How To: Remove Header From First Page in OpenOffice

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I do all of my school papers in OpenOffice.org (for more on OpenOffice, look in Wikipedia) these days, specifically in OpenOffice Writer (the open source equivalent of Microsoft Word). I come upon the same problem fairly frequently, so I am posting my solution here for everyone.

Many paper formatting guidelines call for no header on the first page, with a header that includes the page number (and possibly other information, including name and professor) on subsequent pages. While it may seem difficult to do this in OpenOffice Writer, it is rather easy.

Create a header as your normally would; usually this is by clicking Insert -> Header -> Default and then Insert -> Fields -> Page Number. You should see your header on all pages of your document, including the first page.

Now, place the cursor within the first page of your document (ie- click within the first page of the document and then make sure you see a blinking cursor on the first page), and then select from the menu Format -> Styles and Formatting. Select the fourth icon at the top of the dialog box (if you hover over it, it says “Page Styles”). Now, double-click on “First Page”.

Once you double-click on “First Page”, the header on the first page will magically disappear, while keeping the header on each subsequent page intact.

For even more customizability, you can create an entirely different header for the first page instead of leaving it completely off.

To do this, again make sure your cursor is inside the first page of the document. Then click Insert -> Header -> First Page. Now, a header will appear on the first page of your document and you can place any text or fields (page number, etc.) within this first page-only header.

If you have any problems with this quick fix for headers in OpenOffice Writer, please leave a question in the comments section below and I will try my best to answer your query.

Also, look forward to more of these How To’s (for Open Office and other applications) in the near future.

Lastly, if you would like to try out OpenOffice, you can download it for free from the OpenOffice website or your can download a portable version here which you can unzip locally and delete after trying out this amazing piece of community-produced software.

58 thoughts on “How To: Remove Header From First Page in OpenOffice

  1. Gatonegro

    Thanks a heap! I should have probably figured this out myself, but to be honest, I didn’t, even though I use styles a lot.

    Just one doubt remains — what if I want to remove the header in a page in the middle of the document (for example, a chapter’s first page)?

    Right now, if I place myself in any page in the middle of the document and double click on “First Page” style (or any self-defined style without headers) it removes the headers from the whole of the document. Any cues?

    Thanks again for the help,
    Gato.

  2. Gato,

    I haven’t had this problem myself. As long as the cursor is only placed in one page, the defined style should only apply to that page.

    Chris

  3. Wordnewbie

    I am having the same problem as Gato in the above message. I would like to delete the header and footers from Title Pages ONLY in the middle of my document. I have searched the internet,to no avail!!! IF this is possible, how do you accomplish it.

    Thanks,
    Word Newbie

  4. Rolf

    You can create as many page styles as you want, and then use any style on any page. Page styles can have or not have headers/footers, different margins, background graphics. Just right-click on any existing page style shown in the styles dialogue, then select either “new” or “modify.” From there, the sky’s the limit.

  5. Thanks for the tip. I have to use this about once 2 months and I always forget how to do it. I think this is the 2nd time this post has saved me :)

    OpenOffice could definitely use a more intuitive interface though.

  6. Sat, thanks for the comment. Making that header go away seems like a pain compared to MS Word, but if you think about it for a while (a while), OpenOffice’s style system does make sense.

    PS – I love the theme for your site, and the idea of integrating two people into one site.

  7. Chris, THANK YOU for the simple-enough-that-even-an-old-lady-can-do-it explanation on how to get rid of the header on the first page in OpenOffice! Bless you!!! It worked!

  8. Hi, I was interested in creating different footers for different parts of my documents with open office… But I can’t find how and I don’t seem to have the “First Page” style in my style list. Any thoughts?

    On a side note, all of this is super easy to do with Lotus Word Pro, but it’s getting old. No new version and all. I’m switching to Mac and so I’m trying open office. (No mac version of Lotus) But I want to be sure I can do everything Lotus did…

    thanks!

  9. Oh, I just saw, “First Page” is in the Insert- Manual break section in the menu. But if I just “First Page” in two different sections of the document, the same header appears. That means I have a total of 2 different headers in my document. Is there a way to add other styles in that menu? Because it’s not the same list as in the Format -Style and Formatting menu.

    thanks

  10. Lisa

    Jesus H. Christ THANK YOU. I have a paper due at 5 pm today and couldn’t figure out how to change my headers to save my life. The last time I had this problem I ended up going back to MicroWord, somehow making it work, then forgetting how I did it.

    Now to get back to Historical and Future Trends of Sexism…

  11. Aimée

    Wow!!! Gracias, gracias, gracias, You have been a blessing. My motions and pleadings to court will be a different story now. God Bless U!

  12. Oh my goodness, thank you! I was really worried that it was going to take forever to figure out how make the header go away on the first page, so you are a lifesaver. Thanks!

  13. Wilco Moerman

    Openoffice seems to have problems with different first pages, when you save your documents to microsoft office word *.doc! The extra information about the different styles for the different pages is not saved (or cannot be saved to microsoft office format?).

    For instance, suppose you have a (OOO)template for a letter, with different style for the first page and the rest. On the first page you want your company logo, but on the rest of the pages and just page numbers or whatever. If your letter is only one page and you save it as microsoft-word *.doc, information about the different styles for the headers is lost. Therefore if you open the microsoft word doc and add a second page, it will have the “first page” header with your logo on every page, which is obviously not what you want!

    I worked around this by creating a openoffice template that is “microsoft office” resistant :-)
    I used only one header/footer for all pages (the default one that you do not want on the first page). For the different layout of the header on the first page, I just obscured the items I didn’t want by a white frame or a picture.

