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How do you search and replace page breaks in Libre Office Writer? For example, I may want to remove all manually inserted page breaks (^m in MS Word). I can search for line breaks and paragraph breaks using regular expressions, but I don't see a page break character anywhere.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted
+100

Quite a hack, but I'd suggest unzipping the .odt file and working with raw XML. The content.xml seems to be the correct file to edit.

I have prepared a test file with content:

QQQQQ
-page break-
AAAAA

And here is the relevant part of the raw XML:

<!---*lots* of declarations--->
<office:automatic-styles>
    <style:style style:name="P1" style:family="paragraph" style:parent-style-name="Standard">
        <style:paragraph-properties fo:break-before="page"/>
    </style:style>
</office:automatic-styles>
<office:body>
    <office:text text:use-soft-page-breaks="true">
        <text:sequence-decls>
            <text:sequence-decl text:display-outline-level="0" text:name="Illustration"/>
            <text:sequence-decl text:display-outline-level="0" text:name="Table"/>
            <text:sequence-decl text:display-outline-level="0" text:name="Text"/>
            <text:sequence-decl text:display-outline-level="0" text:name="Drawing"/>
        </text:sequence-decls>
        <text:p text:style-name="Standard">QQQQQ</text:p>
        <text:p text:style-name="P1">AAAAA</text:p>
    </office:text>
</office:body>
<!---some happy-end--->

(The real file will proably be more complex.) It seems to me that "P1" is a style created to "bear" the property of page-breaking before the paragraph. So two things come into my mind:

  • remove "P1" from <text:p /> tags
  • remove the page-breaking property from "P1" style

By the way, here I'd also recommend avoiding regexes in favor of some real XML parser.

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While I think removing the P1 style from a paragraph would work, it would be pretty cumbersome to use on an ongoing basis. I am looking more for something like ^m in word, which can be used in search and replace. –  xpda Mar 26 '12 at 3:50
    
It looks like there's not a good answer to this question, but this seems like the best answer. I would like to change to LibreOffice, but the lack of this one feature is preventing it. –  xpda Mar 26 '12 at 3:54

This post in a LibreOffice mailing list suggests the AltSearch plugin. It says on the plugin page that it is capable of

  • Searching out manual page and column break and their set up or deactivation
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This almost works. It can find \m but not replace it. It reports replacing the page breaks, but the page breaks remain. –  xpda Mar 21 '12 at 1:33

Try using \n or \r or s/\r\n/\r/g in your regexp. \n is for liNe feeds, \r is for caRriage returns.

I don't know if this will work in Libre office. Alternative is to copy from that, into a text editor (gedit in linux, notepad++ in windows), do the search and replace, and copy it back.

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Unfortunately (at least here on Debian Wheezy), LibreOffice page breaks are not preserved in copy&paste. –  Alois Mahdal Mar 19 '12 at 21:37

I'm, not sure if it supports this, but I'd look at OOoPy.

OOoPy: Modify OpenOffice.org documents in Python

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