Bulletproof Paragraph Numbering, Part 5

Early on in our Bulletproof Paragraph Numbering journey, Heather chimed in with this dilemma:

Our office typically uses headings when setting up multi-level lists and links them to styles. Unfortunately, as you know, doing that causes the style type to be linked when you go to modify styles.

Unfortunately, I have some very picky attorneys I work with who have exact specifications to their headings that don’t always work with Words functionality. For instance: ARTICLE 1. They want the text that follows ARTICLE 1. to be on the same line as the heading. They also want ARTICLE 1. to be bolded and underlined, HOWEVER, they don’t want the period bolded and underlined following ARTICLE 1. –> They also don’t want the text underlined and bolded.

As you can imagine, this proves very difficult since the paragraphs and characters are linked due to the fact that it is associated with a heading. With your vast storage of knowledge, can you think of a simpler way for me to set this up? They want headings to show up in and outline, or if necessary a TOC.
Also, I have one attorney who would prefer:

ARTICLE 1. (ARTICLE Bolded, Underlined but no period underlined and bolded)
ARTICLE 1. DEFINITIONS. Text (Text not underlined)

Another example:
4. (4 is Bolded)
4. Definitions (Definitions is Bolded and Underlined)
4. Definitions. (The Period is Bolded but not underlined)
4. Definitions. Text (The Text is plain no bold or underline)

It makes me want to pull my hair out!

I can completely sympathize! Those are both some pretty exacting specifications. Using Heather's attorneys' examples as inspiration, here's one example of what's possible:

Notice that:

  • The "Section" headings are on the same line as the remainder of its related paragraph.
  • The "Article" and "Section" headings are in all caps, bold and (at least the Sections) underlined within the text, but not within the Table of Contents.
  • While you can't really see this above, both "Article" and "Section" can be cross-referenced (as initial caps and with context-appropriate formatting) within another paragraph in the document.

Pulling off distinct formatting of numbering, the lead-in headings, and the rest of the paragraph requires mastery of two techniques: Style Separators and Numbering versus Heading formatting.


First, let's define some terms:

Although we didn't specifically deal with this feature during our last foray into the Define New Multilevel List, you may have noticed a button marked Font next to the Enter formatting for number field:

Clicking on that button allows you to customize the font for anything that appears in that Enter formatting for number field, including any text that you've inserted.

So, for example, you could specify that the numbered heading appear in all caps, bold and underline, regardless of how you actually type it into the Enter formatting for number field. That's what enables you to present the heading one way within the paragraph and a different way (without the special formatting) in a Table of Contents or a cross-reference elsewhere in the text.

Creating Heather's New List Style

Let me step you through how I created a List Style using Heather's requirements as an example. I started by clicking Define New List Style in the Multilevel List menu:

I named my new List Style "Heather" and made sure I selected New documents based on this template so this List Style would be saved to my template.

Then I began to create the numbering scheme:

  1. Starting with the first level of numbering, I entered "Article" into Enter formatting for number ...
  2. ... and inserted Roman numerals using the Number style for this level drop-down.
  3. I linked this numbering level to my Heading 1 Style (although I might have been better off defining a unique Style for this numbering scheme and leaving the pre-defined Headings alone).
  4. I set Follow number with to Nothing, because Heather's boss doesn't want the trailing period underlined.
  5. I set Aligned at to 0" so that "Article" will be flush with the left margin. Then I clicked the Font button next to Enter formatting for number to go to the Font dialog box.
  6. I set the font to bold, ...
  7. ... underlined, and ...
  8. ... all caps, then clicked OK.

So "Articles" is defined like this:

I moved on to the next level of numbering ("Sections") and set it up like this:

As you can see, I made sure to set Link level to style to Heading 2 (again, might have been better to have made a custom Style here, too), restart each Section's numbering after a new Article (rimmed in red above), and used Legal style numbering to drive the "1.01" part of the number (see the video in Part 2 for a demonstration).

Then I clicked on the Font button and made many of the same changes I did for "Articles":

So my second-level numbering, "Section", looks like this:

Now, I've only demonstrated two levels here, but obviously you could go through all nine levels here if you choose, associating them with a different Style each time.

Formatting the Rest of the Heading

That takes care of formatting the numbering. But what about the variable text (like "Parties") that comes after the numbering?

That requires adjusting the associated Styles. Remember that "Articles" is associated with Heading 1 and "Section" is associated with Heading 2. So for each of these, I find those Styles in that section of the Home tab, right-click, and choose Modify to make those adjustments:

For example, I chose Font under Format in the Modify Style dialog box and made the text bold and all-caps. I could have underlined it as well with Underline style. The point is, modifying the Heading Styles is what controls how the text after the numbering is displayed in the document.

