Outline Numbering

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 19, 2016)

When you normally use Outline view, Word displays only the headings you specify. These headings are not numbered. To make your outline conform to traditional outline numbering guidelines, you may want to number the headings in your outline. The way in which you do this depends on the version of Word you are using. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose the Bullets and Numbering option from the Format menu. Word displays the Bullets and Numbering dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Bullets and Numbering dialog box.

  3. Click on the Outline Numbered tab.
  4. Click on the numbering style you want to use.
  5. If you are satisfied with the numbering style, proceed to Step 10.
  6. Click on the Customize button. This displays the Customize Outline Numbered List dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  7. Figure 2. The Customize Outline Numbered List dialog box.

  8. At the left side of the dialog box, choose the heading level for which you want to modify the numbering.
  9. Make the desired changes in the numbering, text, and position related to the heading level.
  10. Click on the More button to view additional customization options.
  11. Click on OK to close the Customize Outline Numbered List dialog box.
  12. Click on OK to close the Bullets and Numbering dialog box. The numbering you specified is applied to each heading in your document.

At some point in time you may decide you want to remove the numbers from your outline. Follow these steps:

  1. Choose the Bullets and Numbering option from the Format menu. This displays the Bullets and Numbering dialog box.
  2. Click on the Outline Numbered tab.
  3. Click on the None option.
  4. Click on OK to close the Bullets and Numbering dialog box. The numbering is removed from your headings.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (32) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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