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Sorry Thomas - the descent into Unicode characters was probably inappropriate
given your needs, but that is one of the driving forces behind the feature
that is annoying you, so likely inevitable diversion.

You're correct, it should be simple, and it actually is:

Open Writer if it isn’t already. Then use either of these menu options:
Format | Autocorrect | Autocorrect Options...
Tools | Autocorrect Options…
(They will each open the same tabbed dialog box.)

The first tab (Replace) in the dialog should be selected; that is the one
you want to use.

You will need to scroll down through the entries until you arrive at the
substitution you wish to disable. Depending on the sort order of your
installation, I assume this order may be different, but on mine (U.S.
English), the list begins with a large number of keywords surrounded by
colons, e.g. ":keyword:" 

This permits you to type, for instance :something: and have it automatically
be replaced by the character representing that “something” which might be an
emoji, a complex fraction, or a wide variety of other things.

A few entries after the final :Zeta: and :zzz: , you’ll see an entry .*(C)
or .*(c) in the “Replace” column and © in the “With” column. Simply
highlight that row, and press the Delete button on the right, and you should
be inoculated against interference with your outline formatting.

Depending on how lengthy your outlines might become, you might also want to
disable the .*(R) or .*(r) entry below, which substitutes the ® symbol.

If your sort order is different than mine, you'll just have to search
carefully, but if the substitution is taking place, whatever key combination
is causing it is there somewhere.

I'm not sure what the ".*" in the ".*(C)" is; I assumed at first it was a
regular expression (look that up if you're not familiar but still care), but
on closer examination, I suspect it's a variant of that specifically for use
in this list.

Please post back if this does or doesn't address your issue, as it's an
interesting problem ...

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