I want to create a multi-level numbered (or bulleted) list with OpenOffice Writer. Eventually, I want to have something like this:

1 foo
    1 bar
    2 foobar
2 bar
    1 bork
    2 barfoo
3 huh?

I found this surprinsingly hard to do. The first level (1-3) was easy enough, but when I tried to get a second level, OO would either begin from 1 again or keep counting in the second level. I tried this simply using the "Numbering on/off" and "Increase Indent" icons on the toolbar. But the result looked frightening.


Start the list as usual and select from Formats->Bullet and Numbering->Outline an appropriate style (I often use the all-numeric 1/1.1/1.1.1 style but there is a 1./1./1./ that should provide the effect you are looking for).

At the end of the first point (default: 1.) press enter '2.' will be displayed. If you now press tab this will change to '1.1' Complete this point, press enter, '1.2' will be displayed and so on.

When the last sub-1 point is done, press enter. Say '1.7' is displayed, press shifttab and this will change to '2'.

After a bit it all gets obvious and easy. It works the same way for any of the styles and for multiple levels.

  • Very nice, thank you! Shift-Tab was the magic key combination I didn't know about.
    – innaM
    Aug 11 '09 at 15:23

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