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November 09, 2006


Thank you, thank you so much for your informative blog!

I'm not very adept and this numbering issue is one I'll have to study and absorb in more detail. But at least now I have can see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

I volunteer some of my time with a small NGO in Uganda. One thing I do is to edit some documents. All the documents come in as MS Docs. Most of the time there's not problem with my using Writer, but numbering issues have been a real headache.


Yes, numbering is....interesting. I'm going to write an article at some point with exact, step-by-step details about how to do this and a template. I like this better for anything beyond a basic one-off list, and of course thanks to Jean Weber for writing it up in the first place.

Good luck with your NGO!


I wonder why did I ever leave LaTEX...

Same here. This was exactly what I though after two days of fiddling with that numbering stuff. I just dont understand how it works - and Solveig's numbering hints (though being an interesting idea, thanks!) really seem to be more a workaround for somehting that should work much easier

I'm pretty sure this is not in The Book, so since searching for a solution brought me to this entry, let me mention it:

In 2.0.2, OpenOffice's list formatting breaks when you have more than 9 items.

"What?" Simple: If you aren't following the hanging indent style the software tries to enforce (to get around it: "Indent" = 0, "Spacing to text" = 0, "Minimum spacing to text" = see below), moving from single digits to double digits pushes your indent over the width of the extra digit character.

This is not obvious if you're using a really wide 'spacing to text,' but it becomes really obvious if you're trying to do, say, contracts with a particular format.

What's missing? Simple: The ability to insert a tab in the 'after' field. I think this worked at one point if you could cut-and-paste one, but it doesn't with the version I'm using tonight.

An obvious workaround is to use the 'right' alignment, but that's not so hot if you wanted numbers aligned to the left and paragraphs starting with an indent to the next tab stop.


Another thing that confuses people is precedence: Section styles can sneak in indents not visible in paragraph styles, and paragraph styles control the left indent for numbering (useful if you want a first-line indent only, with the recipe above). You end up seeing 0" in the first two places you look, with no explanation as to why your text is six inches in and bleeding past the right margin. OO.o has "show nonprinting characters," but since indents and such are 'properties' instead of characters, there's nothing to see.

Corel WP has a cute (though easily confused) feature that tries to show where formatting has been applied with symbols in the left margin. I wonder if there'd be a way to add something similar and more deterministic to OO.o -- some sort of gadget, not unlike a ruler, that would try to detect areas of differing formatting and would pop up an overview of everything ("Bullets & Numbering," "____ Paragraph Style," "The following character styles are in use within this block:"...) in one place. And/or they could just stack up like toolbars, one for blocks of paragraph style, another for character, another for numbering, etc.

This probably belongs in the OO.o bugtracker now, but I'll leave it here for a sanity check. :)

Hi Joe,

The size of the 10 does complicate things if you're not doing the hanging indent. You might want to try this entirely different approach to numbering, using fields.


It starts off with a lot of blathering on but gets to the point of how to use fields instead. Then you can put a tab between the number and the text.


hai, thx for the information

I'd like to make numbering like this,
don't know that writer may can do that

I. Title
1.1 Sub Title
bla.. bla..
1.1.1 Sub sub title
bla.. bla..
1.2 sub Title
bla.. bla..
II. Title
2.1 Sub Title
bla.. bla..
2.2 Sub title

Thank you very much for your informative blog. I appreciate your effort for the research that you must done before writing this blog.

I haven't came across with these things as whenever I m writing I have been using MS Docs only. There numbering is not a big problem. Yet looking forward to using OpenOffice Writer.

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