How to Change Number / Bullet List Indents Controlled by the Two Toggles (F12 / Shift+F12)? [SOLVED]

In my copy of Writer (Build ID: 6.4.7-2), the default indents controlled by the Numbered List (F12) and Bullet List (Shift+F12) toggles are multiples of 0.64 cm. I’m trying to change the indents to multiples of 0.74 cm and have tried the following:

  1. Changing the indents & spacing settings of every style under “Default style → Text Body → List”. These changes are saved but not used when toggling lists via F12 / Shift+F12.
  2. Changing the paragraph style of “Default style”. Specifically, editing all numbering styles under the “Outline & Numbering” tab. Again these changes are saved but not used when toggling with the keyboard shortcuts.
  3. Opening the additional menu besides the two toggle buttons and editing the indents in “More Numbering…”. This time the program doesn’t even save my changes. After I click “OK”, all the indents automatically revert to the defaults (multiples of 0.64 cm) upon toggling again.

I would like to know how to permanently change list indents controlled by these two toggles, so that I won’t need to manually set the indents every time I create a list.

Lists created by F12 or Shift+F12 are controlled by Bullets & Numbering. The alignment position is set level per level in Position tab, Aligned at field.

Pay special attention to the following points:

  • Using (Shift+)F12 is direct formatting (manual formatting); Consequently the settings of Format>Bullets & Numbering apply only to the next list or to the list where the cursor is presently in. This means you must select your existing lists one after the other to change the settings.

  • For an obscure reason, your changed settings in Format>Bullets & Numbering are saved neither in your user profile nor in any template (and even less in your document). This is bug tdf#69724 (dating back to 2013).

The end-line is: if you want to indent permanently your lists with custom settings, you must define your own list style.
For that:

  • display the style sidepane with F11 if not already there
  • create or modify two list styles (click on the fifth icon from the left in the style toolbar), one for numbered lists, one for bullet lists (or only one if you don’t need the other)
    • for this answer, I assume that Numbering 123 and Bullet - will do (Warning! names are slightly different in
    • change the settings in their Position tab
  • create or mofify two paragraph styles (click on the first icon from the left in the style toolbar), one for numbered lists, one for bullet lists (or only one if you don’t need the other)
    • for this answer, I assume that Numbering 1 and List 1 will do
    • in their Outline & Numbering tab, associate the paragraph style with the corresponding list style through the Numbering style drop-down menu: select Numbering 123 for Numbering 1, Bullet - for List 1-

These styles are saved in the document. To have them available for new documents, save them in the default template or a template of your choice.

When you want a list, no longer use …+F12, but format your list item with either List 1 or Numbering 1. To revert to a non-list paragraph, style it with Text Body which is the standard paragraph style for text (this is not Default Paragraph Style which is reserved to set common attributes for all other styles).

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Thanks a lot. Given your explanation, I wonder if there is any scenario at all where using “…+F12” is preferred over invoking a list style via a paragraph style?

…+F12 allows to transform locally and temporarily any paragraph (style) into a list item, but the default Format>Bullets & Numbering takes over the left indent formatting.

So, it is a matter of personal workflow. If lists are quite rare in your document, you might prefer this direct formatting, knowing that any adjustment will be manual.

Personally, I prefer to dedicate specialized paragraph styles to lists so that I can tune my lists from a unique “location” (the styles customization). I am then sure that all lists are consistent.

As always, if you’re writing a 2-page one-shot expendable letter, direct formatting may be faster than a polished styled document. But, even in this case, when you have an ad hoc template, styles might be more comfortable.

Thank you!