Create / modify numbered paragraph styles

I am using LibreOffice 7.0 and 6.3 on Linux. I am writing a documentation a would like to use heading with numbering. However, I always fail.
Starting with the available Heading 1 style, I create a new style, e.g. MyHeading1, and assign numbering. Then, I create a new style from MyHeading1, and name it MyHeading2. I adjust the numbering using outline numbering level 2, and outline level 2. However, after changing the properties, and return with OK, the changes do not make it into the new style. Checking back, the numbering is back where it was before (level 1).
I have not found any option to update the style so that the changes make it into the document.

Can you help me on that ?


I hope you didn’t try to use the numbering button in the toolbar (or F12) to add numbers to your paragraphs.

The solutions you should try in order:

  • use the Heading n family

    If your sole reason for defining user-chaptering styles is formatting properties, remember that all built-in styles can be customised. This is the most reliable method because it is based on already correctly configured Heading n styles.

    The numbering attributes are controlled by Tools>Chapter Numbering

  • create your own chaptering styles

    WARNING! There two reasons to create such styles: replace existing Heading n styles and add other styles to some levels to format differently said level depending on user criteria

    • replacing some Heading n styles

      Create the styles in any way (brand new or derived from an existing Heading n).

      In both cases the created style must be configured in Outline & Numbering because these attributes are never inherited. This means you must connect the style to the required level with the menu Outline level. This advertises the TOC machinery that this style is for a “chapter” heading.

      You must also connect the new style to its numbering level. Go to Tools>Chapter Numbering, Numbering tab. The menu Paragraph style designates which paragraph style will receive numbering at this level. You can easily deduce that only one paragraph style can be assigned per level; this is will I titled this section as “replacing heading style”.

    • adding alternate styles

      This is much more complicated. The primary purpose is to be able to have for instance the main outline (chapters) numbered1, 2, 3 and the appendixes lettered A, B, C.

      The paragraph style is defined as above and you must create a new list style for the “numbering” configuration. As an example, I’ll take an alphabetical sequence (and use built-in Numbering ABC instead of creating a new one).

      Numbering ABC is assigned to your paragraph style in the Ouline & Numbering with menu Numbering Style (thus the list style must be defined before you can use it).

      Now you end up with two sequences for your “chapters”: the traditional Heading n for the chapters and your user-style for the appendixes. The user-style is the same as a paragraph style for numbered list with the additional property it is collected in the TOC.

      Beware that the paragraph style is attached to a single level and you might create conflicts between the numbering and the TOC level if you are not careful with Tab presses at head of the heading. Note that Tab pressed are mandatory to position the paragraph at the right level (if higher than 1).

      Mixing both traditional and user heading styles is possible but requires many hacks which are probably beyond your reach at the present time.

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very good … this gave me the right direction. Thank you