How to assign styles to Outline Levels?

So I’m very confused about Libre Writer’s use of Outlines. Basically what I want to do is when I change the level of an outline item (Promote / Demote), I want the level itself to reflect a paragraph particular style.

For example:
Head1 18 pt Times Roman numbered as A,B,C,D
Head2 16 pt Arial numbered as 1,2,3,4
Head3 14 pt Arial numbered as a,b,c,d

If I start with Head1 and “demote it” using the tab, it stays as Head1 style but with the outline formatting that’s picked up from the List setting. That means it’s still 18pt Times Roman. How can I get the behavior I want with the style portion reflecting the outline level. You can do it in Word so I presume you can do it in Writer, right? Or maybe there’s a different paradigm that I’m missing. Thanks!

Yes, the paradigm is slightly different.

Although “outline” paragraphs internally use the list machinery, there are distinctive “exceptions” to cope with the semantics differences.

  • Promote/demote

In standard lists, you Tab or Shift+Tab for that. In “outline”, you change the paragraph style, i.e. you explicitly define the level x with Heading x.

Alternatively, open the navigator panel (F5). Select your chapter or section in the Headings category and use either promote level/demote level (with single horizontal triangles) or promote chapter/demote chapter (with double vertical triangles) buttons. The first pair operates on a single level. The second pair ensures that the selected level and all subordinates levels will be consistently promoted/demoted, i.e. they will kepp the same relative dependency.

  • Styling

A list is considered an atomic unit. In principle, you won’t find other paragraphs intermixed between the items other than unnumbered or unbulleted items. Consequently, there is a single paragraph style associated to it. Only the number/bullet differs in levels.

This may be considered a limitation if you want/need level 2 to be printed in smaller size than level 1, but that’s how it is implemented. The ugly work around is to switch to another list for level 2.

Every outline has its own paragraph style Heading x because it is customary in typography to set levels differently. This is the reason why outline layout is not a standard list (single styled) in LO Writer.

To answer your question, use the navigator panel to promote/demote entire parts of your document à la M$ Word and tune appearance of your outline through Heading x paragraph styles and Tools>Chapter Numbering for the kind of level numbering.

If this answer helped you, please accept it by clicking the check mark :heavy_check_mark: to the left and, karma permitting, upvote it. If this resolves your problem, close the question, that will help other people with the same question.

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Thanks, I’ll see if I can grok this.

Your answer helped me a bit to understand it. But I still do not fully grasp the way it all interacts: “Section Format” + “Table of Contents” + “Section Levels in Navigator”. I find it quite counterintuitive. :frowning: what is your definition of “section”? The word has a specific meaning in Writer. I’d like to understand accurately your question before answering.

By “Section” I meant the part of text between “Headings”. As I understand it from LaTeX, it \section{} command sets a Heading and the begin of the section text.

In Wrtiter, any paragraph styled Heading n starts a “section” at outline n (it ends at the next Heading n para) . This “section” contains all paras with higher n and all other paras not involved in outline. This is a nested definition.

To promote/demote a complete “section” (or a single heading), use the Navigator. This is easier than manually tracking all nested headings.

To change the appearance of headings, change the Heading n paragraph style parameters.

The TOC is made of all Heading n paragraph text. To give maximum versatility (i.e. indepoendence from text), entries in TOC are styled Contents n where n is outline level. To change appearance, just modify Contents n paragraph styles.

Does it answer your question?

Note: in Writer parlance, a section is a subdivision within a set of identically formatted pages with different number of columns, background and optionally its own foot/endnotes. However, header and footer are the same.

I struggled with this issue for long time. I see answers for this too complicated.

Short solution:

  1. First, you must set how should headings look like: Right side vertical panel > Heading [1…6] > Right mouse click > Modify;
  2. Second, you must set heading style for each numbering level: Tools > Chapter Numbering > Choose level number in left bar and set corresponding style from drop-down;
  3. Third, Important! DO NOT promote or demote levels with tab or arrows in bottom panel. Right side vertical panel > Navigation > Headings > Expand and go to required entry and use promote or demote buttons of this popup panel.

That is!

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These instructions are so much easier! Thank you.