Master the tricks behind numbered lists in Microsoft Word

 Jan 14, 2014

Are numbered lists in Microsoft Word frustrating you? More often enough, people aren't using numbered lists correctly. I see many cases where people just type in the numbers manually and don’t use the automatic numbering style to set them up right.  The main reason as to why you shouldn't manually enter your numbered lists is that if you have to add or remove any items, it will not re-number automatically for you. Now, that's frustrating! Using the automatic numbering style is very easy. I've written a 6-step guide to help you better format your lists and ease your experience in Microsoft Word.
  1. Type the information or item that you want to number. Select this content and click on the 'Numbering' button in the 'Paragraph' group. It will apply the default number style like this: 1.
  2. After the last item, hit 'Enter' on your keyboard. You'll see that the next number has now appeared. If you want to stop the numbering, then click on the 'Numbering' button again to turn it off.
  3. To turn the numbering style back on, click on the 'Numbering' button in the 'Paragraph' group again. It will most likely start your numbered list at 1 again, rather than continuing from before.
  4. To continue the numbering from the previous list, hover over the bottom left corner of the new number 1 and look for a lightning bolt symbol. Click on the down arrow and choose 'Continue numbering.'  Your numbers will now continue from the previous list.
  5. If you cannot locate the lightning bolt, you can still continue the numbering by right-clicking next to the number 1 and choosing 'Continue numbering' from the drop-down menu.
  6. If neither of these methods works for you, open the Numbering button's dialogue box by clicking on the down arrow and selecting "Set Numbering Value." In the dialogue box, select 'Continue from previous list' or set the value to whatever number you want to start with.

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About the Author:

Liz French  

With over 7 years of experience as a trainer, and an extensive skill set that spans across the entire Microsoft Office suite of applications, Liz brings an incredible amount of knowledge, expertise and care to each course she delivers. Having worked as a tutor in the education sector for many years prior to her career at New Horizons, Liz has gained an extensive amount of experience in providing training to individuals and groups of varying skill levels. As a certified Microsoft Office Master, Liz is a highly capable trainer who possesses the ability to connect with students of all levels and backgrounds in order to help improve their skills across a wide range of common Desktop Applications.

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