different numbering format between heading and sub-heading

so basically i want to make something like this



2.1 sub-chapter

2.2 another sub-chapter

2.2.1 another sub-sub chapter

but, so far i can only manage to do this:



II.1 sub-chapter

II.2 another sub-chapter

II.2.1 another sub-sub-chapter

notice that i want all numbering format within sub-chapter with 1,2,3 instead of Roman numbers, but i want to keep chapter number with roman number…

This is not possible with the standard chapter numbering counter: this a multi-level counter (the same for all Heading n paragraph styles) and the formatting you choose for a level is not context-dependent. That is, you cant have Roman numeral for level 1 when used with Heading 1 and Western numbers at level 1 when used in Heading 2 and higher.

The only way I know to achieve what you want is to have a second “parallel” chapter numbering (only for level 1, but this is not mandatory) with a different formatting. However, this needs a tricky manual work to deceive Writer into thinking it has a single counter.

Short story, but it may be further detailed if you accept the burden:

EDIT 2020-12-06 Full solution

This solution works in Writer LO 7.0+. Built-in style names have changed a bit. If you use a prior version, adapt to your case.

First step: new level-1 heading style

In the style sidepane (F11 or Styles>Manage Styles if not already visible), right-click on Heading 1 and New

  • in the Organizer tab, give it name Heading 1 Roman and set Next style: to Text Body
  • in the Font Effects tab, click on Hidden and click again to remove the mark (this requests the text not to be hidden in any circumstances)
  • in Outline & Numbering, set Outline level: to Level 1 and Numbering style: to Numbering IVX
  • in Indents & Spacing, set the spacing above and below to the required values
  • you may also insert an automatic page break in Text Flow so that a chapter always starts on a new page

Second step: modify built-in Heading 1

Right-click on Heading 1 and Modify

  • in Font Effects tab, check the hidden box
  • in Indents & spacing tab, it might be judicious to set spacing above and below to zero, but this is only a display convenience for your editing/writing task

Third step: modify chapter numbering

Open Tools>Chapter Numbering

  • at Level 1, set Number: to 1
  • set all other levels as usual (1 and show all sub-levels)
  • note the parameters in the Position tab (number alignment, tab stop and indent)

Fourth step: modify list style Numbering IVX

In the style sidepane toolbar, click on the fifth icon from left (List Styles when hovering). Right-click on Numbering IVX and Modify

  • in the Position tab, set all parameters to what your read in Tools>Chapter Numbering.

##Procedure for chapter headings (edited 2020-12-10)

  • Type the “real” heading and before pressing Enter select Heading 1 Roman from the paragraph style menu
  • Immediately after it (new paragraph), type a space (to make sure), select Heading 1 from the paragraph style menu (or Ctrl+1), press Enter

This pair of paragraphs is mandatory at start of every chapter. The Heading 1 Roman line creates the “real” chapter heading and the hidden Heading 1 synchronizes standard chapter numbering.

I highly recommend you enable View>Formatting Marks so that you can see your dummy Heading 1 paragraphs and be able to edit them. They are hidden and do not print. You can check the final formatting with print preview.


If you already have a TOC, right-click on it and Edit index; otherwise Insert>TOC & Index>Toc, Index or Bibliography

  • in the Type tab, check Additional styles and press Assign Styles
  • in the table which pops up, click the “1” column for Heading 1 Roman

#Golden advice

Practice styles, they are the key for good and complex (nice-looking) formatting. Without them, tuning a document appearance is a nightmare. Don’t use direct formatting though this is the method induced by Word. Writer allows to separate content from look-and-feel. With styles, notably character styles, changing a document graphic charting is a matter of a handful of minutes (instead of several hours and many errors with direct formatting).

EDIT 2020-12-08

Example file

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I need this too for different format numbering. But, I don’t understand what you explained. Can you give me a video or gif?

The solution involves paragraph styles and list styles. Styles are the basic tools of Writer control (buttons or keyboard shortcuts end up to anonymous inconsistent micro-styles). If you don’t know what they are, read an introduction to them in the Writer Guide. You must be able afterwards to create your own style and modify built-in ones.

The instructions given here are necessarily concise due to space constraints. A minimal knowledge of the application is assumed, otherwise 20-30 pages would be needed. What you require is advanced formatting.

Once again, is your numbering twist really a necessity imposed on you by some external requirement?

Yes, I need this for my thesis. However, my campus has its own standards for thesis writing.

OK then. I’ll update my answer but tomorrow (already night time here). Meanwhile, read the guide about styles.

OK. I’m waiting for that.

That is works. But, heading 2 not reset, continue from heading 1. Like this: CHAPTER I 1.1 Lorem Ipsum 1.2 Lorem Ipsum (Heading 2) and CHAPTER II 1.3 Lorem Ipsum 1.4 Lorem Ipsum. Why?

Did you forget the dummy Heading 1 after “Chapter II”? It is mandatory to synchronize both sequence counters.

When I click “Heading 1 Roman” and then “I click Heading 1”. The “Heading 1 Roman” is also hidden. Can I get example file .odt from you?

Example file attached at end of my answer. You may need to click on the “(more)” link to see it.

Your styles in the example file are the same as my styles. It turns out that I don’t really understand how to apply heading 1 and heading 1 roman. I mean procedure for chapter headings. Can you explain in more detail?

I have edited it in my answer.

You are the best. That is works. Now, I know how to do it. I’m very sorry if I asked you a lot. Thank you for helping me.

You’re welcome. Be kind enough to click on the gray tick mark (only once even if seemingly nothing happens) to flag the question as satisfactorily answered.