Multilevel Numbering

Microsoft Word 2010

Multilevel numbering refers to using different paragraph number styles, usually at different indentation positions, i.e.

1)        Level 1, usually at the margin edge.

a)        Level 2, one indentation position in.

i)         Level 3, two indentation positions in.

2)        Level 1 again, continuing the numbering format.

Up to 9 levels are available.  You can specify the number style to use for each level and the indentation settings.

Applying Multilevel Numbering

You may find it easiest to define the numbering before you begin to type; however, you can select already-typed text, then apply multilevel numbering.  If done in this order, you may need to insert the appropriate indentations.  The following instructions assume you have not yet typed the information.

  1. Display the Home ribbon and click on the Multilevel List button. The following choices appear:
  2. Select one of the available formats, or choose to define your own list or style.

If you want to define your own multilevel numbering refer to Define New Multilevel List below. If you want to save this format as a style to apply it to other areas of your document, we recommend you define a new multilevel list then save it as a style rather than use the Define New List Style as that feature is more awkward to use than the suggested method.

Note: If you wish to change the number style, or the space between the number and the text, click on the Customize button in the Bullets and Numbering window.  Refer to Customized Numbering, below.

Controlling Numbering Level

Very simple: At the first indentation position (which might be 0"), you are at level 1. Each time you increase the paragraph indentation you move to the next level number. Use the increase and decrease indent buttons available on the Home ribbon to control which level of numbering a paragraph uses.

Another way to increase or decrease the indentation (thus increasing or decreasing the level number) is to press the Tab key to increase or Shift + Tab to decrease.  This trick will only work if the cursor is immediately after the number.

Skip Numbering

  1. Select the paragraph(s) that you do not wish to number.
  2. Remove the numbering feature by clicking on the Numbering button  on the Home ribbon.

Restart or Continue Numbering

  1. Click anywhere in paragraph you wish to effect.
  2. Click your right mouse button then choose either Restart at 1 or Continue Numbering or Set Numbering Value (to specify the starting number).

Define New Multilevel List

This method allows you to define a new numbering outline. If you want to use this numbering style in other areas of the document, we recommend you define a new list style, as indicated below.

  1. If you've already typed the text, select the paragraphs you wish to effect - otherwise, skip this step.
  2. Display the Home ribbon and click on the Multilevel List button. The following choices appear:
  3. Select Define New Multilevel List. The following window is displayed:
  4. Level: select the level you wish to change from the Level column.

    Note:  Typically, numbers that begin at the left margin are a level 1 setting, numbers that begin one indent in are level 2, etc.

  5. Number format: DO NOT type a number in the Enter formatting for number field. If you do, that number will appear for all paragraphs. To insert the number as a code, click on the drop list button beside Number style for this level then choose the style. If desired you can include and other characters to appear before or after the number. In the above example, we've included a parenthesis after the number. You can also use the Font button to add formatting to the number.
  6. Position: In most cases you would want the number aligned at the left but you may also choose centered or right if desired. Set a measurement for the number using the Aligned at field. Set a measurement where you wish the text to begin in the Text indent at field. Usually you would want at least .25" to .5" greater distance for the text than the number.
  7. Set for All Levels: Most users prefer to control the position of each level, however you can choose Set for All Levels to apply the spacing to all level numbers.
  8. Use the More button to display more advanced choices.
  9. Choose OK when done.

Save the Multilevel List as a Style

As mentioned above, if you save a customized multilevel list as a style you can apply it to other areas of your document (big time-saver!) If you're not familiar with using and creating styles you might want to review that article (now or soon), however, the following instructions should point you in the right direction.

  1. Define a multilevel list as described above.
  2. Select a paragraph that uses level one of that list.
  3. Click on the button at the right of Styles in the Home ribbon. A new pane will open at the right side of your screen.
  4. Click on the New Style button at the bottom of the Styles pane.
  5. Type a name for the new style then choose OK.
  6. To apply that style to other areas of the document, simply click on your style name from the styles pane. Don't forget to use the indentation buttons to control the level number.

Additional References