Text body doesn't indent following numbered list

Libreoffice version
Ubuntu 20.04

I was searching up the internet to understand how to fix the numbered list being all over the place so I can generate my table of contents perfectly and to get my desired numbered style. Was able to find the Chapter numbering option and it works GREAT!

But then I realized I still have indenting issues, particularly with the text body or under the header. It doesn’t follow the indentation that is set by the numbered list, even after resetting the chapter numbering position, I still have no result. Each time I pressed enter to get a new line, it would just go to the start of the page rather than staying at the same level as the numbering list. For example, I’m on chapter numbering level 2, the text body should start at that same indentation as the level 2, but it didn’t. the text appears at the start of the page.

If anyone doesn’t understand or confuse, please tell, and thank you for helping.

Paragraphs are assigned a paragraph style where the “geometric” properties of text appearance are defined. On first approximation, paragraph styles are independent from each other.

In your case, if I understand correctly your requirement, you’d like to have the left indent of text following a heading, styled with Heading n, aligned with the heading itself, excluding the chapter number.

This is a bit complicated because heading formatting is a combination of a paragraph style (one of Heading n) and a list style (a reserved one configured with Tools>Chapter Numbering). When you have such a combination, left indent is no longer controlled by the paragraph style but by the list style. To add to the difficulty, the single list style controls all levels of the list. Therefore the left indent property is “multi-valued”.

Supposing you could inherit in some way the left indent from the list style into a paragraph style, which level would the paragraph style take? So, fulfilling your goal through simple inheritance is not possible.

You have then two solutions:

  • a Text Body n family of paragraph styles
    You create Text Body n with n=1 to your maximum heading nesting level derived from Text Body where you set the left indent as appropriate to match Heading n.

    Pro: easy to do
    Cons: you must manually choose the style and must change it if you change the nesting level of the heading; manual sync with Tools>Chapter Numbering configuration

  • make Text Body suitable for bullet list
    Create a dedicated list style: set the bullet to space on all levels. In the Position tab of the list style, set all parameters to the same values as Tools>Chapter Numbering.
    When the style is created, attach it to Text Body in Outline & Numbering tab (renamed Outline & List in 7.2.x).
    When you enter your (sub-…) chapter text, type n-1 Tab characters at the very first position of you paragraph to get the indent corresponding to level n.
    When you edit your document and change heading level, put the cursor at start of paragraph and type Tab to go one level deeper or Shift+Tab for one level higher.

    Pros: a single paragraph style, easier to change level
    Cons: list styles and their interactions with paragraph styles more difficult to understand and master by newbies; level change requires to review all paragraphs under the heading

    Note: in case you have text outside headings (say an introduction before the first heading) you may need Text Body unaltered. In this case, create a paragraph style derived from Text Body and apply the trick on this derived style.

EDIT 2021-12-14

I slightly modified your chapter numbering settings (essentially changed the alignment properties) and noted the indents you defined.

I created a HeadingIndent list style as a bullet type where I copied the indents from chapter numbering. The bullet character is set to “space” so that the style really defines a list (selecting None would cancel the list effect) and the bullet is invisible.

I attached HeadingIndent to Text Body paragraph style and used it for the text. To left-align paragraph on preceding Heading n, I press n-1 times on Tab key.

Here is my customisation: Sample Document-ajl.odt (18.3 KB)

Important remark: don’t format your discourse with Default Paragraph Style. The intended style for that is Text Body, contrary to M$ Word. In Writer Default Paragraph Style is the ancestor of all other styles and any change you apply to it will affect all others. Default Paragraph Style is there to record shared attributes over all styles. It is its sole role (a convenient way to change the global appearance of your document without the need to proceed paragraph after paragraph, provided you don’t direct format and you don’t mess up your style hierarchy with inconsiderate style tweaking.

Thank you, can you tell me the step in creating either of these methods? If you can’t, a link or reference to creating it? Google has given me very few search results in relating to any of it.

The procedure is given in my answer, provided you know what styles are and how to create/configure them. If you don’t, read the Writer Guide for an introduction and practice a bit on scratch documents.

My personal choice would go to the second option (a single paragraph style associated with a list style).

Hmmm, thank you. But the document is really not helping here for me. Some of the points where I think it might describe my problem, have some of the most confusing steps I have ever seen. For example, this document https://documentation.libreoffice.org/assets/Uploads/Documentation/en/WG7.2/WG72-WriterGuide.pdf on page 263.
1) Create a list style you want to use for the paragraph. For example: MyNumberedList.
2) Create a new paragraph style

This was the problem I’m asking on how to create my own custom style, and this document is not helping here. The fact that the document is outdated doesn’t really help me too, the wording and tab changes, have to look it up for an extra 10mn just to figure where it actually is. I have been trying to figure this out for over a month now, just to create this simple style

  1. Heading 1
    1. heading 2
      blah blah text text
      1.1 heading 2
      blah blah text text
  2. Heading 1

I was hoping the community could solve this issues but apparently not. Thanks for trying to help in anycase.

Attach a sample document with your configuration of Tools>Chapter Numbering, some headings and text. I’ll modify it to reach your specification. Isn’t there some indentation error in your example? Shouldn’t your heading 2 be numbered 1.1. and 1.2. ?

What you need is the ability to create a style. Whether it is a paragraph, character, frame, page or list is not important: the procedure is the same. Make visible the style side pane (F11). Select the required category by clicking on one of the small icons in the pane toolbar. Right-click in an empty area of the list and New. Note that if you right-click on one of the style names, you’ll create a “derived” style with all parameters preset from the designated style. Such derived styles have a special property: any untouched setting remains synchronised with the setting in the primary style. When you change it in the primary, the value is also forwarded to the derived style.

Here is the sample document. Please, take a look, and tell me if you need anything else. And yes my bad, my heading 2 should be numbered 1. heading2 and 2. heading2. Either way, 1.1 and 1.2 isn’t that hard to set, I think I can adjust that one easily.

Sample Document.odt (10.5 KB)