Using the New List Style

Now, to use my new numbering scheme, I just go back to Multilevel List and choose it:

Changing the Numbering Level

If I need to change the numbering level of a paragraph (for example, a paragraph is inserted as an "Article" and I want to change it to a "Section"), I click on Change List Level:

Using the Style Separator

Now you have the automatic number ("Section 1.01") and the remainder of the heading ("Parties"). But how do you type in the remainder of the paragraph so that it <em>doesn't</em> end up in the Table of Contents

Doing that requires separating the heading (the part you do want to see in the Table of Contents) from the remainder of the paragraph with something called a Style Separator. Style Separators allow you to have more than one paragraph (or combination character/paragraph a.k.a. "linked") Style within a single paragraph.

Problem is, Microsoft Word hides this feature from view. It's nowhere on the Ribbon. There's a shortcut key, CTRL-ALT-Enter, but how would you know that?

The good news is, starting with Word version 2010, you can modify the Ribbon and/or Quick Access Toolbar to add commands like Style Separator and get them where you can see them. Here's a quick video demonstrating how:

Mac Workaround for Style Separators

Unfortunately, for you Mac users, there's no Style Separator. But according to one of the Microsoft MVPs at Microsoft Answers, there's a workaround:

  1. Turn on Show/Hide on the Home tab to display the nonprinting characters (Show/Hide is the button that looks like a paragraph mark ¶)
  2. Click your cursor where you want to end one Style and start another
  3. Press Return
  4. Select only the ¶ that now follows the first Style
  5. Go to Format> Font, check Hidden

This will display as two paragraphs while Show/Hide is turned on, but it will appear as a single paragraph when it's turned off. The second paragraph will not be included when you generate the Table of Contents.

I don't have a Mac, so I can't test this out. Perhaps Microsoft will add Style Separators to Mac soon!

Video: Adding a New Paragraph, Using the Style Separator and Updating Your Table of Contents

Here's a quick video showing you the steps for adding a new numbered paragraph for this numbering scheme and inserting a Style Separator to type the remainder of the paragraph.

Well, that wraps up the Bulletproof Paragraph Numbering series. If you've got some lingering questions, please add them to the Comments below.

Did you miss the previous installments? Click here for the entire post series.

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About the Author

I spend an inordinate amount of my time playing with computers and attempting to explain technology to lawyers and law office staff. It's not always easy, but someone's got to do it.

Holly Ghere

Using this example alone, there is NO way that one can argue Word is a superior word processing product to Wordperfect. The amount of work illustrated in the above post, to achieve a simple, automatically numbered paragraph heading, is ABSURD. That being said, thank you for the post. This series has been most helpful. (Two years later and I still grieve for my WP. *kicks dirt*)

    Deborah Savadra

    Holly: Just out of curiosity, what steps would one take to achieve this same result (distinct formatting of the numbering, heading and following paragraph, all addressable by an automated Table of Contents/Outline) within WordPerfect? I’d be interested in learning that process for comparison’s sake.


Thanks Deborah. Style separator was one of those things I figured out once, but somehow atrophied. This has been a great series and will definitely return to this resource plenty.


You are simply wonderful. I know I’m a bit late, but thank you for taking the time to go over this. I’m sorry it took me so long to look at it, but it’s just that time of year in my firm and I’ve been slammed. Being able to modify text the way my boss wants has always proven time-consuming, to say the least. You always teach me a thing or two and make my life simpler. I had another example that I thought you might friend interesting: ARTICLE I (First Level – Linked to Heading 1 – TNRoman – 12pt, BOLD, ALL CAPS, Aligned at 0” Left, Followed by Nothing – Modify Style to Center the Font, Underlined Text SHIFT ENTER to connect the below font to ARTICLE I Heading so:
(a) Second Level – Linked to Heading 2 – TNRoman – 12 pt, plain, preceded and followed by a parenthetical – Aligned at 1” Left, Text Indent at 0” – followed by a tab character stopped at 1.5” – Modify Style to plain TNRoman 12 pt Font
(i) Third Level – Linked to Heading 3 – TNRoman – 12pt, plain preceded and followed by a parenthetical – Aligned at 1.5” Left, Text Indent at 1” – followed by a tab character stopped at 2” – Modify Style to Plain TNRoman 12 pt Font
1.2 Third Level – Linked to Heading 4 – TNRoman – 12pt, Bold – Aligned at 0.5” Left, Text Indent at 0” – followed by a tab character stopped at 1” – Followed by Heading Text that is bold and underlined but period is not –, followed by a tab – Then followed by plain text:
For example: 2.4 (Bold) Business and Purposes (Underlined – Bold– do not underline and bold period) – The purpose and business of the company shall be (Plain text)
2.4 Business and Purposes. The purpose and business of the company shall be.

I am guessing that I just need to put a style separator right after I type in the heading: Business and Purposes (Style Separator). The purposes and business of the Company shall be… (That technically takes the underline off the period) Am I correct or is there a simpler way to solve this?


    I realized in my example I gave you two third levels. That last one should say fourth level! Sorry about that!

    Deborah Savadra

    You’re right – the Style Separator would stop the Heading Style and start the paragraph Style on the same line.


      I figured! Thank you as always for your insight. 🙂

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