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When you are writing a book, you want the first page of every chapter to print on a right hand page. With an e-book, that may be less important but it's still best to do it in case someone wants to print it out.
One way to accomplish that is to manually insert blank pages when you need them. That's annoying, and easy to screw up when you go back to add or edit chapters. Openoffice.org Writer can do this for you automatically, but the instructions they provide are incomplete and confusing.
This first part is covered in the OpenOffice.org instructions. Call up the floating "Styles and Formattng" menus (Fn-Ctrl-F11 on OS X or in the "Format" menu), choose "Page Styles" from the icons at the top, and Control Click on "Left Page" to choose "Modify". Don't double click on that; you want to modify it, not apply it.
Here's how OpenOffice.org Help describes it:
Here's what it should look like:
The next thing is to assign a "Text Flow" to whatever style you used or are going to use for Chapter headings. When I first tried this, I made the mistake of using "Content 1" - don't do that or you'll screw up your table of contents. I used "Heading" (not "Header"!). You'll find that in the first icon of "Styles and Formatting" which is "Paragraph Styles". Right click on that to modify it.
As long as you are in there, you may as well set up anything else you want for your chapter headings: bolding, fonts. font sizes, centering. It's a good idea to make these visually distinct from anything else so that you can easily see if you have applied this style where you want it. The most important part is setting the "Text Flow":
That's a very confusing section and the "Help" doesn't explain it. I would have interpreted that as "Insert a page before this page IF this page is a 'Right' page" but apparently it means "Insert a page before this page IF this page is a 'Left' page". No matter: the point is that you want an extra blank page inserted to force this to be a "Right" page.
Now you just need to click on your chapter headings, call up the "Styles and Formatting" menu and double click on "Heading". You should see the style apply. Notice I said "Click on", not highlight: this is a Paragraph style so you do not need to select text.
You'd think that would do it, right? Nope. You also need to update your page formatting and of course any indexes and Tables of Contents need to reflect where the pages actually will be, so you may as well just do Tools->Update->Update All.
NOW everything should be in order. If you are using a table of contents, you should see your chapter headings all on odd numbered pages. If you choose "Preview", you'll see the inserted blank pages. If you export to PDF and remember to check "Export automatically inserted blank pages", the blanks will be in your PDF file and of course that will print as you wanted it.
I hope that helps you. It drove me crazy for a few weeks as I tried to understand all the ins and outs.
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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2012-05-24 Anthony Lawrence