Tip - Automatically Number Headings logo

It's about time for another quick tip, and this one relates to the premier open source office suite,

Using the built-in heading styles in your Writer document means that OOo can handle the styling automatically for you and also you can generate tables of contents and more with the built-in tools. Note that this tip assumes that all your headings are set up in this way.

In some documents, you might want or need to number your headings. Again, rather than typing numbers in each heading manually, you can set up your heading styles to number this for you.

This even works with hierarchy - your Heading 1 can be numbered '1' and a Heading 2 underneath it will then be '1.1', for example.

To set this up, first go to Tools > Outline Numbering.

OOo Outline Numbering window

In this dialogue box, simply pick the heading level on the left and then choose the numbering style you want from the Number box.

Repeat this process for any of the other heading levels (e.g. Heading 2, Heading 3). In this way you can quickly build up the hierarchical numbering system using whatever numbering style (1, I, i, a) you prefer. While you're here, you might want to go to the Position tab and change the minimum spacing between the numbering and the text of the heading so it isn't squashed up.

Once you've set your headings up the way you like, OK that dialogue. Any existing headings in the document will gain the numbers and future headings will be numbered as you've indicated. You won't have to bother manually renumbering things if you later decide to cut and paste something into a different place.

OOo Numbered Headings Demo

And if you're going to need this a lot, you could also save a template with this style already set up.


Avatar for peter Peter Upfold -

Peter Upfold is a technology enthusiast from the UK. Peter’s interest in Linux stems back to 2003, when curiosity got the better of him and he began using SUSE 9.0. Now he runs Linux Mint 9 on the desktop, runs a CentOS-based web server from home for his personal website and dabbles in all sorts of technology things across the Windows, Mac and open source worlds.

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Discussion: Tip - Automatically Number Headings

  1. # Posted on 19 November 2008 at 02:31 PM

    [...] processing power, OpenOffice has fairly robust outling features. Check out a guide on how to use it here. This works very nicely in conjunction with the previously mentioned guide to the navigation panel. [...]

  2. # Posted on 20 November 2008 at 11:15 AM

    [...] Posted by rupert on 20 November 2008 Neato:  FOSSwire » Tip - Automatically Number Headings [...]

  3. R.U.R. (guest)

    # Posted on 03 May 2009 at 11:13 AM

    Thank you so so much!!! I've been fidling with this for a few hours before finally finding your article! The problem was, that I tried to set up the numbering of headings by changing the style of the headings, where you can also set up numbering. It works nearly fine, but the headings then mysteriously disappear from the table of contents...:-)))

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