I prepare expense reports using LibreOffice Calc, because nothing seems to handle multiple currencies the way my company wants to do it. The details don’t matter, but it’s enough to know that I print a workbook to PDF as part of my workflow. This workbook has many worksheets. I want headers and footers on each page in order to easily see which document I’m looking at.

Suddenly, without warning, I started to see out-of-date headers on page 2 of my document. Several minutes of checking page styles and header settings didn’t change anything. I couldn’t find the magic keywords to search the web to find the problem. And then, finally, I noticed the issue: a new feature in LibreOffice 7.

The Problem

Somebody wanted to be able to use different headers on the first page from the headers on remaining pages within a single sheet page style. They added that feature. They even made it possible to keep the previous behavior of using the same headers on every page. Sadly, they didn’t make the old behavior the default choice, so it changed without my consent.

Moreover, they named the option in a way that makes sense to programmers, but not to normal, everyday humans. I didn’t notice it even after looking directly at it a handful of times.

The Solution

  1. Open the Styles panel and locate your page style.
  2. Modify….
  3. Choose the tab Header.
  4. Locate the new option “Same content on first page”. It’s probably disabled, so enable it!
  5. Press Edit…. Notice that now there only one tab for the header.

LibreOffice Calc will now use this one header on every page of your PDF document.

If you’d like to see the difference, disable the option Same content on first page, then edit the headers again. Now notice that there are two settings tabs: one for the first page and one for the rest of the pages.

Now check your Footer settings.

A UX Suggestion For Everyone

When you add a new feature with configuration settings, give those settings default values that match the previous behavior, so that you don’t confuse users. Thanks.