I waited several years before attempting to write my first book using OpenOffice because I knew the learning curve would be steep. Sorry to say even after reviewing both the Writer Guide and the "Writer" section in the Getting Started Guide, I'm still no closer to understanding exactly how to compile a book in OpenOffice (v3.3) Writer with no "hickups", but I think I'm starting to improve my learning curve somewhat despite still having some problems, specifically entering sequecial chapter number, chapter name and book title in headers and footers, appropriately.
Problem 1 - Entering a sequential Chapter Number in a Header.
According to the Writer Guide, you can use the INSERT>FIELD>OTHER>Chapter Number field to enter the chapter number in the HEADER of the first page to a chapter. This doesn't seem to work very efficiently for me, however. When I create the Master Document, the "Chapter 1" header appears in every chapter, not just the first chapter. How do I resolve this problem? If I manually change the chapter number of the 2nd and succeeding chapters, each chapter takes on the chapter number entered no matter which chapter I try to change. Am I using the wrong "heading" (paragraph) style?
Problem 2 - Entering the Book Title in the header on alternating "left and right" pages.
I think I may have stumbled upon resolving this problem in the first chapter of my book (as it is pulled into the Master Document anyway), but I couldn't for the life of me tell you how I did it. If someone who better understands how to do this could explain it in a simple manner, I would be enternally grateful. For the record, I DO NOT want the book title to appear neither in the header or footer of the first page of any chapter. I just want it to appear in the header of the 2nd and succeeding pages in alternating right/left headers. The first page of each chapter will have the chapter number only as its header.
Problem 3 - Entering the Chapter number and Title in the footer on alternating "left and right" pages with the page number.
I haven't quite figured this one out yet; I'm still ironing out the kinks. One thing I was able to get right was entering the page number in the footer on alternating pages and having it appear sequentially throughout the rest of the book. I did run into one problem, however. I need to restart the page number from the "front matter" of the book, i.e., the title page, copyright page, TOC and Preface, and restart the page numbering beginning from "1" from the first-page of Chapter 1 throughout the rest of the book. I managed to get the page numbering to appear in the footer beginning with the "Preface", but the numbering starts at "iii" which isn't what I want. I want the Preface to start at page number "ii" (or whatever is the next number immediately following the last page of the TOC).
I did discover that it is possible to disply the title of a document (i.e., book title or chapter title) in the header or footer using the "Properties" dialog box. To do so:
Click on the DECRIPTIONS tab
Enter the title either on the "Title" line or "Subject" line
(Note: Although you can split the text appropriately to identify the chapter details in the "Properties" dialog box, you can enter the complete chapter number and title string in either the title line or subject line to get the same result, i.e., "Chapter 1" with a placeholder (a dash - for example) in the "Title" line and chapter title in the "Subject" line.)
The resulting text would display as "Chapter 1 - [chapter title]". For me, this information displays in the "footer" but only on the right-pages, not the left. I suspect this is because the properties only affect the first page of the document. Therefore, the problem is how to enter the chapter number and chapter title in a header or footer on alternating right and left pages throughout the chapter?
Expanding my learning curve - my "guesses" at possible solutions.
I've tried to figure this stuff out on my own by reading the guides and reviewing this forum, but sometimes you have to know when to cry "UNCLE" and ask for help. So, I'm screaming UNCLE here Writer gurus. I think my problems are as follows:
Problem 1: I've read in several forum entries where the solution seems to rest with using "Header 1" as the primary header for the chapter number/title on the lead (first) chapter page and using "Heading 2" for all subsequent "right-pages" and "Heading 3" for all subsequent "left-pages". But wouldn't this require creating two more templates and setting up your page styles appropriately for each? (BTW, creating and using "Templates" also confuses me; more on that later as problem #4).
Problem 2: I think I hinted at a possible solution when I addressed "Templates" above. Would you have to create a separate template for your "chapter main page", "right-page" and "left-page" or can you use the "first-page, right-page and left-page" styles to accomplish this? If so, why not mention this in the "Creating and Using Templates" section of the guides? It would really cut down on confusion where using templates to create books are concerned. As I understand the guide in using a template as the basis for creating a lengthy document, you setup all "attributes", i.e., header, footer, chapter number, book and chapter titles, paragraph indents with and without bullet entries and page numbers, using the appropriate paragraph styles. But here's where I'm confused: Shouldn't you determine which "page style" to use first and THEN pick the other attributes that will eventually appear on the page for your document? According to the Writer guide, since "Styles" are mentioned first, specifically paragraph styles in Section 6 (Chapter 7 outlines how to apply same), the logic is that you can start working in a document (even if said document is used as your "template") by applying paragraph styles first and page styles second. But from what I've experienced, unless you know how your pages will flow for large documents (4 or more pages where the page/section title and/or pages numbering needs to change), you should establish which page styles you want to use before working on formatting your paragraph styles. Or does it matter? Can you establish all relevent "styles" on the same document/template but then plug in the appriopriate styles as you prepare (type) the document/sections? If so, the authors to the "Template" and "Style" guides need to make this much clearer because it's one of those "who came first: the chicken or the egg" type questions that never truly seem to get resolved unless you've become more familiar with using Writer.
Problem 3: This problem likely can be resolved once the "one template or first, right- and left- page page styles" question is answered, but I suspect you'd have to also setup three different paragraph styles as headers or footers, appropriately, to capture the chapter number, chapter title and book title and combine them in the appropriate header(heading) or footer(footing).
Problem 4 -Templates: As stated above, this feature is confusing. Although I managed to create each chapter of my book based on the initial document layout, the "template" I used isn't a Template per Writer's configuration because it doesn't appear in the "Template" folder. But surprisingly, it does work! The "Creating a Template" guide does a decent job explaining how to create a template, however, it doesn't quite explain how all the paragraph and page styles would translate into the actually document. For example, although I can add a header to a template to a document, their styles don't transfer over into the "Styles and Formatting" dialog box as permanent reusable features. Therefore, you either have to base all documents off the same template or "load" each style for the specific template used which I've discovered doesn't work very well. (Or maybe that's part of my learning curve I'm still struggling with.)
I'm very close to putting my first book together. I would hate to scrap it and start over, but if the solution is to create separate templates for each type of page that goes into the book (i.e., title page, copyright page, TOC, Preface, Chapter 1st-page, 2nd-page and a "Next" page to cover the succeeding pages), and using or modifying preset page and paragraph styles from the "Styles and Formatting" dialog box and placing everything in a single template, I think clarifying the exact process to do this for large documents would be greatly appreciated by all users of OpenOffice Writer. It's a powerful program, but also very confusing.
OpenOffice v3.3 on Windows 7 (Home PC)/Window XP Professional Edition (Work PC)