Libre Office table of contents problems

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I used OpenOffice/LibreOffice for writing stories at the moment (I’m thinking of trying Scrivener) and while I was trying to sort out pacing in Horror Movie I added chapter headings and a table of contents. I was surprised when I had twenty chapters but only two appeared in the contents.

What I discovered was that the software won’t include the chapter unless there’s some text on the header line. I’ve configured the header so that it automatically says ‘Chapter N’ where the number automatically increments, but that’s not good enough. I had to go back through to each chapter heading and add a space after it so that it appeared in the table of contents.

This is the kind of thing which obviously seemed like a good idea at the time — why would anyone want an entry in the table of contents if there’s no text? – but was poorly implemented, not considering that there may be auto-generated text on that line even if the user hasn’t typed any extra text of their own.

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