Changing predefined numbers list


Hoping for some help on setting up a permanent customised number list.

I am trying to get a word doc to default to my own customised numbers list. I have set up a template and set as the default. On opening a word doc, the predefined custom number list starts straight away; so far so good. The problem is that some of the time I don’t want my paragraphs to have numbers and when I deselect the number list and later reselect it, it reverts to one of the standard Libreoffice ones. Is there a way to ensure when I click on the number list button it defaults to my custom list?


I hope that when you write a “word doc” you don’t mean a .doc(x) formatted file. If this is the case, no hope.

With .odf (and .odt for the template), you benefit full Writer power with styles.

Unless you already noticed, direct formatting (or manual formatting) in all its guises (keyboard shortcuts, menu items, toolbar buttons) are there for quick’n’dirty experimenting but causes then formatting nightmares. It is also offered to ease transition for Word aficionados until they understand the driving principles in Writer, i.e. styles.

The toolbar button(s) for numbered and bullet lists is one of these pitfalls. It does not offer a persistent setting because any new list must be made independent from the previous one. This implies the behaviour you experienced.

The “native” way to configure user lists is through a pair made of a paragraph style and a so-called list style which is in fact a set of attributes to format the number.

Some built-in styles are intended for lists but the number is not yet configured. I’ll show you how to adapt Numbering 1 to your needs.

  • Display the style side pane with F11 or Styles>Manage Styles
  • Look for Numbering 1 and right-click to Modify
  • Go to Outline & Numbering tab
  • In Numbering section, change the Numbering style drop-down menu to Numbering 123.
  • OK

Back in the style sidepane, click on the fourth icon in the toolbar (it says List Styles when the mouse hovers over it); this will list the list styles.

  • Right-click on Numbering 123 and Modify
  • You can optionally play with BulletsImage tabs to preset parameters
  • You tune these preset parameters in Position and Customize tabs.

But, once you’ve started tuning the attributes, Never use again the BulletsImage tabs because they will reset your tuning and eventually create contradictions forcing you to customize again from scratch!

When this is done, all you have to do is to assign Numbering 1 style to your list item paragraphs.

CAUTION! Never use again the toolbar buttons because this will override your style and perhaps add “sticky” direct formatting you’ll have a hell of a job to remove.

Numbering 1 to Numbering 5 are available for 5 different looking numbered lists. List 1 to List 5 are for bullet lists.

What makes lists different is the list style. So don’t make the mistake to associate the same list style to several paragraph styles because these styles will be part of the same list.

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Thanks for clarifying and setting this up. It’s a shame you have to go through styles each time and there isn’t a way of saving your defined style to the Numbered List button. Still a small price to pay for what’s a great product. Your help’s much appreciated.

Unfortunately, you can’t save persistently your settings to the default list toolbar buttons.

But it isn’t a “shame to go through styles” because Writer was designed upon styles. If you have a very frequent use of your custom style for numbered lists, create your own keyboard shortcut with Tools>Customize so that your hands keep on the keyboard (no mouse grasp). To revert to the standard style for text (which is Text Body, not Default Paragraph Style as in Word) after your list, press Ctrl+0 (zero).

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