How To Create Multilevel Numbering In Word (That Actually Works)

Sharing buttons:

Thanks for joining me on this video. My name is Jason Morrell

I'm the senior trainer here at Two Rivers Software Training.

Now today I'm going to talk you through

one of the things that a lot of people struggle with in Word documents,

especially large Word documents and that's multi-level numbering.

Simple numbering is easy.

You just select what you want to number, go to your Number icon here

and choose a 1..2..3 or an a) b) c) or a Roman numerals style system.

That's for an ordered list.

If you have an unordered list you can then use the bullet icon here

and just do a simple bullet style system.

But how do you create something like this where you have say,

a section 1, a section 1.1, a section 1.1.1

and so on all the way through.

How do you do that?

A lot of people struggle with that in terms of

how to create it, how to control it and how to format it.

And that's what I'm going to talk you through in this video.

We're going to build up a system from scratch to show you how it all works.

Over here I have a list.

It's just ordinary text this stage - no numbers in place -

no numbering systems set up yet.

So the first thing we do is just select the whole text

go to the multi-level number icon and there's a number of presets

you can use straight away if you wanted to,

but I'm going to take you through the whole process

of building this from scratch.

So I'm going to come down to the bottom to where it says

'Define New Multi-Level List'.

This dialog box here is where everything is controlled.

Now first of all, up in the top left you have a box

which has levels 1 through to 9.

Even though it has nine levels most people don't get anywhere near nine.

Most people will stick with 2, 3, possibly 4 at the most.

In legal circles sometimes with legal documentation it does go a little

bit further - maybe 5 or 6 levels but that's probably the extreme.

Today I'm going to take you through the first three level to show you how that set up.

Now at the moment level 1 is highlighted. In the preview box it gives you a very

rough indication of what it's going to look like but it's not to scale and the

formatting is not what it looks like either so it's just really indicating

that you have level 1 selected and that's what you're working on down here.

There's some existing default formatting which I'm going to actually wipe out and

build from scratch. So there we go, there is nothing in place currently.

I've deleted what was there. Now because level 1 is the top level all I need to do for this level

is to choose a numbering system. So you can choose a 1..2..3 or a Roman

numerals or an a) b) c) whatever your preference is. I'm going to keep it

simple and go with a 1.1.1 style system. So the top level is just simply 1..2..3.

Notice how it's a grey box. It's a number with a grey shading behind it.

Now that indicates that it's controlled by Microsoft Word and that's important and

useful because if you've got a large document with lots of things that are

numbered if that was numbered manually and then you added a new section into

the middle of your document we then have to renumber everything yourself and that

takes a long time and it's prone to errors. The fact that it's controlled by

Word that's what makes it so useful because if you then add a new section

into the middle of your document the rest of the document is then re numbered automatically.

After the '1' I'm going to place a simple dot so it's '1.' and then the item.

Now down the bottom you have a 'Position' section.

I would always suggest leaving the number alignment to the left. I'm going to align

this particular item to 0cm which means the number is right on the

margin - the left margin. The text indent is talking about the distance from the

left margin to where the actual text item starts after the number.

These funny numbers you see here - the '0.63' - you quite often see 1.27

there as well - these are inches that have been converted to cm, so

a half-inch is 1.27cm, a quarter inch is 0.63cm

You'll quite often see these because obviously the default

settings are American and the rest of the world uses metric. So I'm going to just

keep it simple. I like whole numbers here so I'm going

to remove the 0.63 and I'm going to replace with 1cm

You can just type a '1' as well - that would work.

The number is on the margin.

The text following the number is at 1cm distance from the margin.

That's level 1 done. I'm then going to move to Level 2. Again there's some

default settings which I'm going to wipe out initially.

Now level 2 - the 1.1 - that's dependent on level 1.

If you're in section 1 it'll be 1.1 ... 1.2 ... 1.3

But if you're in section 5 you want it to say 5.1... 5.2 ... 5.3.

What we do first is we say 'Include level number from'

Level 1 - followed by dot ...

- then define the number system for this level.

So the 1 2 3 again is what I'm going to use.

What you get is two numbers, both with a grey background

but the first number 1 there is from the TOP level and the second number 1 is for the CURRENT level.

Again the positioning. Generally you want

the lower level to be indented each time - not always but quite often - so again I'm

going to align this time at 1 cm and text-indent at 2 cm to keep it nice and simple.

