I'd like to use, for this specific instance, letter style enumeration [ like a) b) c) ] . I realize that I can nest one enumerate environment in another and the style will change, but I don't want a dangling "1." from the topmost enumerate environment.

5 Answers 5


Write into Document->Settings->Preamble:


For deeper values use also [3], [4]. Inside LyX you will still see the 1. If you want to change this too, then you'll have to rewrite your LyX layout file.

  • 1
    Thanks for the answer. Is there a way to have these settings apply to a specific enumerate environment? For example, in one part of the document I want the highest level symbol to be letters, and in another part of the document I want the highest level symbol to be numbers.
    – Gus
    Mar 23, 2011 at 15:42
  • yes @Gus, see my answer. you'll need to use \renewcommand repeatedly.
    – Sparkler
    Nov 21, 2014 at 22:40

Short answer

  • To get a), add this to the preamble: \renewcommand{\labelenumi}{\alph{enumi})}
  • To get [a], add this to the preamble: \renewcommand{\labelenumi}{[\alph{enumi}]}

If you don't want the change to occur globally, then add this code right before the enumeration (and resotre right after, if needed).

Long answer

In the preamble, use the \renewcommand{indicator}{format} syntax for each level of heirarchy you would like to change (4 level max. are supported), where indicator is either of the following label indicators:

  1. \labelenumi -- 1st level
  2. \labelenumii -- 2nd level
  3. \labelenumiii -- 3rd level
  4. \labelenumiv -- 4th level

and format is a macro consisting of enumerators and styles.

The style can be any of the following:

  • \arabic{enumerator}, for 1, 2, 3, ...
  • \alph{enumerator}, for a, b, c, ...
  • \Alph{enumerator}, for A, B, C, ...
  • \roman{enumerator}, for i, ii, iii, ...
  • \Roman{enumerator}, for I, II, III, ...

The enumerator can be any of the following:

  1. enumi -- 1st level
  2. enumii -- 2nd level
  3. enumiii -- 3rd level
  4. enumiv -- 4th level

I personally prefer the 1.4.2 a) repeating format, for which you need:


You can set custom labels for individual items:

  1. Use the default "Numbered list" environment in LyX (select from the menu or use the keyboard shortcut ^P E).

  2. Insert a "Custom Item" inset: Open the context menu via Ctrl+click/right click over a list element and select "Custom Item".

  3. In the Custom Item inset, enter a custom label for this particular item.

You will see the default labels in LyX, but the output will use the label from the "Custom Item" box. In LyX:

1. Custom Item[A] Fruits:

a) Custom Item[A.1] orange

b) Custom Item[A.2] apple

will produce in the output file:

A Fruits:

A.1 orange

A.2 apple

  • Welcome to TeX.SX! You can have a look at our starter guide to familiarize yourself further with our format.
    – Pier Paolo
    Jan 21, 2015 at 20:07
  • I do not understand this answer. Please elaborate.
    – Ken Ingram
    Jul 29, 2018 at 23:36

These answers are all quite old, and Lyx has moved on, adding a module named Customisable Lists (enumitem). The User's Guide indicates how to use it, but in short: if you want to change the behavior of just one enumeration, add the module in the document settings, and then, at the beginning of your list, Insert->Enumerate Options. In ERT write


or however you'd like to format the label. Done! and once you've finished this enumeration, the others will be according to the usual style.

  • 1
    Thanks, @John. I just didn't get it first, that I needed to go to Document -> Settings -> Modules and add the "Customisable Lists (enumitem)". Otherwise there is no "Insert->Enumerate Options" menu item. Nov 1, 2021 at 22:53

in preamble


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