Number below number


  1. Unable to put a sub-list under a list;
  2. Unable to put list beside a paragraph.

Method of creating the document:

  1. Using (Toggle Order List) button on the ribbon.

System Information
Version: / LibreOffice Community
Build ID: 728fec16bd5f605073805c3c9e7c4212a0120dc5
CPU threads: 4; OS: Linux 5.18; UI render: default; VCL: gtk3
Locale: en-US (en_US.UTF-8); UI: en-US
Calc: threaded

Using Fedora 36 Workstation.

Below is the document where I put the case example:
Test File.docx (6.1 KB)

I want the ‘History of Creation’ to be close to the a), and as I see by enabling formatting marks, it has two right arrows. So is there a way to delete the right arrows?

Your description is not sufficient to hint at the problem. Edit the question to add your procedure. I assume you create the list with the toolbar button. How did you configure the list properties? They look somehow inconsistent: it is a 2-level list but in the first item sublevel 2 is numbered a) while in the second item you have 1. In addition, your screenshot doesn’t display technical information because View>Formatting Marks is not enabled.

From guess work, you may bump into tab stop lack of adequate configuration (extra space)

Formatting “… reasons: 1.” and “2.” on next line aligned on “1.1” is not possible because a list item always start with the number; you can’t have additional text like “Here … reasons:” before the number.

For better diagnostic, attach the example file to your question. Also, mention OS name and LO version.

Apologize for the incomplete question, I have added a rather detailed information about everything and posted the document.

Read the introductory part of
The document comes as office document in Open Document format, as PDF for reading and as unformatted plain text. The content describes how to convert plain text into a structured and well formatted documents.

First, save your document in native format .odt !
Saving as .docx causes two conversions to occur: one at open time, one at save time. Each conversion brings its lot of inaccuracies and loss of information. Don’t think it settles after a couple of edits; it has a disastrous cumulative effect. And list is one of the most divergent features between both formats.

Lists in Writer are always multi-level

In your “case 1”, you tweaked indents of the base paragraphs with the ruler and pressed the list button. Because of the tweaking, “1. Hinduism” and “a) History …” belong in different paragraph geometries and therefore are two different lists.

Don’t play with paragraph indents when you define lists. List indent are not inherited from paragraphs but are intrinsic properties of the list “style” you access through Format>Bullets & Numbering, Position tab. Having the same base paragraph allows you to create multi-level lists.

  • press the list button
  • type your “Hinduism” item as usual
  • for second level, press Tab and type “History …”
  • to change level, either press Tab to increase level or Shift +Tab to decrease level

"Inline" lists

By “inline” lists, I mean your “case 2” where the first list item is inline with some introductory text, the subsequent items being aligned with the first.

This is not possible with Writer (not speaking of the risk of leaving too narrow a space for the items). I suggest you type your introductory text on in a separate paragraph and have your list as usual as a set of independent paragraphs. It is then much easier to define a consistent indent for the whole list.


I don’t know if the sample file is a quick’n’dirty document to exhibit th problem or reflects your routine approach to writing document. If this is the latter case, you won’t be able to “comfortably” format your document because everything is manual instead of benefiting of all the automation in Writer. Writer is based on styles and styles are ubiquitous contrary to Word which knows only of paragraph styles. You can’t achieve consistent formatting and layout without styles. Don’t neglect character, page and list styles. You can leave aside frame styles at the beginning. Never use Ctrl +I for italics (or B for bold, U for underline, …) because such italic attribute may mean different things (emphasis, foreign word, colloquialism, …). Use a dedicated character style (built-in Emphasis or a user-created one). You can them tune the appearance separately for emphasis, foreign word, …

List styles are ancillary styles supplementing paragraph styles. They take over left indent, overriding what is defined in the paragraph style, and define the structure of numbering. They are very powerful but are really hard to master when starting to learn Writer.

Styles, in any category (paragraph, character, page, list, frame) provide a meta-semantic annotation to your text. They are supposed to mark contents. Therefore, using empty paragraphs (no contents in them) to vertically space your document is nonsense. White space over and below paragraph is an attribute belonging to the paragraph. This attribute is set in the paragraph style. You should never have empty paragraphs in any document (except perhaps paragraphs used to anchor frames).

For an introduction to styles, read the Writer Guide


Thank you so much! The guide you gave for multi-level list is literally the way for me to type my document in an enjoyable manner. I hope you have a good day!

Note that I totally agree with @ajlittoz’ comment about your “case 2”/inlined list. Have the introductory text in a separate paragraph and your list below.

However, if you have pressing reason to keep that exact layout you outlined, it is possible by way of a frame.
See attached file (10.3 KB)

Note at once that a frame introduces content aside from the main text flow, which may give trouble if you have notes, page references or other structural elements there, or if the file is parsed by external applications. Also, a frame cannot spread across pages. It is confined to the single page where it is introduced.

Note also that frames misbehave at times. In particular when they are “bossed around” by the anchoring as character. Use as last resort if you feel that you really must.

A frame used in this manner needs some configuration of properties:

  • The Type pane
    • Anchor As character
    • Vertical alignment to top of character
  • The wrap pane
    • Set spacing to zero
  • The Borders pane
    • Set fill (or padding) to zero
    • Remove borders (leftmost of the presets)