Bug 150913 - Writer: Spurious page break when forcing page style and resetting page number
Summary: Writer: Spurious page break when forcing page style and resetting page number
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Writer (show other bugs)
(earliest affected) release
Hardware: All All
: medium normal
Assignee: Not Assigned
: 151036 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Blocks: Writer-Styles-Page
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Reported: 2022-09-11 20:08 UTC by ajlittoz
Modified: 2024-02-07 19:15 UTC (History)
6 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:

Unexpected inserted blank page (8.96 KB, application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text)
2022-09-11 20:08 UTC, ajlittoz

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Description ajlittoz 2022-09-11 20:08:40 UTC
Created attachment 182393 [details]
Unexpected inserted blank page

Attachment shows an unexpected blank page inserted when requested page number is not consistent with current page parity, e.g. page break requests odd page number and current page is already odd (same with even number and even page). Document is configured in book mode so that the inserted blank pages are visible.

This behaviour has already been report as bug 117231 and bug 137035. They were waved away with WONTFIX on the ground that odd numbers always designate right pages (even is for left pages).

This is true if we print duplex. But there are cases where document is designed and printed for single side. In this case, page parity is irrelevant.

Presently there is no way to tell Writer that document is intended for single-sided printing so that constraints are relaxed and page count reflects the true number of real pages (no automatically inserted blank pages). The possibility to not-print inserted blank pages does not solve all issues, notably the count of pages reported by the field.

More generally, there is no way to inform Writer about the physical properties of the final document.

The use of Left Page and Right Page page styles is not a clear indication as we can use Default Page Style also for duplex-printed documents when we don't want different layouts for facing pages.
Comment 1 m_a_riosv 2022-09-17 23:38:51 UTC
*** Bug 151036 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 2 Buovjaga 2023-02-13 10:09:42 UTC
As UX team already set the referenced bug 137035 to wontfix once, let's ask them for a fresh look.
Comment 3 Heiko Tietze 2023-02-13 13:06:00 UTC
Andre, in due consideration of the reasoning in bug 137035 comment 5, do you agree with WF?
Comment 4 ajlittoz 2023-02-14 09:54:15 UTC
The argumentation in bug 137035 doesn't seem conclusive for me.

I agree that Left Page and Right Page should have special numbering properties according to their names which clearly hint at double-sided printing where page number parity is important.

But there are cases where an author just numbers single-sided pages so that they can be resorted, should the leaves fall on the floor. There is also the case of document intended to be read exclusively on electronic devices. Blank pages don't really make sense.

The main argument to waive the bug is the consideration for eventual printing of those documents, in which case we have "against-conventions" results. I think that if author clearly states that the document is either single-sided (a pure sequence of pages) or meant for electronic publishing, user has to accept the violating numbering.

The main difficulty is to inform Writer that the document is single- or double-sided. We can infer double-sided from the use of Left Page and Right Page, attribute "Only L/R" in page styles or non-ticked "Same content on left and right pages" in Header/Footer definition. However this is not sufficient. A document may be double-sided without these criteria.

Does it still make sense nowadays to design and write single-sided (with all the implications understood as well by author as readers)? If answer is "No" => WF but warn users in the documentation.

If answer is yes, how difficult is the fix? If it means a huge effort or breaking things, it is not worth it. There are many serious bugs still awaiting fixes. The present report can be considered a feature request and reassigned as enhancement with lower priority.

Do as you think most appropriate. This is not blocking for me.
Comment 5 QA Administrators 2023-02-15 03:21:18 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 6 Heiko Tietze 2023-02-15 07:37:31 UTC
Given the fact that we repeatedly discuss this topic seems to justify alternative solutions. Some of the problems around automatically inserted pages could be solved with a special page style that omits these pages from counting, as planned in bug 153259. But if you tell Writer that the next page has to be the "First Page" somewhere in the middle of the document the inserted blank page makes sense, I don't see "spurious page breaks"

Thinking also about a checkbox that make the document start right by inserting blank pages, or not if off; could be "[x] Right pages use odd numbers". Probably not ODF-conform / compatible across applications.
Comment 7 ajlittoz 2023-02-15 09:43:46 UTC
This shows that the topic is most difficult. It needs a thorough consideration about the rationale and use cases.

I think the best example is a letter with the envelop at the beginning. But even here, it does not really matter if there is a blank page or not because printing requires manual operation: one print command for the envelop, usually on the manual tray, and one print command for the rest of the document. And even if everything is printed in a single step (envelop data will be clipped from its sheet and glued on a "standard" envelop), the automatic blank page will synchronise the "letter" with duplex printing. And with single-side printing, it is easy to remove a blank sheet.

So, presently without any reflexion, it looks like it is a matter of design by author if pages are continuously numbered or not. I don't see a general pattern.

Anyway, if somebody uses Left Page page style, then the page is definitely on the left side. Same for Right Page. The question arises for "non-lateralised" page styles but subject to the general document properties (and presently you can't inform Writer about single/duplex).
Comment 8 Mike Kaganski 2023-02-15 10:47:59 UTC
There are two aspects here.
1. Page counting, for using in the document (showing the number / using in calculations and/or conditions).
2. Printing.

Possibly this could be solved by setting the property of the *page break*, like "start on left/right/default/next page", with "default" meaning "decide based on even/odd of the number", and "next" meaning "do not insert any blanks no matter what". Having such a control would allow any level of flexibility, including exchanging mapping even/odd to left/right, throughout the whole document or in its part, and having no blanks at all if needed. But also a setting in page style is needed, which would map even/odd to right-left (and so, define the "default" behavior).
Comment 9 Heiko Tietze 2023-02-22 10:48:09 UTC
(In reply to Mike Kaganski from comment #8)
> Possibly this could be solved by setting the property of the *page break*...

Doubt this works cross-application, at least not out of the box. Regina, any thoughts?

And we have to label the options so average users understand it.

I suggest to handle this topic at bug 117231 => make this a DUP.

Bug 153534 challenges the idea of left/right page styles in favor of an alternative approach.
Comment 10 pierre_aussaguel 2024-02-07 19:15:12 UTC
Following this bug because I face the same Issue. I need documents with no page number in the beginning, then page numbered, then again page not numbered.
I also want this document to be printed in duplex, with a larger margin on the inner side.