How to activate bold, underline, etc without applying it to surrounding text

I’m trying to add subscript numbers next to variables. However, when I press ctrl+shift+b, it turns the surrounding characters subscript as well.

I can see why this is a feature, and I understand it has its use cases, but I’d like to disable it so that the formatting only applies to characters I’m about to type, instead of characters that have already been typed.

This happen when the cursor is in a word (between two characters). I can’t find a related configuration. Maybe in Expert Configuration.

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Two-key start-end workaround:

  • Press F8 (to switch to Extending selection mode)¹
  • Press Ctrl+Shift+B²
  • Type the subscript numbers
  • Press F8 (to return to Standard selection mode)

Three-key workaround (this way you don’t need to remember to get out of Extending selection mode):

  • “Select nothing” (that is: hold Shift and press Left Arrow and Right Arrow, or Right Arrow and Left Arrow
  • Press Ctrl+Shift+B²
  • Type the subscript numbers

¹ Or choose Extending selection in the status bar.

² Or the shortcut for the desired text format.

³ Up Arrow and Down Arrow, or Down Arrow and Up Arrow, will work if not in the first or last line (respectively) of the document.

Tested with LibreOffice (x64); OS: Windows 10.0.

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