LibreOffice Hints: Recurring images

More than any other single feature, Page styles elevate Writer from the status of run of the mill Word Processor to that of capable Publishing Program. However, for years I thought that page styles had a major flaw: unlike many publishing program, I could see no practical way of repeating an image automatically each time a page style was applied… Until now.

If I wanted, for example, a logo on the first page of every chapter, the only solutions I could see were to place it in a header or footer, where recurring elements like page elements are possible, or else manually add an automated note. Both of these solutions were limiting and awkward.

When I finally found a solution, it seemed ludicrously simple for something that had eluded me for years: so long as the anchor was in a header or foot, the image could be positioned anywhere on the page.

The thing to remember is that an image is placed in relation to the anchor point. Anchors have several positioning options, but, for a recurring image, you only need the default setting To Paragraph, which anchors the image in relation to the paragraph that the cursor is in — in this case, the paragraph in the header or footer.

To add a recurring image:

  1. Press F11 or the second icon from the top in the side pane to open the Styles and Formatting window.


    The styles and Formatting window, showing page styles.

  2. Click the Page style icon and, either select the style for the image, or right-click anywhere in the pane and select New from the drop-down menu. The Style window opens.

    The Style window showing the Header style.

  3. On the page style’s Header or Footer tab, select the Header on or Footer on box.
  4. Close the Style window and place the cursor in the header or footer.


    The header is invisible until contents is added,so search for its guidelines.

  5. Click Insert > Media > Image to add the image to the page.


    Adding the image.

  6. Position the image by selecting it and dragging it with the mouse. Exact positioning is easiest if you first click Tools > Options > LibreOffice Writer > Grid > Visible Grid and Tools > Options > LibreOffice Writer > View > Horizontal ruler and Vertical Ruler. Exact positioning is especially important if you use the same image in the same position with two different page styles, such as Left Page and Right Page.


    A grid and rulers help to position images precisely.

  7. Click the image and select Image from the right-click menu. If you haven’t sized the image before adding it, resize its display on the Crop tab.


    Scale the display size of an image on the Crop tab. The image itself is unchanged.

  8. From the Wrap tab, set how text moves around the image.


    Wrap options for an image.

The image will now appear in the same position each time you apply the Page style. You can use the same procedure for recurring frames using Insert > Frame. However, you cannot have recurring sections or tables, because neither uses an anchor.


A recurring image with an anchor on the left side of the header. Photo credit: John Wilson, “Moon Mask”

Cover Photo: Reflections by costi for