Finally, let's go to level 3 - wipe out what's there.

Level 3 is first of all dependent on - at the top level - Level 1

followed by a dot. It's also dependent on Level 2 - followed by a dot -

and then the number system for this level again is 1..2..3.

So 3 numbers, all with a grey shading behind them.

The first one is from level 1. The second one is for level 2. The third one is for level 3.

The positioning - I'm going to align it at 2 cm - that's for the number.

Now this time, rather than going to 3 cm I'm actually going to make it 3.5 cm

simply because by this level when you've got three numbers in place - especially with bigger numbers,

you might be in say, section 10.15.30, the width of those numbers actually goes

beyond a cm so I've just extended the width to allow for that.

So it's 1.5 cm gap. Okay we're all done here so we're going to click OK.

Now because we had everything selected, everything at the moment is on the top level of numbering

so it just goes to 1 thru to 13 straight.

But here's how to control it. Here's how to indent it and set the appropriate numbering levels.

So Australia is the top level here

'Queensland' is a lower level so with my cursor in front of 'Queensland' I press

the TAB key (that's the key above the Caps Lock) and it indents it down a level.

'Brisbane' is a sub level of 'Queensland' so with the cursor in front

of 'Brisbane' I'm going to press TAB twice and it takes it down two levels to 1.1.1.

Now if you've got a few things that all need indenting you can highlight more

than one thing if you want to and then TAB to indent as you need to.

So if I just go through here I can do each of these quite quickly.

'New Zealand' is a top-level. 'North Island' is indented. 'Auckland' indented twice.

'South Island' is indented. 'Queenstown' is indented twice.

So you saw how easy that was. You just TAB to indent.

If you make a mistake, so 'New Zealand' is actually the

top level but let's say I indented by mistake, see how the numbering is all

changed to accommodate that, if I need to PROMOTE an item (as in, take it back a level)

you do SHIFT and TAB. That brings it back to level 1 or whatever level is

the next one up. That's how you build a multi-level list and that's how you

control it with indentation.There is one stage further you can take it and

that is to link your numbering system with your Styles

(the Styles being the stuff at the top here).

So what I'm going to do is to reselect everything.

I'm going to go to the multi level number button,

down the bottom choose 'Define New Multi-Level List'.

This will bring up all your current settings.

There's one extra button here which you didn't touch before called 'MORE'

and when you click that, it extends it sideways

so you get some more options down the side here.

We're on level 1.

All I need to do over here is to link that level to a style.

So I'm going to actually link it to Heading 1.

On level 2 I'm going to link that to Heading 2.

On level 3 link it to your Heading 3.

In the preview here you can see how it's attached to the heading style to the actual number style.

Click OK and it's now applied the styles to the numbering system.

What that means is that if I, say, come down here, and maybe put another state in, maybe 'Victoria'

and then we'll add 'Melbourne' and say, 'Phillip Island' as extra options.

If I just place my cursor in 'Victoria'.

'Victoria' is a lower level. It's the same level as 'Queensland' or 'New South Wales'.

So I'm going to ...

... actually, I just noticed a mistake there with 'Sydney' and 'Newcastle'.

Let's just fix those two up up. Those two should actually be Heading 3s.

See how that indented straight away.

Victoria is a Heading 2.

Melbourne and Phillip Island, they're Heading 3s.

So in the same way you use your Heading 1 ... Heading 2 ... Heading 3 styles in your document normally,

normally just for styling, you can actually attach it to your numbering system

for that specific reason, because normally your headings tie in with your numbered sections.

The numbering will only apply when a paragraph has been styled with Heading 1, Heading 2 or Heading 3.

If you need to add some body text under a particular numbered section,

which is normally what you want to do

then just press ENTER to put some text underneath the section,

paste in your text or type it in ...

now, whatever you do here - this is just regular body text,

but see how the numbering system is untouched?

It just continues on as it normally does.

So you can do this for anything.

Place body text under any section you like and the numbering system isn't affected.

So that's a very quick run-through of multi-level numbered lists

and how you can attach them to heading styles.

I hope that has simplified things for you.

A lot of people struggle with this.

If you're one of those people I hope that's

demystified it for you a little bit.

If you found this video useful

I always appreciate a LIKE.

Any comments you want to post underneath or questions underneath

I'll receive all of those and I'll get back to you with some answers

but hopefully the video has cleared up most of your questions.

That's it for today.

Thank you very much for watching.

See ya.