LibreOffice styles – for a “book feeling”

I wanted my book to look like proper, published book. Some published books have the title of the chapter on each page, and I find this quite useful.

It was rewarding but a royal pain to attain this with OpenOffice, then LibreOffice. I am not sure I will [even try to] achieve that for my next book (yes, there is another one), but here are some of the steps I followed.

First, I created more, personalised styles. Having downloaded and installed LibreOffice, and without altering the buttons on the toolbars, nor the toolbars themselves, the first button on the left, on the second toolbar, is the styles and formatting short-cut.

On the top of the dialogue window for styles there are icons (no menu) for each thing that can have styles applied to it: paragraphs, characters, frames, pages…

Paragraph styles are useful to have different paragraph formats to apply later. In principle I didn’t think I would use this but then I realised I didn’t want to be changing the letter size and style on each heading, quote and paragraph, so I created a few paragraph styles, for headers, for normal paragraphs -this was only different from the default in that the first line was indexed- for first paragraphs -not indexed- for long quotes, for italics.

I haven’t found a use for the frame styles or any of the others yet.

It is the page styles that are useful in order to have different headers for mirrored pages, for each chapter… In my case it was tedious because my book was not printed in standard A4 sheets. But then, hardly any book is printed in any standard size; printers have their preferred sizes. So when creating a new style for each chapter I had to manually set the page size, the margins (also dictated), the headers and footers on, and whether the headers were the same for the left and the right pages, in mirrored pages.

Do I want to do all that for about 40 chapters? It does indeed look good in print. But it is also so easy to get it wrong.

2 thoughts on “LibreOffice styles – for a “book feeling”

  1. a small comment, don;t waste time on such considerations once it is November! I only just managed to complete the 2008 NanoWriMo by the skin of my teeth and the reason? I spent the first two weeks of November “fiddling” with the site I was using to showcase my novel as I wrote it!

    Just a thought, from a “writing buddy/colleague”!

    • Thanks for the advice :)

      The fiddling with styles had to be done for my “previous” book, in the process of preparing it for the printers. I had to re-visit the styles settings and re-learn what I needed to do, so I put it there for future reference.

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