Headings 1,2,3 not getting numbered using hierarchy

since headings 1,2,3 are sub headings in hierarchy to ‘headings’ i think numbering top level must number them too


Explanation: turning on the numbering for ‘heading’ style by editing the style isn’t turning on the numbering for heading 1, heading 2, heading 3 which are sub level to ‘heading’ style in hierarchy. In hierarchy, editing top level must also affect all the sub levels, but that’s not happening.

What you experience is a consequence of your misuse of styles (according to the video).

First of all, paragraph style Heading is not a heading style, despite its name. It is a “dummy” style intended to define default appearance of all “operational” heading styles like Heading n but also Contents Heading or Title. Usually, one need only define the heading font, which can be done either in Heading (per document definition) or in Tools>Options, LibreOffice Writer>Basic Fonts (Western) (definition valid for all documents of a user unless overridden in Heading, because this setting in stored in user profile).

When you modified your Heading style, you should have noticed its level is Text body, meaning it does not participate in TOC (and therefore is not “technically” a heading). Assigning a numbering style turned it into a paragraph style suited for numbered list.

Enabling heading numbering is done with Tools>Chapter Numbering. This dialog allows you, from a single location, to customise and tune your numbering hierarchy and formatting.

Note that assigning a numbering to a level does not presume that other levels will have the same numbering or even be numbered. For instance, the first level may be numeric, the second alphabetic, the third bulleted, ad libitum. You can repeat the previous level number or not (I advice you to be consistent: if you repeat the previous numbers, do that on every level otherwise readers will get confused).

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Thank you, that made everything clear. One more clarification needed: to add other font effects, like font colour, should i put those effects individually in every ‘heading n’ or for this case it’s safe to use hierarchial method by editing only top level ‘heading’ style?

It all depends on your need.

If all your headings and title should look the same, make the change in Heading. This will propagate down to Heading n, xxx Heading, Title and Subtitle. To see which styles are involved, open the style side pane (F11) and use Hierarchical view (drop-down menu at bottom).

You can even change font size in Heading and the relative ratio will be kept in Heading n because their font size is defined as a %-factor of the Heading base style.


There is a different structure “above” styles that govern chapter numbering. Takes a while to get to grips with. While I have a working knowledge of the system, I’ll rather advise you to experiment with it to find out how it works, instead of attempting to explain.

See this help page first. Do not proceed until you have looked into the Chapter numbering dialog and have some understanding of what it does.


When the insertion point is inside a heading, you can apply the outline presets directly by Format - Bullets and numbering, the Outline tab, and settings will be applied to all heading levels.

Important: Make sure that you use only the presets below the Outline tab for this. Other settings, list formatting, or additional numbering/list settings in the Heading x styles are liable to make a mess when combined with Chapter numbering settings.

You can fine tune settings in Tools - Chapter numbering, as explained in the help page linked above, also after applying outline presets.

One recommendation: I find that numbering alignment “right” looks better (and behaves more predictably) than the default, left-aligned numbering. Probably a matter of taste…

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Never, never, never mix chapter numbering and lists! It is the surest way to formatting hell. When you Format>Bullets & Numbering a heading paragraph, you’re turning the paragraph into a list one and you may lose association with the internal chapter numbering counter. This can’t happen with Heading n styles because they are protected but will with other styles added to the TOC collecting machinery.

It is much safer to start with Tools>Chapter Numbering. No need to assign a bullet or number beforehand. Everything is initialised and controlled from Tools>Chapter Numbering.

Never, never, never mix chapter numbering and lists!


However, the Outline tab in Bullets/numbering does not apply a separate list style to the headings, but enters presets directly into Chapter numbering settings, for you to tweak if you need. I find that useful as a quick start.

The distinctions between different contexts, tabs and all, may be a bit elusive, so I probably provided bad advice for an OP just starting on this. Easy to stumble into a total mess. I will edit my answer slightly to emphasize the pitfalls. Thanks!

You can add a caveat about the tabs in Tools>Chapter Numbering: Once you have started to tune your parameters with it, never apply again Format>Bullets & Numbering to change things (Outline tab or any other, they work the same and can be equally used for numbering though you usually want an incrementing sequence) because they preset parameters in an uncontrollable way (from user point of view) and customising must be restarted as many settings have been impacted.

I think this is why Tools>Chapter Numbering dialog has been reduced to only two tabs (Numberingand Position) in recent updates, dropping all the presets which were more harmful than useful.