The buttons in the toolbar are for “quick-and-dirty” one-shot documents. When you need more elaborate formatting, you proceed with so-called styles which control all lay out aspects.
In your case, type your list paragraph with one of the “built-in” styles like Numbering 1. Modify this paragraph style (x) to your liking (spacing, margins, …) and, very important, in tab
Outline & Numbering, associate it with a list style (or numbering style), say Numbering 1. Click
Next, modify list style Numbering 1, tab
Options. You can tune the attributes of up to 10 list levels. Click
To add a new list item, style the paragraph as Numbering 1. To promote or demote this paragraph to another level, set the cursor before the first character (not counting the bullet/number which is automatically inserted by LO) and press
(x) Display the style panel with
F11. Right-click on a style name and choose
Modify.... The style family is selected with the small icon in the panel toolbar, from left to right: paragraph, character, frame, page, list, table.
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A styled bulleted list needs two styles: a paragraph style and a (badly named) list style. The paragraph style defines the usual attributes (spacing, margin, font, variants, …) for the list item text. the “list” style defines the appareance of the list item bullet/number. What is disturbing is the fact that both styles, though very different in nature, can bear the same name (they are in diferent namespaces) but this is not required.
The end result is bullet/numbering is automatically added as soon as you select the paragraph style and the “decorations” are entirely under your control. The really big advantage is the “decorations” are guaranteed the same and, as is the case with styles, changing the “decorations” in the style definition propagates automaticelly.
There is nothing special with the paragraph style for a list, apart from the fact that you’ll semantically dedicate this style to a list. as a convenience, to make sure the appearance is similar to bulk text, all List x and Numbering x styles inherit from Text Body through an intermediate List which should not be used (acts as a template to define default properties for all lists if need to be different from Text Body).
Unfortunately, built-in List x and Numbering x come without association with a list style to define their numbering/bullet, i.e. they are strictly equivalent to a common text paragraph style. To transform them into true style for list, you must associate them with a list style. This is done in paragraph style definition dialog under tab
Outline & Numbering, drop-down menu
Remember that paragraph and list styles are in different namespaces and you are not required to use the same style names. For example, ‘List 1’ paragraph can be bulleted with ‘List 2’. Disturbing but possible.
The properties of the bullet/numbering are set in the list style.
Position will affect and override the left margin of the paragraph style. To get a clean layout, you will usually set the same value in Indent at and Numbering followed by
Tab stop at and “outdent” the bullet/number with 0 in Align at. The preview shows interactively the effect of the settings.
Options defines how the items are “numbered”. Keep
Bullet for List x and various numbers for Numbering x. Forget Character Style for the first trials (this character style allows for a bullet/number aspect diferent from the item text).
Paragraph styles for lists in LO have an interesting property: the same style can be used for nested list, thus guaranteeing homogeneous appearance like in:
1. abcd efg
1.1. abc def
1.2. ghi jkl
Single numbered items are at level 1, double numbered at level 2, etc. The individual level properties can be adjusted by selecting first Level in the
Now here is how you compose your lists.
To start a new list (which is just another sequence of paragraphs from LO point of view), select the paragraph style (List 1) from the paragraph style drop-down menu in the tool bar after you have type the
Return key to end the previous paragraph. To restart numbering in a second independent list, right-click and choose
If you want this item at an higher level, type
Tab for level 1, one
Tab for level 2, two
Tabs for level 3, etc.).
Type the item text. When you type
Return, a new item opens at the same level. To change level, type
Tab to nest deeper or
Tab to nest shallower.
To return to standard text, select a diferent paragraph style from the menu in the toolbar.
Editing an existing list is similar. Put the cursor before the first character of the item to change level with
Restart Numbering after a right-click to reintegrate the list to the previous one. Restyle the item Text Body (or another one) to remove it from the list or restyle it List 1 to add it to the list.
Note: there are subtleties with List x, List x Start, List x End and List x Cont. to provide for different spacing before and after the list as a whole and even having unnumbered items. But this is advanced usage to be explored only after you gained some experience with styled lists.
Not sure this is the step-by-step procedure you expected, but list presentation is first a personal matter and your choices are not other man’s choices. The hardest part is to define how you would like your list to appear (LO offers you 2x5 built-in possible different list aspects), then writing a list costs 2 clicks to open and 1 click to leave.