Why is my text bulleted when the style doesn't call for it?

I have a style that creates a bulleted heading (based on default Heading 6), and it specifies a next style that doesn’t have a bullet (based on default “Text Body.”

When I finish up a paragraph in the bulleted-heading style and hit Return, the next line is of my specified next style… but it has a bullet. Why, and how do I prevent this? And yes, I’ve cleared “direct formatting” on the original line. I can’t even find where bullets are specified amongst the tabs in the Style dialog.


You probably didn’t configure your Bullet subtext thoroughly as a bulleted paragraph style and add the bullet with toolbar button or Shift+F12. This action is direct formatting but the corresponding attribute cannot be cleared with Ctrl+M.

As a consequence, when you hit Enter, though the paragraph style switches to Text Body, the direct formatting attributes are still active. You must toggle the bullet with another press on the toolbar button.

To avoid this direct formatting undesired effect, you should associate your Bullet subtext with a list style. Go to the Outline & Numbering tab and select Bullet • for Numbering style. You will no longer need the toolbar button and the switch to Next style will not forward the bullet.

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Thanks for your answer. I didn’t configure “bullet subtext” with a bullet at all. So it must be inheriting it from the line above. And to make matters worse, when I clear it with the bullet control on the toolbar, it blows away the left margin I’d set; so now the line is not aligned with the indented bulleted text above it.

Why are bullets from the toolbar “direct formatting,” but not clearable with the command that’s supposed to do so? And why the wonky margin?

And on another note: It seems like it would be a pretty straightforward option to offer “Clear direct formatting when assigning style.”

When you associate a list style (implicit = toolbar or not = list style), the “left” properties of the paragraph style are taken over by the list style. The settings must be tuned in the list style. Don’t play with left indent in the paragraph style.

I may have misunderstood your question: is it Heading 6 or Bullet subtext which is supposed to hold the bullet? To avoid any surprise, always use list styles instead of button toolbar.

Direct formatting: any formatting attribute applied outside styles. But it looks that Ctrl+M does not clear “non-typographical” attributes like page breaks or bullet, perhaps because text flow events are supposed to be exceptions to general formatting and it is acceptable to add rare DF instead of creating a single-use paragraph style.

Auto DF clear: I think it would be even more disturbing. Newbies use extensively DF and wouldn’t like that all formatting is wiped out when they hit Enter. Power users have sometimes good reason to DF too.

Thanks. The derivative of Heading 6 (called “Bulleted heading”) has the bullet. Then I wanted plain text underneath, indented to line up with the bulleted heading above it.

I don’t think I’ve seen a word processor that doesn’t wipe out previously applied characteristics when you apply a style (of the appropriate type). This mode doesn’t prevent direct formatting. And I wouldn’t expect formatting to be wiped out on hitting Enter either…

Writer is based on a layered-style model. When you apply a style, the corresponding layer is wiped out not the others. Other document processor have no such model (single layer), therefore the behaviour. In Writer, you have paragraph style at bottom, character style in the middle and direct formatting at top. Applying a paragraph style does not change character style nor DF. Layers are independent from each other.

When you hit Enter, you create a paragraph break and that it all. Unless you have a Next attribute, you open a new paragraph inheriting all styles in effect right before the break (para, char and DF). With a Next property, only the para style changes. It is rather consistent.

Regarding your Heading 6: is it supposed to be part of TOC? Meaning it belongs to the document outline. If not, a para style intended for lists (with same attributes) would be better than a member of Heading n so that it does not create confusion.