In the previous post in this series, we went through the basics of setting up a multilevel paragraph numbering scheme for inline numbering (“inline” meaning that the number appears at the beginning of the paragraph and that each paragraph has a separate number). This is the kind of numbering that Word automatically applies (once you start the numbering scheme) whenever you press the Enter key to start a new paragraph.
So, to refresh your memory from the last post, here’s what kind of numbering we’re covering today:
We’re gradually moving up the scale in terms of complexity and flexibility here. In the last example, the paragraphs always started with the numbers themselves (1, II, c, etc.). Here, we’re able to embed text like “Article” and “Section” within the numbering scheme.
We start at the same place we started last time, by clicking on the drop-down next to the multilevel paragraph number button on the Home tab:
To create the two levels shown in the illustration above, we’re going to go through the Define new Multilevel List dialog twice, once for the first level (Articles) and again for the second level (Sections):
I’m just going through two levels in this illustration for the sake of simplicity, just so I can show you what’s different between the highest level (Articles) versus the lower levels (Sections and on down). Here’s the breakdown of what I’ve done, step by step:
- First, I make sure I’ve chosen the first level of the multilevel list by clicking 1 just underneath Click level to modify.
- To tell Word what type of numbering I want to use (1 versus I, etc.), I use the drop-down under Number style for this level.
- Once I’ve chosen a number style, I see that number embedded in the Enter formatting for number field (it looks a bit greyed-out to signify that it’s a field and not a literal number). I can then click my cursor into the beginning of the Enter formatting for number field and type “ARTICLE”. Once I’ve done that, I notice that change reflected in the preview pane above.
- Because I’m using inline numbering rather than headings, I want to be sure that the numbering scheme is not connected to a Style, so I choose [no style] in the Link level to style drop-down.
- Usually, Number alignment defaults to left; I double-check that here. You may run into situations in which you want the number to align differently (usually with long legal-style numbering like “1.02.03.”); if that’s a common situation for you, let me know in the Comments below so I can cover that in a future post.
- Aligned at is different from Number alignment. Number alignment is where the number itself is aligned relative to the tab stop where the trailing period, etc., would be. Aligned at sets where the beginning of the numbered paragraph is relative to the left margin. In this example, I want “ARTICLE” to start right at the left-hand margin, so I set Aligned at to 0.
- Next, I’m going to set the Text indent at to 0″ as well. This ensures that the second and subsequent lines of each Article wraps all the way to the left-hand margin.
- Follow number with determines what will create the space between your automatic number and the following text. You can choose Space, Tab character, or Nothing. Here, I chose Space because Roman numerals can get quite long, and inserting a tab afterward could create some awkwardly inconsistent spacing.
- Now that I’m completed all of the setup for ARTICLES (level 1 of my multilevel list), I’ll move on to the SECTIONS portion (level 2) by clicking the 2 under Click level to modify. Notice how the preview pane to the right changes to show the indentation of the second level.
- Again, I choose a number style from the Number style for this level drop-down. A greyed-out field with the number “01” appears in Enter formatting for number. The next four steps are critical to creating the “Section 1.01” result I’m after.
- Because I want to include the number of the level from the preceding Article (in other words, I want each Section for Article I to include “1” as the number just after “Section” and preceding the period), I first make sure my cursor is just before the “01” I previously embedded, then use the Include level number from drop-down to instruct Word to include the number from Level 1.
- Level 1 is configured as a Roman numeral, so that’s what Word puts here … for now. (Hang in there with me through Step #14.) I then type a period to separate “I” from “01”, then place my cursor before all the numbers to type “Section”.
- I want to make sure that the first Section under Article II starts with “Section 2.01” and doesn’t continue the second-level numbering from Article I, so I check the box next to Restart list after and choose the previous level (in this case, Level 1).
- Here’s what changes “I” to “1” after “Section”: check the box next to Legal style numbering. Now, you see “1.01″ after “Section”, not “I.01″. Notice how Number style for this level is suddenly disabled. That’s why I waited until now to check this box.
- Again, I choose Space as the Follow number with character, for pretty much the same reasons as in Step # 7.
Once you click OK, you’ll see that Article I pops up. Type some text in there and hit Enter. You’ll see Article II. If you want to start a Section (or a lower level), there are three ways you can promote that paragraph to the next level (or demote to a previous level):
- Use the Increase Indent (promote) or Decrease Indent (demote) buttons on the Home tab (my preferred method)
- Click the Multilevel list drop-down and choose Change list level
- Use the Tab and Shift-Tab method to promote and demote, respectively
That last method requires that you have a particular AutoCorrect setting enabled. Go to the File tab, click Options, choose Proofing along the left-hand side, click the AutoCorrect Options button, and make sure this box is checked on the AutoFormat As You Type tab:
The end result of your paragraph numbering scheme looks something like this:
Here’s a quick (8:43) video showing you the process from start to finish:
[Click the button in the lower right-hand corner to maximize the video window]
Now it’s your turn
Here’s what I want you to do now:
- Come up with your own numbering scheme, one that you use frequently in your documents. Maybe my “Article” and “Section” example doesn’t resonate with you. Find an example in your recent documents that you’d love to automate in future documents.
- Plot out how your numbering scheme would be structured:
- How many levels deep do you need?
- What indentation should each level have? Does it change consistently at subsequent levels (e.g., each level advances in 0.5″ increments)?
- Would it be better to follow each number with a tab or a space? Would the numbers get so long that using tab would create visual inconsistency?
- Is there any text before or after the number that remains constant at all levels?
- Do you include the number from one or more previous levels? Is it legal-style numbering (1.01, etc.)?
- Does the numbering in the second and subsequent levels need to “start over” when the level immediately above changes?
- Start a new document (CTRL-N) and experiment with creating a new multilevel list style. Type in some sample text and see if anything malfunctions or otherwise doesn’t respond the way you’d like.
- Let me know how it goes in the Comments section below!