Hierarchical Outline numbering for Microsoft Word Documents

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in this lesson we're going to learn

about creating numbered headings for

technical documentation or really any

kind of documentation that you're

creating any kind of document that's

long and has a lot of sections and

subsections and so we'll go over a

couple of things the first one is the

use of styles and your style templates

over here and then how to make those


automatically number your sections so

that they are easy for the reader to

follow so here for example in this

completed document I have a section one

introduction and under that I have a

summary and a methodology and then the

next section begins and I start another

overview section and over here in the

navigation pane you can see that when I

use headings and what I have them set up

properly then when you are looking at

the navigation pane you have this

beautiful very organized outline that is

all set up for you and ready to go so

this is a really nice feature of word

it's vastly underutilized and I think

one of the reasons is because back in

2010 when word changed a lot of things

well Microsoft changed a lot of things

about office this is one of the features

that the way that you accomplished it

changed drastically and so I'm going to

go over it because it's just not exactly

intuitive it's not easy to figure out

there are a lot of tutorials online that

that lay it out but I thought it would

be helpful to have a video so here we go

first we're going to start I'm going to

show you a simple document and if you're

doing a really short one or two page

document generally numbered headings

aren't appropriate so here's a sample

short one I'm going to zoom in on this

for our mobile users in particular have

mobile viewers so that you can see that

and when you're reviewing

a simple document or when you're reading

it it's pretty easy to see that this is

a little bit smaller than this and so

it's a subheading but as you can see in

the first example I gave you it's a lot

harder to follow when that document gets

long and involved and that's where

heading numbering comes in okay so let's

take a look and I have a sample that is

already set up with headings and so

that's the first step that you would do

when you are setting up your your

technical documentation is that all of

your headings need to be associated with

a style and so here you can see when I

click on my introduction you can see

here that heading 1 lights up because

I've already applied heading 1 and my

subhead is heading 2 and I think down

here down here I even have some heading

threes and you see how hard they are to

tell apart especially the word defaults

they're all blue they're only very

slightly different from each other and

so that's where the numbering really

really helps so let's get started here

on the numbering part it used to be that

in order to apply numbering all you had

to do is go in and modify a style so you

would have done something like this go

to heading 1 and say modify but that is

not how you accomplish it anymore

now you go to Home tab which we're

already on and you click on the outline

numbering button and then you get to

define new multi-level list and you can

see that I've got a couple other ones

already set up but we're going to do a

new one because you probably don't

already have it set up okay so now you

see this little illustration here and

this is showing you what your current

multi-level list setup is like so if

this is how you want your document to be

numbered and indented

then you don't need to do anything but

generally this is not how I would do

technical documentation especially not

with all of these indents this just

winds up looking really really crazy in

Nice proposals and in technical reports

and things all this indentation winds up

really obstructing the text and being a

distraction so we'll start with level

one and what we're going to do is we're

going to apply level one to heading one

level two to heading to level three

heading 3 and so on so to do that there

are several steps involved first you

click on level one

and you can see that this is the

formatting for level one so there's one

and a paren so take that off let's make

that a dot first of all and that's all

you have to do for level one right no

there's one more step it's not intuitive

at all you have to you click this more

button and then over here where it says

link level two style drop down here and

click heading 1 now you have linked

level one of your multi-level list to

heading one so anything in your document

that has heading one will now have this

1.2.3 dot

now we go to level two and this is an A

and a paren and we don't want any of

that so the first thing is we want to

change that a to a number because we

want our numbering to be 11.11 that one

dot one etc and now we're going to put a

dot and now for each level when you're

going to work backwards so that you pick

up the number of the level before it and

that will make a lot more sense once you

see it so back it up to the left and say

include level number from and we're on

level two so we're going to pick one

and put a dot now you see as you make

changes it changes up here now remember

what I said about I don't like this

indentation so we're going to change the

alignment to zero that moves it over to

the left that keeps all of your text

nice and left justified and then we also

have to link the level two style to okay

now let's do level three level three is

an eye we don't want that so we're going

to change it to one get rid of the paren

and a dot now let's work backwards go to

the left

include level from level two and put a

dot and we also need level one so again

go to the left include level from level

one put a dot and we're going to link

that to level number or sorry heading

number three and you can see here we

need to change our indentation so we're

going to change alignment to zero now

that looks great will do for last

put a dot let's work backwards now we're

going to include from level three and

again you're just working backwards in

order go to the left now to do level two

dot go to the left

level one dot

and you can see that's starting to look

good we need to align it at zero and

linked to level heading four okay so if

you wanted to keep going you certainly

can and you can always come back and

modify this as well but for right now

for our example for headings is good so

I'll say okay and you can see that the

numbering was all applied now sometimes

if you have some craziness in your

formatting you'll see something like

this so if that happens then don't worry

is it clear and your numbering all falls

back into place and here's another thing

is that here I've got a level one it

goes right to a level three so that may

be something that you want to fix and

see how it automatically remembers so

that's the beautiful thing about the way

that this outline numbering works it's

really good if you need to put in a

brand new section like let's say between

section 3 and section 4 I have a new

section so I just put it in and look it

automatically renumber it already and

automatically apply that to the whole

rest of the document

okay one last thing that I want to show

you is that once you have this all set

up and you've got all of your headings

applied and your numbering is all good

then you can insert a table of contents

and so I'll do that here and I know this

video isn't about tables of contents but

I like to show kind of how things all

flow together so go to the references

tab and do table of contents and we'll

just pick the first one and you'll see

that it put that in there our new

section is automatically picked up

because anything that has a heading

style heading 1 heading 2 heading 3 etc

automatically is picked up one more

thing here's a little bonus for you if

you have appendices in your document

most of the time you don't want those to

have a section number like this like I

would want 7 conclusion I'd want that to

be my last section number and then I'd

want the next one to just be appendix a

so let me show you how to do that if I

control click on my table of contents I

can go right to that section all you do

is put your cursor by the first letter

of your appendix title backspace two

times so that it's nice and left

justified and I've got a few appendices

here so I'll just do this for all of

them real quick it'll make a nice

example yeah okay so that's all of my

appendices I'm going to pop back up to

this table of contents oh no it didn't

update so all you have to do is right

click and say update field update entire

table because you can just pick update

page numbers only but that won't change

any titles so say update entire table

and say ok and look what it did now it's

really nice Appendix A appendix B panic

see appendix D looking good well I hope

you enjoyed this tutorial if it

helps you please leave me comment and if

you have any questions I will be happy

to reply to questions and also if you

have any other things in Microsoft

Office that you would like to see then I

would be happy to create a video just

for you so we'll talk to you soon

have a great day