Is it possible to take control of formatting of default bullet lists. If not, why not?

I have recently updated to LibreOffice version, running on Mac OS X 10.15.4.
The default available list styles have changed from List 1, List 2 … etc, to Bullets utilising various bullet symbols. This feels like an unnecessary, retrograde step.
On previous LO versions I had just about managed to set up my preferred List styles in a template I used as a default. Now, cognitively I am forced to have one for dashes, one for dots etc. Why?

This tempts me back to seeing if using the standard Bullet icon is helpful; but I don’t see any way I can change the LibreOffice default for these in terms of outline positioning, bullet styles, etc. image description

Am I missing something? If not, why is it not possible to have this functionality? It is so very frustrating not being able to develop a template that suits needs.

Hoping someone can help.

Regards to all.

Default bullet lists (or numbering lists) are controlled by Format>Bullets & Numbering. The tabs of insterest here are Customize (for general aspect) and Position (for indent and alignment). Once you’ve customised, never again selct anything in the other tabs: these tabs are quick’n’dirty shortcuts for the settings in the last two tabs. Clicking on any of the proposed arrangements will set various parameters and ruin your carefully crafted configuration.

Concerning the renaming of the list styles from List n to Bullet x or from Numbering n to Numbering 123, Numbering abc, …, I consider this is a clarification and an improvement against user confusion. In previous releases, you had paragraph styles names List n and list styles similarly named List n. Identical names are not a technical problem because they live in different namespaces. But, users (and I first) tend to think that styles with identical names are associated, which they aren’t.

  • Why would developers impose on you a choice of specific bullets for List 1?

  • Also, most disturbing, despite their names, List n do not format lists until you link the paragraph style with a list style.

  • You can perfectly legitimately associate para List 1 to list List 2 and vice versa. This cross association will confuse future maintainers of your document, even you a few months later.

Thus, I think that retaining a more or less descriptive name for the built-in list styles is a good change. Remember you can always customise the built-in styles if you are not satisfied with the defaults.

Now, your approach of storing your preferred styles, including list styles and paragraph styles linked to list styles, in a template is good (and right?) and sensible. Your template should not be impacted by the change because the change in in the default template. At least mine crossed the change undisturbed.

The seem to use style extensively. Keep on doing that. At most, it involves an update to your template if it didn’t include the list styles. Refrain from using the bullet button icon: it will create a direct formatting condition which can’t be removed/acted upon from the styles. This is very important for elaborate, complex and long documents.

To show the community your question has been answered, click the ✓ next to the correct answer, and “upvote” by clicking on the ^ arrow of any helpful answers. These are the mechanisms for communicating the quality of the Q&A on this site. Thanks!

In case you need clarification, edit your question (not an answer) or comment the relevant answer.

Thank you for this very comprehensive answer.

  • The advice re customising / defining the bullet lists is helpful. Now I reflect on my priori experience, it makes complete sense.
  • I also understand the name change. The problem now is that regards of how I modify the bullet lists, I cannot alter the way they are listed. It might be listed as a bullet with a ‘dash’ but I could use any other symbol. That too has the potential to confuse. And to date I have not been able to hide these standard lists from the styles window.
  • I have indeed refrained from using the direct formatting bullet button icon. Hopefully I can cope with the new approach.

I guess it still seems to me that a few tweaks to the code base might make things appreciably better; but I’m not an experienced coder so maybe I’ve got that wrong.

Thanks again.

Now, only my next question: why tables are always formatted with Liberation Sans to start with. Aargh!

Your question about table formatting deserves a full development. It is not related to bullets. So ask a fresh question and I’ll be pleased to answer it.