How to a Header to Only the First Page in LibreOffice

Screenshot of the LibreOffice opening screen.
Start by opening up a blank text document in LibreOffice. Photo © Catharine RankinOwner

I was tasked with creating a template in LibreOffice the other day, and I had a hard time figuring out how to add a header style to only the first page of my document. It doesn't seem like it should be too hard to set up, but there are a surprising number of steps involved ... and once I figured it out, I thought that I'd write up some step-by-step instructions in the hopes of saving you the time of searching around for help.

Whether you're creating a template for the office, writing a paper for school, or working on a novel, this trick could come in handy. Not only can it help with branding, having stylized headers can be a simple way to add big impact to a project. These instructions and screenshots are all based on LibreOffice 4.0, which you can download free-of-charge from their official website. So, go ahead and open LibreOffice and select "Text Document" from the options list.


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Step 2: Set Up Your Page Style

Screenshot of the LibreOffice Format dropdown menu.
Open up the "Styles and Formatting" box. Photo © Catharine Rankin

Now that you have your document open, we need to tell LibreOffice that we want this first page to have its own style. Luckily, the developers added this feature ... but then, unfortunately, hid it within some menus.

To uncover it, click on the "Format" link at the top of the screen and then select "Styles and Formatting" from the dropdown menu. Or, if you're into keyboard shortcuts, you can also press F11.

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Step 3: Select the "First Page" Style

Screenshot of the LibreOffice Styles and Formatting box.
Tell LibreOffice what style you want to use on the first page of your document. Photo © Catharine Rankin

You should now see a box pop up on the right-hand side of your screen titled "Styles and Formatting." By default, the "Paragraph Styles" tab will be open, so you'll need to select the "Page Styles" icon. It should be the fourth option from the left.

After you've clicked on "Page Styles," you should see a screen that looks like the screenshot above. Click on the "First Page" option.

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Step 4: Add Your Header

Screenshot of the LibreOffice Insert menu dropdown.
Add your header to only the first page of your document. Photo © Catharine Rankin

Click back into your document, click on the "Insert" link at the top of the screen, put your mouse over the "Header" option, and then select "First Page" from the drop-down menu. This tells LibreOffice that this header version should only be on the first page of the document.

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Step 5: Stylize Your Header

Screenshot of a stylized header in LibreOffice.
Add your text, images, borders, and backgrounds to the header. Photo © Catharine Rankin

And that's it! Your document is now set up to have a different header on the first page, so go ahead and add your information, knowing that this header will be unique.

It only takes a minute to go through this process now that you see how it works, so be creative and add some individual style to your documents!

Note: You may have realized this already, but the steps above are also how you would add a unique footer to the first page ... with one difference. In Step 4, instead of selecting "Header" from the "Insert" menu, choose "Footer." All the other steps remain the same.