Let the program do the numbering for you. That way you can add or remove chapters, change their levels or move them around with the help of the Navigator without worrying about correct numbering or having to mark text beforehand. This is especially useful for group work when it comes to combining the various chapters into one document (see sections 8 and 17.)
You switch on automatic numbering under the menu Tools › Outline Numbering (see illustration 2). You can choose between various numbering styles such as A, B, C or Roman numbers, but most likely you will stick to Arabic 1, 2, 3 style. It’s also possible to mix styles, that is, have Arabic numbers for the first two levels and a), b), c) for the third – whereby the closing bracket is simply a Separator After.
Illustration 2. Activating outline numbering
When using 1, 2, 3 style it is common to Show sublevels. This means a full lenght heading 5.2.7 instead of simply 7. If you mix styles you could Show sublevels for the first two levels in Arabic style, giving you 5.2, but not for the third level, which would then appear as a simple c) instead of the full length 5.2.c). You might want to turn numbering off for particular headings, for example the introduction and the bibliography. You can do so by pressing the third button on the pop-up menu (see illustration 3). Be careful not to press the second button, because this would switch numbering off or on for all headings of that particular level!
Illustration 3. Turning off numbering for a particular chapter
Illustration 4. Don't activate numbering directly from the menu! This method is good for numbered lists only.
Illustration 5. This menu determining position of chapter numbering will only pop up in case you open files created with older versions of OpenOffice. The item "Width of numbering" conflates the items "Numbering followed by tab stop at ..." and "Indent at ..." of the more modern menu.
Make sure to leave enough space (width – see illustration 5) for your numbering. A complete numbering such as 5.2.7 would take up around 1 cm of space. It also depends on the size font you are using. Please take a detailed look at illustration 10 for a better understanding of these settings and those for the corresponding paragraph style.