Formatting the Numbers

Do you use Word’s automatic numbering feature?

Did you ever want to change the style, starting point or formatting of the numbering?

If having control over the way Word numbers your lists interests you, then read on. To take control of your numbered lists, you’re looking to go to the Format menu, Bullets and Numbering choice.

When the Bullets and Numbering window opens, you may have to select one of the numbering choices offered to get the Customize button to activate. The numbering style chosen at this step becomes the style that’s changed by your customizations, so choose carefully.

Click the Customize button once it’s active.

It’s here in the Customize Numbered List window that you’ll find all of your settings.

The top section (Number format section) allows you to choose the Font, number style and where the numbering should begin. (I realize that you can control much of the choices in this section from within the document by starting the numbering yourself, but the rest of these options can be very helpful, so hang on and stay with me).

In the Number position section, just below, you can choose how the numbers should be aligned (left, centered and right) along with the location of the numbers within the document.

The Text position section allows you to adjust where the text will begin within your numbered lists. Tab space after is how big Word should make the gap between the number and the text. The Indent at field dictates where additional lines will begin within the same numbered item. And, of course, the bottom section provides you with a preview as you make changes, so you’re sure you know what each change does to your list.

Click OK when everything is set to your liking. When you return to the Bullets and Numbering window, you should notice that your customized numbering system should now be among those displayed as a choice ready for use today and in the future.

Click OK again to return to your document. That’s all there is to it. With just a few quick clicks, you too can be the master of your numbering universe!

~ April