    This way you can generate openoffice templates that work well even if you save your one-page-document as microsoft office *.doc and send it to someone who is using microsoft office and wants to expand on your letter.

    Also sometimes an overlapping picture plus textfield in the header/footer will have the wrong order when converted to microsoft office. This happened to me when I wanted a textfield in front of a picture in my logo.

    The letter should start start under the logo, so I selected “no wrap” for the picture and textfield. This template worked fine in openoffice, but when I saved my document as microsoft *.doc, the textfield appeared behind the picture, and I could not get it to the front again (Somehow this strange result only occured when textfield and picture were in the header/footer!)

    I worked around this by putting the picture in the background, behind the textfield. This of course means that the regular text would also be placed in front of the picture, overlapping my logo, which was not what I wanted.

    To solve this, I placed a transparent frame with “no wrap” at the same location as the picture. When converting to microsoft *.doc, this frame is placed in the front, but since it is transparent, this is not a problem. The picture now appears behind the textfield, and the transparent frame makes sure that my text does not overlap the logo.

  14. Wilco,

    Thanks for the information. If I need to send an OpenOffice file, I usually save as a pdf so I’ve never run into this problem. Thanks, I’m sure this will be of use to readers!

  15. Joseph B.

    Chris…

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!

    I really appreciate you for creating this tutorial. I usually don’t post comments on websites but I had to this time.

    This was awesome!

    I had read other sites that had tutorials on how to do this, but they all left me confused and bewildered. This was clear and to the point. You explain in a couple of paragraphs what some other websites can’t explain on several pages.

    I know you will do well in the future. I wish all the best in your studies and career. Take care and thank you again.

    Joseph B.

  16. sree

    Hi

    I have tried many times but failed to change the header and footer on the first page whenever I double click the first page in page styles the header on the first page disappears. Once I save the file and exit and reopen the file header andfooter is missing on all the pages. Plz help me

  17. tdalbo

    This helped me, except now my first page margins seem to have been shifted all around.

    An easy fix, of course. It just seems like having to go through the rest of the paper and manually changing the margins is too much work.

  18. Jonathan

    Hey, thanks a tonne, buddy! This was exactly what I needed to get OpenOffice to do. I was starting to pull my hair out trying to make it work. At least OOo is still easier (and cheaper) to use than MS Office.

  19. Thanks! This was exactly what I needed. Like Jonathan, I was also starting to pull (what is left of) my hair out trying to make it work.

  20. Charles

    I have tried to use this to turn off the header in the middle of a document (for example, for a chapter heading), and as soon as I set one page, all the others seem to follow suit. Now, I’m using the 3.2 developer snapshot (M51), so there may very well be something broken.

    That being said, setting just the first page with a different header (which is typically what I want to do) is a huge help!!

  21. To remove the header or footer, try Format Page … and the go to the Header or Footer tab and click deselect ‘Footer on’

    hope this helps!

  22. Darth GTB

    You Saved my Life!

    i almost ask for a Word license!

    I work on OpenOffice by years in my job to make all documentation (all exported to .pdf) and i received a new document model that have a front page without header and footer and i was frustrated because i cant do it like it is really easy in Word (Format/Page)

    Google saves! lol

    Thanks Chris!

  23. Jurgen

    Hi,

    I have a problems with the headers and footers in Open Office and I have no idea how to solve it, I read all the information on the internet but it still does not work for me.

    I am creating a report and I want the page numbering and the headers and footers starting from page 4. First page is Title, 2nd a confidentiality agreement and the 3rd is the table of contents. So the report ‘starts’ at page 4.

    Could someone pls help me cause I am totally stuck at the moment…

    Thanks in advance!

    Jurgen

  24. mcg

    You just saved my life. I was writing a big honking term paper in APA format (and if you’re farmiliar with APA, you’ll know how anal they are about having EVERYTHING just right!) Thank you immensely for writing this to help lost openoffice souls….!

  25. Ian

    Thanks for taking the time to post this. I’m a professor trying to write using Openoffice and was banging my head against the keyboard over this. Even three years after you posted it, a Google search brought me to your great, clearly laid out solution. Thanks!

    • Chris

      No problem, Ian, I’m glad to help. I wrote all of my papers in OpenOffice.org so I can access them for a long time in an open format.

  26. jane

    Genius. Thank you so much. I work from home and have been going slowly crazy not being able to do page numbering. Can’t thank you enough.

  27. Bill Kibbel

    Chris, I greatly appreciate you taking the time to share this how-to tip. I thought I tried everything to eliminate the first page header.

  28. Justin

    Fantastic! This is the simplest description I’ve seen for accomplishing different headers. I always seem to forget how when I’m in between papers, then I pull my hair out trying to figure it out. Thank you…I’m bookmarking your page!

  29. Christen

    I needed to make a document into a .PDF file with no header on the
    first page. Thanks to your tip, I was able to do so!

    I encourage you to keep this webpage online. Many years after you
    wrote the article, it is still benefiting people :-)

    Appreciatively,

    Christen
    October 12, 2010

  30. Kirsten

    Oh.My.Goodness!!! Thank you SOOO much!! I had no idea that was there, and it works for a whole lot of other formatting issues! (Obviously…) Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

    -Kirsten

  31. Katie

    I am eternally grateful to you, as I type at least 3 papers a week and always had to save my paper on open office then edit the header on another computer with word. :)
    things will be a lot simpler now

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