at 4:08 pm

    I appreciate Open office for being free but some things could be 1000 times better…I mean it would be a LOT more practical if by inserting a table of contents, Open Office also AUTOMATICALLY inserted page numbers that matched. And it isn’t like it doesn’t have both functions available…Serious design mistakes. Don’t make easy stuff difficult and allow for flexibility. Imagine how would you like to use a function as a user and THEN implement it!

    Also indentation when using numbering or bullets is bugged.

  22. July 16, 2010 at 10:08 am

    Thank You Very Much!!!!!!

  23. July 16, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    Shin, read item 21 that I put. Sorry it’s a bit long but I think it should answer your question.

    It seems to me OpenOffice requires you to apply styles to parts of your document and give the styles names. For example, pages without numbers; pages with numbers. F11 opens the style box.


  24. Rimad
    September 1, 2010 at 5:23 am

    You can start page numbering from 45 in this way:
    Insert ->
    ->Manual Break ->
    ->Page Break ->
    ->choose Style (eg. Default)->
    ->tick Change Page Number->
    ->insert starting page number at appropriate field.

    This way is not 100% nice, because you get an extra empty page, but I don’t mind.

  25. Piglit
    December 11, 2010 at 8:23 pm

    OK if you have a manuscript that is several seperate documents (chapters) each with sequential page numbering (chapter 1 ends page 12, chapter 2 begins page 13 etc) how would you do that? In MS Word it’s a simple task, with this set up it seems impossible unless you want an extra blank page. The lack of this basic facility makes OO unworkable as professional tool.
    Or ham I missing something.

  26. george nigriny
    April 23, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    I knew how to do this. I’ve used it. Now I can’t get it to work. When I click on Insert – Fields – Page Number what I get in my footer is NOT a number (e.g., “1”)but the actual words “Page Numbers”, with a gray background, just like I’d have gotten if I got a numeral. It’s unbelievable. I’M A PROFESSIONAL GEEK and I can’t get this thing to work. Same thing with Insert – Fields – Date. I end up with gray highlighted text that says “Date (fixed)”. Essentially, clicking on Insert – Fields and choosing a field to insert results in the insertion of the name of the field I’m trying to insert rather than the data. What is with this. I’m ready to go buy a copy of MS Word, as much as I like OO and can’t afford to spend the money for MS.

  27. Miriam
    May 31, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Michael, thank you so much. I was trying to work out how to start numbering the pages from the first page forever until I decided to check out the internet and came across this page. New problem, how to get the index to correspond with the actual page numbers!!!!!!!!!!!!

  28. Miriam
    May 31, 2011 at 12:11 am

    Just reread my last comment. I already figured out how to number the pages. What I wanted to do was put the number 1. on the third page and not the actual first page.

  29. Tara
    June 1, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    I followed the directions on how to insert page numbers via header or footer but now the same page number is appearing on every page and I’ve spent the last two hours trying to fix it. Someone please help me!

    I have open office 2.2

  30. Ani
    June 30, 2011 at 10:07 am

    This was very usefull!!!! Thank you a tone!!!!

  31. RJ
    July 15, 2011 at 3:25 pm

    Michael, thanks a bunch! Works like a charm!

  32. edward
    August 15, 2011 at 11:55 am

    I’m afraid none of the instruction on starting no 1 on p3 work for me. The fields option is greyed out so I can’t change it, and if anyone can follow christine’s tip i award them the nobel prize for formatting

  33. Dave
    August 22, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    What if you don’t want to start every chapter in your novel with page 1? I’ve tried to overcome it by using the Text Flow feature but all that does is give you a blank page at the start of every document which throws out the page count and turns a 450 page typescript into a 500 page one. Can anyone give me the phone number of the person who designed Open Office as I would very much like to shoot them.

  34. The Piglit
    September 5, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    I have given up and ham getting a word processor that works. As a professional tool this is just a waste of time and the OP’s instructions do not tell you how to number separate docs sequentially.

    Ever wondered why this stuff is free? Yup because no one who wanted to rely on it would pay

  35. Donna McIntosh
    September 10, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    It seems the only option is for the numbers to be in the left hand edge of the footer/header. What if I want the numbers on the right side or center? Is that possible?

  36. Hannah Mills
    September 17, 2011 at 12:29 am

    When I try to say field – page number, it doesn’t actually number the pages; it just says “page number”! All the pages are connected, so if I try to erase it and put in the actual number, all the pages change.
    How can I get it to just number the pages independently?

  37. Noob
    September 28, 2011 at 4:32 am

    “The page number field always displays the page number for the current page. If you see the words “Page number” instead of a number, press Ctrl+F9. This shortcut key toggles OOo between displaying the field’s contents (what the field is for) and the field’s results (what the field creates).”

    i found that on wiki.services.openoffice.org

  1. September 21, 2008 at 5:01 am
  2. November 26, 2009 at 4:01 am

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