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I've spent an hour now going through every single menu in the entire LibreOffice Writer program, and searching online. There is no way to set it to use page numbers. It lets you select which "style" should be used, and you can manually insert a "page number" into the normal text as a number (which is obviously not what we want), create an empty "footer", but nowhere does it let you set it to use page numbers.

This nonsensical page doesn't explain anything, yet uses many words: https://help.libreoffice.org/6.2/en-US/text/swriter/guide/pagenumbers.html?DbPAR=WRITER

I refuse to believe that "there is no such feature". They must have just managed to hide it extremely well, both in the program and in the manual. Not only is this the most useful and basic feature imaginable for any word processor -- it's one of the easiest ones to implement as well. There is just no way that this isn't in the program. It cannot possibly be that they expect me to manually create a "footer" on every page and manually insert a page number from the menu, or type it in myself.

This is supposed to be a setting that you set for the document. Like a checkbox that you click, called "Use page numbers", and then it will show a "1" in the centre-bottom of the first page, "2" on the next, etc. If this "feature" truly is missing, I'm officially giving up entirely and forever on open source/free software.

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  • This is supposed to be a setting that you set for the document. I'm not sure why you think that, but it's not how it works. If there is a title page, then you need to decide whether to show the page number and whether it counts as the first page. Likewise, there may be a table of contents or other front material. There are also many different kinds of formatting in headers and footers, such as "page vi of xii." Only you, as the author, can make those decisions - the software cannot guess what you want.
    – Jim K
    May 11, 2020 at 15:05

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You already have all the pieces ("Create footer" and "Insert page number").

  1. Click just below the bottom margin, but before the end of page
  2. Scroll down and press "+" after "Footer (Default Style)"
  3. Press tab twice to right align text (optional)
  4. Press "Insert" then "Page Number"

The linked page has correct steps:

  1. "Insert - Header and Footer - Footer - (name of page style)"
  2. "Choose Insert - Field - Page Number to insert a page number"

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